Wednesday, December 7, 2005
Oak Creek After looking at several municipal codes during its meeting Wednesday night, the Oak Creek Town Board decided to null a few of them, including codes prohibiting fortune telling and ice cream trucks and one requiring residents to wash their trash cans once a week.
Recently, Oak Creek Mayor Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman decided to read the town's municipal codes, finding about half a dozen codes she thought the town should look at deleting or amending.
"We need to recodify because it hasn't been done since 2002, and it hasn't been done correctly for years before that," Rodeman said.
The first code concerned a requirement that alcohol servers, including bartenders, liquor store owners or restaurant servers, attend alcohol training classed once every three years, though the language in the town's codes left Rodeman and other board members thinking the code required people to have training three times a year.
Board member Mike Kien said he didn't think the Town Board should require the training, especially because neither the state nor the county require alcohol training classes, though classes are recommended.
The Town Board agreed to take out the language that requires employees to take alcohol-training classes.
"You can't force someone to be a responsible business owner by making them take these classes. They either are or they aren't," board member Karen Halterman said.
The Town Board also decided to do away with a code that requires residents to wash their trash cans once a week; the board found it difficult to enforce such a code and doubted residents followed it. They decided that the code prohibiting fortune telling and clairvoyance also was unnecessary; Rodeman said she knows people who read Tarot cards and crystals.
"If somebody wants to pay to have their fortunes told, they should be able to do it. You should be able to spend your money on anything you want without us telling you it's illegal," Kien said.
The board decided to clarify the code making any "noisemaking devices to attract children" illegal, such as ice cream trucks, to permit any vendor wanting to pursue such a license to do so. The board would look at each application on a case-by-case basis. The board decided to do away with the language saying noises would be measured with a decibel meter, because the town does not have one. Town Board members agreed that it was unnecessary to have a decibel meter, because they thought the police department could use its discretion in enforcing noise violations.
Lastly, the Town Board voted to null the code requiring mobile-home parks to provide a recreation area to its residents in a central area. Board members thought that because the code had not been enforced for more than two decades, they should not start enforcing it now.
"We have our town park," Halterman said. " We haven't enforced this code for 24 years, so what's the point?"
In other business, Rodeman brought a personal issue she is having with her water and sewer bills before the board.
To address such an issue, Halterman, as mayor pro tem, briefly took over the gavel and allowed Rodeman to address the board from the podium.
Rodeman felt as though she had been billed incorrectly for her water and meter.
The Town Board and public works director Jim Photos had a difficult time pinpointing who began charging Rodeman the extra fees and for what reason.
After some debate, Halter--man said the only way she thought the issue could be rectified would be to bring it to the town's attorney, Bob Weiss.
All board members, including Rodeman, agreed that seeking legal advice was the route to take; Halterman noted concern of possible lawsuits being filed from other Oak Creek residents in Rodeman's situation.
The Oak Creek Town Board will meet at 7 p.m. Jan. 12 at the Oak Creek Town Hall.