Working as an exotic dancer in Brookhaven will get more expensive as the city plans to boost a license fee from $50 to $300. The City Council on Oct. 13 deferred action on the fee boost until next month to change the language so the higher fee does not apply to other, lower-wage strip club workers.
Atlanta and DeKalb County charge similar fees, city staff reported. In Brookhaven, the change in practice affects the city’s only strip club, the Pink Pony on Buford Highway.
Pink Pony vice president Dennis Williams and attorney Aubrey Villines attended the council meeting and generally agreed with the fee boost. However, Williams complained of being “blindsided” by the move, and Villines noted the club already pays the city $250,000 a year as part of a lawsuit settlement.
“You’re in the range of being fair” with the $300 fee, Villines said, as long as it applies only to the dancers.
In a council work session prior to the Oct. 13 meeting, council members agreed that boosting the fee on non-dancer strip club employees was inappropriate. Councilman Bates Mattison also disputed raising the fee at all, describing it as discriminatory and “double dealing” on the Pink Pony settlement agreement’s hefty annual fee.
“I just don’t think it’s appropriate to single out a class of people” for a higher fee, Mattison said.
Councilwoman Linley Jones replied that professional license fees are common, as are such dancer license fees. Keeping a low fee could attract more strip clubs, she suggested.

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.

One reply on “Brookhaven to raise cost of dancer’s licenses”

  1. I know that every community deserves a past, a present, and a future. BUT could we finally put our “Pink Pony Past” behind us?? Bates has a point.–Tom Reilly

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