.

Downtown Music Events Could See Minimal Changes

Weekly Freeman Friday Night Live concerts could last until 9 p.m. but event organizers will need insurance under recommendations of an ad-hoc committee.

Stages should be allowed to play music until 9 p.m. but Freeman Friday Night Live organizers should obtain liability insurance, according to recommendations given to city staff by the Downtown Taskforce Ad-hoc Committee Monday evening.

 “We have done this for 10 years and the last several years have been incredible in terms of attendance,” said Roger Igielski, president of the Downtown Business Association – the group that runs the event.

There are limited changes to the popular music event that lasts from June to the end of September, despite attempts of one Waukesha alderman to limit the events, potentially twice a month. Alderman Eric Payne cited reasons such as the use of the community police officers who maintain a presence downtown each Friday night in the summer, that the event does not benefit all businesses and that it is not as special on a weekly basis.

Payne’s concerns were echoed by Nice Ash Cigar Bar owner Jeff Barta.

“This event is being put on by a group but it doesn’t include all of downtown,” Barta said. “… Please consider that there are businesses that are downtown and residents downtown that do not benefit and that can actually be harmed by this event.”

At one point, Payne said he didn’t want police officers on “barricade duty.”

“I don’t think we should use our community policing guys to pick up and return barricades,” Payne said. “… I think the time could be better spent doing policing rather than removing barricades.”

Payne’s recommendations were ignored by the other community members as city staff recommended the event continue every Friday night from June to September. Interim City Administrator Steve Crandell told the committee that the event does not place a demand on city services.

Police Chief Russell Jack said that even if the business owners who are involved with the music event set up the barricades, he would still require the community service officers to be at the event. No overtime hours are used to put on the event.

The Waukesha Police Department closes the streets in downtown Waukesha for the weekly concerts because the event's attendance has grown to levels where police supervisors felt leaving the streets open created a safety problem.

“If people see them in the beginning, it does keep the code of conduct a little better if they see those uniformed officers,” Jack said.

Mike Miller April 03, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Note to self: Avoid doing business with Nice Ash Cigar Bar!
Waukytalk April 03, 2012 at 10:10 PM
I think you may have missed a big point. The CITY of Waukesha could be held liable if someone is injured at this event. A good thing that is coming out of the task force is the requirement that the Downtown Business Association have their own insurance. There is no reason why the city should be held liable for ANYTHING related to this event. The more events that they have, the greater risk to the Downtown Business Association.
jeff Barta April 05, 2012 at 01:29 PM
"This event is being put on by a group but it doesn’t include all of downtown,” Barta said. “… Please consider that there are businesses that are downtown and residents downtown that do not benefit and that can actually be harmed by this event.” Mike Miller wants to influence people to boycott my business because I dared to speak out about valid concerns about the event and its affect on our downtown. Wow maybe I should be tarred and feathered too. How dare I speak out on an issue that affects my downtown. How dare I stand up for some of my neighbors. Did you all see the venom and nastiness in my statement above? What was I thinking? Mr. Miller is certainly entitled to his opinion. His knee jerk reaction, mirrors that of some of the "leaders" downtown that villify, bad mouth, and attempt to isolate anyone who disagrees with their positions. It needs to stop, why can't we have a civil conversation? I do compliment Mr Miller on not being anonymous as most of these types of comments tend to be.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something