Tow truck ordinance revamp being proposed

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At this morning’s Licensing & Permit Committee meeting, Chairman Ray Misner is proposing that all tow companies will soon need to be licensed to operate in the city of Kenosha.  Misner stated that this item was on this morning’s agenda because “it’s the next phase of things.  First, we worked on a public passenger ordinance, then a taxi ordinance, because there were many issues with taxi cab companies.”  Misner stated that he felt that taxi cab companies needed serious changes. 

The reason for the tow companies licensing revamp was due mainly to review the ordinance, research others, and improve the complaint process.  Misner stated that “we’ve had issues with some non-city companies.”  He was looking for staff input. 

Other items on this morning’s agenda were:

  • Five new operator’s (bartender) licenses were approved, subject to various demerit points.  Two were denied based on material police record, and two were deferred. 
  • A new operator’s (taxi driver’s) license was approved, subject to 80 demerit points.  Another was deferred to the next meeting, and two were denied.
  • Pub 22’s application to maintain their beer/liquor license even though they did not open for business within ninety days of receiving their license, was deferred.  Paula Blise, zoning coordinator, reported that they had outstanding re-inspection fees in the amount of $750.  The applicant was not present.
  • Slice’s application for the same issue was approved for another ninety days.  The applicant was present.
  • Hydrate Margarita Lounge finds itself in the same situation.  The committee directed the deputy city attorney, Matt Knight, to send a letter to the licensee, asking them to respond within seven days.  If there is no response, appropriate action will be taken by the committee.
  • Alderperson Patrick Juliana requested that the economic impact statement of Hooligan’s Pub & Grill be reconsidered.  Since the alderperson was not present at this morning’s meeting, this item was deferred for thirty days.
  • The chairman proposed a structure change for the committee.  He has proposed dissolving this committee and instead creating a new commission.  The members of the City Planning Commission would be the members of the new commission, plus two additional non-voting members.  One would be a representative of the Tavern League, and one would be a representative of the Concerned Citizens Coalition.  Additionally, a Judicial Review Committee would be created to handle all disciplinary actions, revocations, orders, etc.  The first draft was created, and Knight will work on cleaning it up for review at the upcoming Common Council meeting on Monday.
  • Another proposed ordinance by Alderpersons Misner and Lawrence Green had to do with taxicabs and drivers.  This item was deferred from the July 18, 2011, meeting.  It will appear as a final draft on the agenda of a special meeting that will take place before the Common Council meeting on Monday.  
  • Letters were sent out to all cabaret license owners informing them that they have to re-apply for their 2011/2012 cabaret licenses due to the ordinance change approved at the last Common Council meeting.  The change had to do with adding a finite 28-day window for the committee to conduct its review and provide a response to the applicant.  Applicants will not have to pay the license fee again.  Knight will work with the City Clerk’s office to process as many applications as possible before the next Common Council meeting on Monday.
  • Gerolmo’s Tavern petitioned the committee to review the orders it was given by the Common Council.  The owner was present and made her case for requesting that the back door stay open, especially during the upcoming winter months, due to the short distance to the street in front of her establishment.  She is concerned about having a proper space for her customers who smoke.  “Where will the people go?  Out into the middle of 52nd Street?”  The committee went into closed session for about fifteen minutes, and then resumed to state that they wanted to defer the item for two weeks so that they could obtain legal advice.

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