August 25, 2009

Simmering feud? Wisneski, Shields continue to clash

Alderman Mike Shields heatedly addressed the Public Safety and Licensing Committee Monday night that's chaired by Alderman Aron Wisneski. Shields was ruled out of order for arguing.

Aldermen Aron Wisneski and Michael Shields continued their contentious relationship Monday night during two committee meetings.

First, Shields opposed Wisneski's effort at the Finance and Personnel Committee to get six decorative street lights for his district. Then, Shields heatedly engaged Wisneski during the Public Safety and Licensing Committee meeting over questions the committee was asking Tommy Daniels, who is trying to reopen the former "Cash Money's" as "Tommy's Den" at 901 S. Memorial Drive. Daniels turned in his liquor license to the city back in February rather than improve security.

The aldermen have exchanged words in the past over the Public Safety and Licensing Committee's aggressive oversight of liquor licenses in the city. The committee routinely calls in bars to explain incidents with police and to demand tighter security measures, such as video cameras, electronic ID checkers and private security.

On Monday night, Shields said the committee "micromanages" businesses applying for liquor licenses and suggested Daniels was being treated unfairly. During the tense exchange, Alderman Bob Mozol called Shields "out of order" for arguing with the committee. Shields then backed down and the committee voted to defer action on Daniels' request for two weeks.

Last month, Shields exhorted Wisneski's committee for the way it works with minority business owners. "The way they drill people of color is a problem with me," he said July 28.

Wisneski responded in July that Shields was misinformed. "Our committee is doing its job," he said. "We don't hand out licenses like candy. Liquor licenses are a serious job for our committee."

On Monday night the committee considered Daniels' application for a new liquor license for 901 S. Memorial Drive. Daniels was under scrutiny earlier this year for a murder and shooting that occurred near the bar. Mozol nearly lost his temper Monday night when addressing Daniels, saying Cash Money's "was not just a normal bar that closed." He said Daniels needed a detailed business plan to win over the committee's support. Wisneski recommended Daniels meet with City Attorney Rob Weber to work out an agreement within the next two weeks.

Shields said the committee needed to make it clear to applicants what they need to show to win approval for a license. Wisneski responded the City Clerk hands out a sample business plan and specific questions to all liquor license applicants.

As an aside to the issue, Daniels will not have to pay $10,000 to acquire one of the city's "reserve" "Class B" liquor licenses because he applied when a license was available. As of now, the city is at a state-mandated quota for liquor licenses and anyone who wants to open a bar or restaurant with a full bar would need to purchase one of the reserve licenses.


  1. What a murder or two in Racine outside a bar?

  2. [Personal attacks edited out] ... it has nothing to do with race, it has to do ... with a past criminal record. First of all it should never be issued for an establishment of Memorial - that is guaranteed trouble. And secondly this guy is a convicted criminal - no one with his past record should qualify.

  3. The past the past. The shootings trouble me. That's a very bad area of town. Then with Councilmen like Maack who think the cost of pulling a license should stop us from doing them. Easier to not open the place. (but no Taco trucks!)
    When sickens me is the fact that a few WHITE RICH in Downtown Racine stopped a KOREAN from being able to sell beer and folks in the Black part of town get get killed outside of bars and this bar will likely open

  4. Shields never met a liquor license he didn't like.

  5. Dustin - I did not make an attack -I said Shields acts like one - you must be a Shields promoter to delete my true comment.

  6. Slow news day or something? What happened to "positively Racine"? This is garbage reporting.

  7. "This is garbage reporting."

    No, here is garbage reporting...

  8. Anon 2:45

    Seriously??? How many times must the difference between a Class A and Class B liquor liscence be explained?!?

    You sound like an ignorant fool when you make accustations with no base in reality. Hmm, maybe you ARE an ignorant fool!

  9. Racine Resident8/25/2009 6:26 PM

    The accusation has been made that Tommy Daniels is a criminal. Are these the charges you are accusing him of (all according to the Racine County Circuit Court files)?

    1. Possession of Cocaine/Coca, an unclassified misdemeanor, Wisconsin Statutes 961.41(3g)(c)

    2. Obstructing an Officer, a class A misdemeanor, Wisconsin Statutes 946.41(1)

    3. Tommy Daniels was found guilty of Disorderly Conduct, a class B misdemeanor, Wisconsin Statutes 947.01

    Note that these are all misdemeanor charges. I don't know if that is grounds for consideration for the licensing board to deny him the permit. I would hope the cocaine charge would be enough to do it, but there are Constitutional Rights to be considered here, regardless of what we think of him.

  10. I want more bars with shootings outside and less stores run by Koreans that sell beer. We do not want Racine to get a bad rep. Oh and noone worth less then 150,000 within 100' of 6th and Main and must be able to trace linage back 100 years you know Racine image at stake.

  11. I want to hear more about the decorative street lights......Racine really needs those more than infrastructure being rebuilt. Nothing beats lipstick on a pig for a good laugh.

  12. 6:26 Yes, these are the charges I am referring too. There are plenty of law abiding people that we should consider for a liquor license before we offer them to criminals - same holds true foe the criminal that wants to open the old Bank.

  13. The "Bank" has ties to some very interesting people. The Post might want to look in on that.