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Can Wausau City Council Override Mayoral Veto Over Bartender Drinking Ordinance?

January 27, 2014


Lets hope so.  For two reasons.

First is the issue of the ordinance.  The measure simply requires tavern employees to maintain blood-alcohol levels of 0.04 percent.  The point is that if bartenders are not in control of their own thinking how can they assess the drunkenness of those who enter a tavern and want still more alcohol.  If we are to get serious about the problem of drinking and driving the least we can do is require that bartenders be sober.  One would think this to a no-brainer, but in Wisconsin this type of ordinance has created quite a tussle in Wausau.

The second reason we should hope the city council can override the mayor’s veto of this measure has to do with good government and the process by which the council conducted their business.  Whose fault is it when the Public Health and Safety Committee voted unanimously to recommend the ordinance last month not one single tavern worker was present.

The vote for the ordinance in the full council was 8-2 and conducted with all the notices posted and invites offered for the public to weigh in on the matter.  After the council had voted Mayor Jim Tipple vetoed the measure as he thought bartenders needed another kick at the can as they lost.

If that is the way Tipple thinks politics get played then he needs to be reminded of how democracy operates.  The process was open, fair, and above board.  But Tipple and his buddies in the Tavern League lost and now in light of the veto need to be reminded of that fact.

The city council will attempt a veto override on Tuesday where a two-thirds vote is required to be successful.   Caffeinated Politics and sane folks all over the state are watching and hoping for the override.

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