Standing room only as committee discusses regulation of sober servers

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) -- It was standing room only at Green Bay’s Protection and Policy Committee meeting on Monday.

The topic was about possibly creating an ordinance regarding sober servers.

About a dozen bar and restaurant owners, including the president of the Brown County Tavern League, showed up to voice their opinions.

Input from the Green Bay Police Department indicated there has not been a problem of bartenders being too drunk to serve patrons, which was echoed by bar owners.

Establishment owners say they are the ones responsible for their staff and some have their own policies in place to deal with employees who drink too much on the job.

The possible ordinance was brought forward by Alderman Randy Scannell, who says his goal was to promote responsible drinking and give police another tool in case an issue does arise with an establishment.

“We had a number of bar owners come out and vouched for the fact that we do control our establishments quite well in Green Bay and we look forward to doing that more in the future,” said Don Mjelde, president of the Brown County Tavern League.

At this point the possibility of an ordinance is not going anywhere, as the committee decided to place it on file.

However, the committee did decide to consider creating an ordinance that would restrict minors from vaping.

This was also brought forward by Alderman Scannell.

He says he would like to see an ordinance that would make it illegal for minors to buy vaping devices and products. It would also make it illegal for businesses to sell vaping devices to minors.

The committee also revisited an ordinance that would penalize people who let their car idle unattended.

The ordinance was sent back to the committee after the last city council meeting.

It was brought forward by Police Chief Andrew Smith, who says there has been an 11 percent increase in vehicle thefts over the past year, some of which were stolen while the car was running.

The committee discussed some revisions to the ordinance which included a $50 fine to the vehicle owner, a two-year sunset clause, or having the vehicle owner pay the towing fees to get their vehicle back.

Chief Smith says the department was able to recover almost all vehicles that have been stolen.

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