It was an eventful City Council meeting Tuesday night.
Some of the key votes, in addition to honoring Kris Schell upon her retirement from Human Concerns …
- Aldermen carrying guns. The council split, 4-4, on a proposal that would have allowed alderpersons to carry weapons, concealed or otherwise, inside City Hall. Currently, only sworn police officers are allowed to do so. With a tie vote, I cast a deciding “no” vote, and the motion failed. I voted this way because I don’t believe that allowing council members to arm themselves makes us any safer inside City Hall, be it at meetings or not. We have added several measures in recent years to increase safety in the main council chambers – including adding panic buttons and phones that ring right to the police department, located just down the hall from the chambers, and asking officers to attend meetings where we sense a debate may become contentious – and I am comfortable with those measures. While reasonable people can disagree on this, and there is obviously a much larger and polarized debate on the issue of guns, I would rather leave law enforcement in the hands of professionals trained to keep us safe from those who want to hurt us.
- Refinancing. The council also voted to refinance $1.64 million in city debt, delivering significant savings: more than $200,000 in interest payments over the next decade. Consider it another example of our strong Aa2 bond rating – thanks to sound and responsible financial management over the years — at work.
- MKE City Sippers. The council also unanimously voted to issue Class B beer and Class C wine licenses to MKE City Sippers, where Nicole plans to sell local craft beer from Brenner Brewing Co. on Milwaukee’s South Side and wines from Forgotten Fire in Peshtigo for her music and other events, to start. She started selling tonight.
The council also gave initial approval to a change in the ordinance to require the council give approval to the city attorney before he or she seeks, in Milwaukee County Circuit Court, to have a vicious dog euthanized. The council also clarified language regarding departmental enforcement and impoundment of animals suspected of being dangerous or vicious. This is another in a series of updates we’ve made to our city code around how the city handles vicious dogs. Previous changes include moving the burden of proving whether or not a dog is dangerous, vicious, or a pit bull from the police department to the health department.
(Note: The ordinance that bans pit bulls or pit bull mixes in South Milwaukee remains unchanged.)