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Thursday, 08 July 2010
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Wait... That's a Reason to Object?

Wauwatosa has a lot going for it right now... the community is great, as are the people... and the businesses are trying very hard and being very successful. In fact, I'd say that Wauwatosa is having somewhat of a renaissance right now. Unfortunately, the Wauwatosa Common Council still likes to get in the way. Recently, the issue of expanding the very successful Alterra on 92nd and North came before the council. Alterra wants to expand their outdoor patio seating, which is somewhat confined. They wanted permission to expand their patio area and put seating closer to the street.

Fortunately for Alterra, they were able to garner enough votes for passage, but not without objections from some of the council members (emphasis mine):

Other opponents to replacing developer Sean Phelan's plan cited an appreciation for the aesthetics, a belief it would attract business to an already successful café, an objection from the business to proposed changes and the lateness of the submission.

Alderman Brian Ewerdt didn't support Birschel's proposal, but he did say that he, too, had concerns about the safety of Phelan's plan - that's why he also voted against that plan.

Now, I can understand safety concerns, especially given the incident at Starbucks just a few weeks prior. But I want to know who on the council thought it was appropriate to object because it would make the Alterra more successful. At a time when the economy is struggling, the last thing we need is for Aldermen to be deciding which businesses are doing "too well", and make efforts to throttle their success. Ideally, the Common Council should have the minimum amount of involvement possible in how businesses run... but short of that ideal, the Aldermen should be finding ways to work with business expand and become more successful, not the exact opposite!

I look forward to reading the minutes from that Common Council meeting so I can find out which Alderman should be voted out of office.

# Posted at 09:22 by Nick  |  Comment Feed Link 2 Comments  |  No Trackbacks

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Thursday, 08 July 2010 10:03:20 (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)
Hi Nick,
I grew up on 89th & North and now live in Brookfield. I love Alterra and can't believe politicians want to limit their success. Did Alterra want to expand their patio to decrease business? The politicians should at least realize more sales means more taxes and more money that government gets to spend. I hope you find out the name of this person and can get it out to all the voters.
Steve Ries
Tuesday, 13 July 2010 11:12:31 (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)
I read those same minutes and there is an emerging wing that has a very difficult time with working with successful businesses to help them be more successful.

These are the issues that get the public all agitated about city gov't, but the huge issue that will unfortunately remained ignored by the public is that all of the city union contracts are coming up and the path taken by the council will determine the path of the budget for years to come. Employees are over 80 percent of the budget and if that percentage goes higher, than the city will be strained to provide improvement to a 90-year old infrastructure or other priorities within the current tax levy.
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