City Councilwoman Stacy Head, who failed last week to persuade her colleagues to put a limit on the number of Bourbon Street strip clubs, is rarely shy about expressing her opinions on the council dais.
So it might have come as no surprise Thursday when she chided some of the two dozen dancers who spoke out against the proposed cap on the clubs for accepting a financial incentive from their employers in exchange for their opposition.
Head said two clubs under the Larry Flynt brand, Hustler and Barely Legal, offered to waive 10 so-called “house fees” for any dancer who showed up to oppose the cap. Dancers must pay such a fee to the clubs each time they perform on stage.
“That’s selling yourselves out,” she said.
At another point, she asked the dancers why they weren’t fighting for employment protections, such as workers' compensation, before the state Legislature.
“We don’t have any time to fight that because we are here fighting you,” dancer RJ Thompson shot back.
Head’s proposal to cap the number of clubs at the present number of 12, which she cast as a land-use regulation issue separate from the familiar moral debate over the clubs, failed by a 4-3 vote.
Apparently swaying some members were the dancers’ protests and Councilman Jason Williams’ arguments that massage parlors also should have been considered in a study that prompted the proposal and that police acted improperly during recent raids on eight clubs.
Head responded that there are no massage parlors in the limited area the study focused on, and Councilwoman Susan Guidry said what happened during the police raids was irrelevant to the issue before the council.