Montgomery County liquor control plans to fix itself ... by changing its name


R Street has written before about Maryland's notorious Montgomery County and its liquor control department. Now, according to the Washington Post, the department is trying to change itself ... but mostly just by changing its name:

Montgomery County officials are hoping to change the name of the county’s Department of Liquor Control to something, well, a little less controlling.

The proposed name — Alcohol Beverage Services — reflects an effort to move the department’s image away from its regulatory focus and toward customer service, said director Robert Dorfman, a former Marriott executive appointed by County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) at the end of 2016.

“The old name does not have the right connotation,” Dorfman said. “We’re not about controlling how people do business. Our job is to make sure our customers are well taken care of.”

Montgomery County is the most populous jurisdiction in Maryland, and the only one that directly controls the wholesale distribution of all alcohol in its borders — a vestige dating to the end of Prohibition.

Businesses that purchase alcohol must buy it from the county, not private wholesalers. In addition, while beer and wine can be sold at retail establishments, consumers can buy liquor only from a county-owned retail store.

The system has long been criticized for, among other things, its past poor performance in deliveries, ordering and reliability...

Read the rest here.