The response to Coe's statement? A four-page letter from the League of Municipalities explaining why it's against the law for aldermen to participate in the public comment period. Doing so amounts to a violation of the open meetings law, which requires council members notice items they wish to discuss at public meetings. By using the public comment period, Coe basically circumvented this requirement.
Coe had a number of alternative options he could have legally pursued. Writing a letter to the council members, publishing an editorial on RacinePost or in the JT, or simply putting the item on the agenda all would have been legal.
Nicholson in city's 'doghouse'
The structure on top of the building at 316 Main St. has to be removed or redesigned, according to the city.
Doug Nicholson's plans for his "Envi" night club at 316 Main St. hit a minor glitch when the Downtown Area Design Review Board denied his plans for a small square building on the roof of the building. Nicholson built the structure without city approval and failed to win committee support. He now needs to redesign or remove the structure, which he referred to as the "doghouse." The structure apparently would have provided rooftop access, though apparently there were no plans to have the roof as part of the club. The committee objected to the construction because it was visible from Main St.
Here's Nicholson's response to the issue:
I had building plans approved and stamped by the city that contained a doghouse on top of the roof. I didn't know it had to go to design review. My mistake, this is my first building that I own and I am new to all of this. I asked the guys who built it to check with the city, they said they did, when in fact they didn't. They then built the thing way oversized. So I went to design review, they said tear it down, move it, or hire a designer to make it look acceptable. So we are in the process of moving its local and redesigning it. my intention was never to get away with anything, as I have been in touch with the building department on a regular basis.Tousis seeking 'Class B' license
Tom Tousis has yet to submit his plans to the city to build a grocery store, restaurant and gas station in West Racine. The local builder has been soliciting neighborhood support and says the response has been overwhelmingly favorable. His plans also include a bank and a permanent home for the West Racine Farmer's Market. (In response to comments, Tousis said he had no intention of shutting down the market. Actually, he intends to buy produce from local farmers to sell in the grocery store.)
Tousis also confirmed he's seeking a 'Class B' liquor license for the restaurant, which would allow him to have a bank of video slot machines on site. Tousis said he's considering having the machines; if he does, unlike some businesses, he intended to have them legally. Some businesses simply install the machines and take their chances that no one will force them to take them out, he said.
Look for the West Racine plans to be submitted to city development this month. That will kickoff the approval process for the proposal.