At its regular meeting Aug. 15, the Fallon City Council denied a mobile food vendor license but approved liquor and cabaret licenses.
Blaine Florez was denied a mobile food vendor license for his food truck Wild West Burgers. In 2015, Florez was convicted in Sparks Justice Court of trafficking narcotics but has successfully completed probation.
A letter from Fallon Police Chief Ron Wenger included in the application packet said in part, “In FMC (Fallon Municipal Code) 5.60.10 it states ‘In conformity with the policy of this chapter, the following persons may be found unqualified to hold a license under the provisions of this chapter.’ In subsection B of FMC 5.60.010 it lists, ‘A person who has been convicted of a crime involving theft, fraud, dishonesty, receiving or possessing stolen property, any controlled substance violation, any sex offense or other serious crimes.’”
Wenger’s letter also stated that Florez “said he has been clean and sober from drugs and alcohol for 11 years” and that he “was truthful in his explanation of his conviction.”
However, Wenger said he was unable to certify that Florez had passed the necessary background check based on the disqualifying language of FMC 5.60.010.
During the council session Fallon Mayor Ken Tedford said, “trafficking of a controlled substance is a serious violation and a real concern to me.” Tedford also mentioned that a reason the mobile food vendor ordinance was put into place was because of the city’s previous experience with trafficking that occurred through a mobile vendor.
The council, Tedford and City Attorney Michael Mackedon questioned Florez about the details regarding the offense and his subsequent probation. Wenger also added some clarification.
As she cast her vote Councilwoman Kelly Frost said, “This is a really difficult situation. We ultimately have to think of the health, safety and welfare of our community.”
Florez told the LVN that his records were sealed after seven years and the only reason it was mentioned was because he was honest on his application. Florez said Wenger had told him during his background check interview that they love his food and that he wanted to help, but Wenger had also expressed some concern that the application would be denied.
Florez has continued to operate in Churchill and Lyon counties. He said he has not decided whether to appeal the decision.
In other action:
• Tia Chandler was approved for an on-premises drinking establishment liquor license for The Tipsy Tumbleweed, a new mobile bar and beverage service. Tedford questioned her address, saying that location was not in a commercially zoned area. Chandler replied that her trailer will be stored on a lot of a commercial location.
The application was approved with the condition that Chandler obtains a letter from the owner of the commercial location giving her permission for the trailer to be stored there. The Tipsy Tumbleweed will provide bar services for private parties, weddings and other special events. Chandler expects to be fully up and running in September.
• The Elks Lodge, represented by bar manager Rick McCusker, was approved for a cabaret license.
Tedford and the council had some concerns about a mention of “live events” in a list of events included with the application because it was a broad category. A cabaret license covers specific events that will take place within a specified location of the establishment.
After some discussion the license was granted for the specifically listed events, but Tedford and the council added that any of the unspecified “live events” still needed to be approved by the city in writing 30 days in advance.
“The Elks do a wonderful job and thank you for all your service,” Frost added.