December 7, 2009

City Notes: Taxi biz gets approval, but owner can't drive; Props to Shakoor

James Ragland

The Journal Times' Mike Moore picked up a good story Nov. 26 when he reported a man the city approved to run a taxi business had been charged with driving without a license.

James Ragland got the OK to run Metro Taxi of Racine on Oct. 26 despite owing a $173 fine in Caledonia.

Moore's reporting made the city look bad - they'd conducted a background check on Ragland but apparently not a check on his driving record - and the Public Safety and Licensing Committee re-took up the matter Monday night.

This time they approved a business license for Ragland, but not a license to allow him to drive a taxi. If Ragland's license gets approved by the full City Council, he could hire a driver, but he can't drive a taxi himself.

The ordeal led to some humorous, if common-sensical, quotes at the meeting.

"If you don't have a license you can't expect us to issue a license to run a cab," said Alderman Jim Kaplan.

"I'm not planning to operate against the law," Ragland said. "That would be foolish."

The committee voted 3-1 to grant Ragland his business license. Alderman Bob Mozol voted against the license, saying it didn't make sense to approve a taxi business for someone without a driver's license.

In other news ...


Props to Alderman Q.A. Shakoor II for holding off on last week's Corinne Reid-Owens Tribute committee meeting due to open meetings concerns. We raised questions about whether meeting was properly noticed last week. Shakoor then postponed the meeting, refusing to even discuss a date for the next meeting. That's admirable conduct from the City Council president and a good example of government acknowledging it must operate in the sunshine.

Liquor licenses

Alderman Greg Helding's proposal to end refunds for people who receive "reserve" class B liquor licenses was deferred. The city now pays back $9,500 of the $10,000 reserve license fee to new license holders. Helding wants to eliminate the refund, which would make it harder, or at least more expensive, for bars and restaurants to acquire licenses. The committee will take up the issue at its next meeting.

Zoe complaint

The Finance and Personnel Committee denied Zoe Outreach Ministries $4,800 claim against the city for a broken sewer line. Assistant City Attorney Nicole Loop said the problem couldn't be traced to the city, and was, if anything, Mount Pleasant's fault because they own the line. But a claim against the village would be difficult because work done on the line occurred two months before the break occurred. That makes it near impossible to blame any one entity for the damage.


  1. Props for getting caught?

  2. The guy cannot afford to pay a $173 fine, but he is starting a business in Racine.

    American Tire $ Recycling cannot afford to pay their rent, but they're starting a business in Racine.

    I don't have any money, either. Maybe I should start a business, too. Just smile a lot and don't say anything about the pedo, right?

  3. Love that tactic of using the drivers license as a catalyst to get folks into the criminal justice "system".
    8 million people without a license drive on a daily basis in the Wisconsin.

    Props Ahoy Matey !

  4. Anon 10:40... "8 million people without a license drive on a daily basis in Wisconsin."

    Neat trick, since the state's population is 5,627,967.

  5. A lot drive up from Illinois. ;)

  6. No comment If this man has proper insurance!!What insurane company will give him commerial insurance!Why is it not mentioned at all in all the write ups about city.He should need more then a drivers license!

  7. Where is the story about the UNIT cracking down on compost piles.

    I really have a problem with people who are paid to troll our neighborhoods peeking into our yards and ticketing or otherwise fining us.

    I was under the impression that we are facing huge costs of landfills and waste. That is why our council voted for recycle bins. Now how can they support regulations against composting? All those food, organic matter would end up in land fills. We are moving into the future and the future is recycling and less waste.

    I also think Nikki Aiello has one of the most beautiful gardens in the city. She welcomes everyone and even teaches the neighborhood kids about gardening.

  8. Maybe there are 2.4 million illegal aliens.

  9. I think the answer to a lot of problems is simply to require a compost pile license based on the size of the pile, and UNIT can include compost pile inspection in their routine.

  10. And you must buy something for your compost pile from a Dickert pal.
    However any attempt to grow food in your garden will be stopped by Brian O'Connell who IMHO rather see poor kids starve then eat locally grown food.
    Its all about the tax base