Busy Council Meeting On Tuesday … Including Dealing With Downtown Rummage

News and notes from Tuesday’s South Milwaukee City Council meeting …

First, on rummage sales in front of downtown stores. I think they cheapen the look of our (and any) downtown — and I’ve seen too many in the past year. I can think of at least five different commercial storefronts that have “hosted” rummage sales since last summer.

With that in mind, I asked the city attorney to draft an ordinance specifically banning these, and the council gave initial passage to one Tuesday. Simply, if it receives final passage at our July meeting, no rummage sales will be allowed along Milwaukee Avenue between 9th and 13th and 10th Avenue between Rawson and Marquette.

This does not ban sidewalk sales, or existing businesses putting select items outside their store to catch the eye of potential customers. The ordinance specifically allows that. What it does it keep store owners and others from selling their junk outside their business.

I think that’s a small win for downtown, something we can do as we begin the discussion (and action) around the big ideas and solutions we need for our city center. That is coming soon.

Among other actions taking by the council Tuesday …

  • The council approved several new mayoral appointments. Welcome on board Tim Talaska, Jenn Medved and Heather Page, and welcome back Pat Bordak. Thanks for your willingness to step up and provide your passion, energy and ideas to these boards and commissions.
  • The council also recognized the hiring of three new firefighters, including Captain Brad Sibley, Lt. Kurt Egner (promoted from within) and firefighter Tyler Anders.
  • The council has approved a variety of liquor licenses at recent meetings. Tuesday’s batch included one for the former Bully’s liquor store at 1232 Milwaukee Ave. Bully’s has been closed for months and I’m told will reopen soon.
  • Our next regularly scheduled council meeting is at 7 p.m. July 15. We are also holding a special “call” meeting to approve a couple liquor licenses, among other issues, at 6 p.m. June 30.


Filed under City Council

4 responses to “Busy Council Meeting On Tuesday … Including Dealing With Downtown Rummage

  1. Michelle Holliday

    I love the idea of stopping the rummages along Milwaukee Ave. I often wondered who even stops at those, as they are clearly not your typical family rummage selling useful household items. What about also requiring store owners to limit the amount of “decor” that have outside of their stores? One food establishment in particular has so much junk outside on the sidewalk that it does nothing to improve the look of downtown. It makes the place look tacky and actually discourages me from going in there to order anything. If it’s that gross on the outside and in the store window, how can I be sure they practice good hygiene on the inside?

  2. Chris Retzlaff

    Thank you for removing the rummage sales!

  3. Kate

    Thank you, great idea!

  4. RJ

    Back in the day, South Milwaukee merchants had a coordinated, well advertised, sidewalk sale event for two days called “Maxwell Street Days”. It helped them move slow moving or excess inventories and exposed their business to the street shoppers who may not have otherwise stopped by. Perhaps it could be resurrected as a one day annual event held in concert with the Farmers Market on a selected Thursday. It could be a mutually beneficial event and encourage residents to visit both our local merchants and our Market.

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