Monday, November 24, 2008

Thinking About Doing Biz in Milwaukee? Think Again--Hard

Well, AlderThief Bob Bauman of Milwaukee just cleaned a restaranteur for about $65K

That was what the guy put into renovating a business before the AlderThief literally yanked his license out from under him.

McIlheran went to the License Committee meeting Court of Star Chamber grand larceny proceedings and reports as follows:

Bauman, who isn’t on the committee but who showed up at the extraordinarily long meeting -- the matter took up something like five hours of the committee's time -- to argue against Khan, says that it doesn’t matter that Khan wasn’t the problem before, doesn’t matter that Khan had nothing to do with the hot-dog stand when it was a crime magnet, doesn’t matter that Khan appears to have fixed up the problems in the kitchen that got the place closed.

What matters, Bauman said, was this (I’m going to paraphrase):

Khan didn’t spruce up the parking lot.

Khan didn’t go through the requisite back-scratching and ego-petting of aldermen, neighborhood groups and other area interests before opening up. Quite possibly, he had no idea this was even necessary and expected in Milwaukee these days. But, hey, once you give the fellow a license, it’s much harder to shut him down if your beef with him is that you don’t want a hot dog stand -- so, best stop him from opening. In fact, a lot of the meeting was taken up by testimony from neighbors who seemed to be arguing against the way the previous -- and urelated -- operator ran the stand.

The place and the product are the problem. Bauman said it’s just “inherently” problematic to run “a hot-dog dispensary,” as he put it. Such places are just naturally trouble, no matter who runs them. You’ve heard of the “broken-windows” theory of crime? This, I think, we can term the “pickle relish made them wicked” theory

One alderman even apologized before voting to steal this guy's retirement money--but stole it anyway.

The City of Milwaukee doesn't need higher taxes to kill itself off. All it needs is Bob Bauman.

1 comment:

Prosqtor said...

(1) I think P-Mc watched the live feed. He wasn't visible in the room.

(2) Public support for rescinding the license was overwhelming.

(3) Fair or not, people associated Judy's Red Hots with drug dealing and gangbangers (or wanna-be's) hanging out and causing trouble, or stopping by for a dog and a Coke between criminal errands.

I know we're going to disagree on this, but this was the right choice. I'm not sure I like the means by which things were undone, but reliable sources in the City Attorney's Office told me that Khan misrepresented things on his permit application.