How to be a kid: Amherst thinks it knows best and denies Chuck E. Cheese's a game license

In what may be a first time ever occurrence, the town board of Amherst, New York has derailed the game license for its local Chuck E. Cheese's restaurant. Evidently, there is some question about how to properly let a kid be a kid in Amherst.

An unexpected 3-3 vote deadlocked the license process for the Amherst Chuck E. Cheese's. A rather tangled discussion then followed the voting. Specifically at issue was council member Shelly Schratz's concern that the kid-oriented theme restaurant was making excessively violent video games too easily accessible for very young children. Concerns were also aired regarding an apparently high number of police responses to the popular birthday party location.

Council Members Shelly Schratz, Guy Marlette, and Daniel Ward each voted against the gaming license. However, according to a report from, Schratz tried to change her vote once the license resolution failed to pass. It would seem that Schratz's attempt to inject her own personal concerns into the licensing process might have affected the outcome to a greater degree than she had originally expected. She later admitted that perhaps the license resolution should have been tabled while her personal concerns were being properly addressed.

Council Members Marlette and Ward were together in their concern that the board is not being furnished with enough information regarding what the gaming license is for. They indicated that town employees should be reporting to them about these types of game operations. Perhaps the good board members might best serve their constituents by visiting the location in question to eat some pizza and play some skeeball.

In fact, the article indicates that Council Member Ward always votes against gaming license resolutions because he thinks the board shouldn't be involved in licensing at all. So in fact, Council Member Ward's opinion on this particular matter probably isn't worth the price of a game of Mortal Kombat.

As Chuck E. Cheese's response to the situation, spokeswoman Brenda Holloway is quoted by as stating: "It's a very big deal to us. We definitely will respond."

A representative from the company will be on hand at the next Town Board meeting. No doubt, that representative shall arrive prepared to put the all of the Board's concerns to rest.

Perhaps by the next board meeting, Council Member Schratz will come to realize that the proposition of how to be a kid is more properly addressed by a parent rather than by locally mandating corporate standards of behavior. In any case, the act of simply being a kid just got a bit more tangled in the town of Amherst, New York.
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