New member takes seat on Harford liquor control board

Posted April 10, 2015 - Cheryl Davis Kohl was sworn in Wednesday as the newest member of the Harford County Liquor Control Board.

A former state delegate, Kohl replaces Sandi Tunney, who chose not to seek reappointment after nine years on the board, the last two as chairwoman.

Kohl, the president of Beacon Staffing Services, has been an active member of the Harford County community with the Chesapeake Professional Women's Network, the Route 40 Business Association and the Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce, among other organizations. She served in the House of Delegates from July 27, 2005 to Jan. 10, 2007.

She admittedly doesn't know much about the liquor board, but said she'll learn as she goes.

"I know from my past experience of being a delegate how important the board is and the licenses restaurants and businesses hold and how critical and important that is," Kohl said.

Harford County Executive Barry Glassman asked her to be on the board, she said, and she agreed.
"It's just my way of giving back and helping out," Kohl said.

As for the board, "it seems everyone wants to work and be successful," she said, pointing to a discussion Wednesday about 510 Johnnys, where the liquor board inspector saw potential issues and addressed them with licensee Nicholas Tsirlis so he could deal with them before they become problems.

"We want to see the business successful and the community have a place they can go," Kohl said.

"She comes to us with quite an impressive [resume] and I think we're lucky to have her," said Michael Thomson, who was chosen unanimously by his colleagues on the board as the new chairman. Vernon Gauss was named vice chairman.

"You have demonstrated the skill set and the passion to oversee our board here," board member Tom Fidler said to Thomson.

At Wednesday's meeting, the board members began the process of approving liquor license renewals; liquor licenses run from May 1 through April 30. The first 52 licenses were processed and "perfect," according to board administrator Judith Powell, meaning the application renewals were complete; their renewals were unanimously approved by the board.

Harford has 194 active liquor licenses and the renewals must be approved by the end of the month.

The license for Ice House Liquors in the 1000 block of Beards Hill Road could be facing difficulty in its renewal process.

During an inspection March 10, Robbins was told resident licensee Steven Stein had not been an employee of the store since August 2014. The board was never notified of his departure, Robbins said, and the license cannot be renewed with Stein still listed.

Licensees Bonnie Canavan and Kristin Canavan were found to have violated three liquor board rules: failing to notify the board of changes to pertinent information concerning the license; failure of the resident licensee to be on the premises a substantial amount of time on a daily basis; and failing to cooperate with the board.

Kristen Canavan, who lives in Baldwin, can become the new resident licensee. The problem, Robbins said, isn't adding her, it's getting the paperwork processed before the license expires April 30.

The board, which found the licensees guilty of violating the three board rules, could extend the liquor store's license for 10 days, but chose not to take any action until a renewal application is submitted.