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CITY OF MILWAUKEE UTILITIES & LICENSES COMMITTEE * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * In the Matter of: HONEY, Eretta A., Agent for "Stargazers, LLC", Class B Tavern and Tavern Amusement (Cabaret/Nite Club) renewal applications for "Stargazers" at 7158 West Fond du Lac Avenue. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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COMMITTEE MEMBERS ALD. JAMES WITKOWIAK - Chairman Ald. James Bohl, Jr. - Vice Chair Ald. Joseph A. Dudzik Ald. Robert Puente Ald. Willie Wade DEPARTMENT OF NEIGHBORHOOD SERVICES by PANDORA BENDER HEALTH DEPARTMENT by KEVIN HULBERT LICENSING DIVISION by JAMES COPELAND POLICE DEPARTMENT by SERGEANT JOHN HOGAN OFFICE OF THE CITY ATTORNEY by BRUCE SCHRIMPF Proceedings had and testimony given in the above-entitled matter, before the UTILITIES & LICENSING COMMITTEE OF THE CITY OF MILWAUKEE, on the 11th day of May, 2004, reported by Donna Gulczynski of Milwaukee Reporters Associated, Inc.

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P R O C E E D I N G S (NOTE: All City Personnel Were Sworn Under Oath Prior to These Proceedings.) CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: Also in the 2nd District, Eretta A. Honey, agent for Stargazers, LLC, Class B Tavern and Tavern Amusement (Cabaret/Nite Club) license renewal applications for Stargazers at 7158 West Fond du Lac Avenue. Could you raise your right hand for us, please? (Whereupon Eretta A. Honey was sworn under oath.) CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: State your name and address for the record. MS. HONEY: Eretta A. Honey, H-o-n-e-y. My address is 8990 North 95th Street, Unit C. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: Thank you. And Eretta, do you admit to receiving a notice that there's a possibility that your license could be denied? Can I just call that for items contained on the police report? Do you have those items on the police report? MR. SCHRIMPF: Items as set forth in the notice, Mr. Chairman. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: Yes, for items as set forth in the notice.

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MS. HONEY: I do. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: Health Department? MR. HULBERT: Health Department has no objection. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: Neighborhood Services? MS. BENDER: No objection. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: Okay. Police report? SERGEANT HOGAN: There is none. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: Okay. Alderman Davis, have you read this report? ALDERMAN DAVIS: Yes, sir. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: Are you familiar with the circumstances? ALDERMAN DAVIS: Yes. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: Okay. Can you enlighten us? ALDERMAN DAVIS: Yes. Mrs. Honey has contacted my office, and she has expressed a concern about her license. We did a postcard survey in the neighborhood, and it came back with mixed messages. Just slightly the majority were objecting to the cabaret license, not for her existence, but it was the cabaret license as it deals with what's included in your packets as far as some advertisement, and also some of the residents in the area who were concerned

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about the type of conduct that was established inside of this particular establishment. As you'll note, with a notification in 1998 from a law firm to Alderman John Kalwitz, it indicated that there would be no exotic dancing or stripping in this particular establishment. Even though there are not any police reports, I think the advertisement itself concludes that there are some questionable practices that come along with this establishment, particularly where it says, "Seven gorgeous gals and seven television screens and super security for your comfort." I would like to make sure that the committee takes a look at that, and also the pictorials that come along with it, to legitimize my concern along Fond du Lac Avenue as far as this type of establishment. I would also like to let the committee and Mr. Chair know that I am not opposed to exotic dancing or stripping. I just think it's appropriate in certain locations, and in this particular location, being adjacent to a residential area, I do have some concerns with this applicant's license. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: Okay. Is there anyone here --

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MR. SCHRIMPF: Mr. Chairman? CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: Mr. Schrimpf. MR. SCHRIMPF: Thank you. Alderman Davis, would you turn to page 10 of 10 in the attachments? And is that the advertisement you're referring to? ALDERMAN DAVIS: Yes, it is, Mr. Chair. MR. SCHRIMPF: I would ask that page 10 of 10 be received into the record, Mr. Chairman. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: I would -ALDERMAN BOHL: So moved, Mr. Chairman. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: Alderman Bohl moves that all 10 pages that are associated with this license application be accepted into the record, and hearing no objection, so ordered. How long have you been at that location? MS. HONEY: Since January 17, 2000. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: A little over four years. Okay. ALDERMAN WADE: Mr. Chair? CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: Alderman Wade. ALDERMAN WADE: Before you were at that establishment, what was at that establishment before? MS. HONEY: It was just a bar. They did a lot of wedding receptions, things like that. ALDERMAN WADE: So it was open for operation

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before? MS. HONEY: Well, it was closed, I believe, about three years before I opened it up. I'm also a licensed real estate agent, and I listed it and it didn't sell, so I ended up -ALDERMAN BOHL: So you bought it. ALDERMAN WADE: Now, how much money did you put into this establishment to bring it back on line? MS. HONEY: I've put in, at this point, over $300,000 into it. ALDERMAN WADE: $300,000? MS. HONEY: Between the purchasing and remodeling, I have pretty much made a big investment that I'm not going to do anything stupid to jeopardize. I have a 9-year-old, a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old that are one day going to go to college. The investment was an investment, and I run it that way. I run a very clean, very upstanding business. ALDERMAN WADE: Okay. All right. Thank you. MS. HONEY: I would like to say that -- I don't know how much time we have, but I do have some things I would like to say if it's possible, and I have pictures to show that it's not a place -- When you look at it on the outside, you don't know what

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it is. The rest of the pictures will show you the extensive amount of work that I have put into the place. My opinion is that there is a big difference in what some people's ideas might be and what my idea is, and I guess it would -- depending on the time we have, it would probably be explained with my statement if I'm allowed to make it. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: Okay. Eretta, I'd like to ask you a couple questions. This is a full -- what I call a full cabaret license anyway. Did you have this previously for the last four years? MS. HONEY: Yes. Yes, I did. Yes, I've had the same cabaret license since I've opened. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: The one with all the boxes checked, as I call it. Okay. I don't -MS. HONEY: Let me -- If I might, I think the problem is that Alderman Davis said that I was in violation of Section 90.22, and in Section 90.22, I can't find anywhere that I'm in violation of it because -- I looked at it because I got this when I first opened in 2000, and in reading it, I honestly do not see where the violation is. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: Okay. Well, that's not an issue at this moment, but if I could ask

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Mr. Copeland here, did they have a full cabaret license from day one? MR. COPELAND: They have a full cabaret, but under the cabaret, you must designate what type of entertainment is going to occur in the establishment, and the problem has been, -- and this has been a discussion not only with Stargazers, but other places that have their cabaret, -- the filing of adult entertainment, Las Vegas style shows, floor shows. Some people, and not the licensee before you, have used that type of venue to skirt the exotic dancer regulations. I think the alderman is trying to get it on record as to the type of entertainment Stargazers will have so there's no question about whether there's exotic dancers, strippers, etcetera, etcetera. Each year when a person comes in to apply for their renewal, they again must check the boxes, the appropriate boxes on their cabaret, and in cases where an individual changes from what they had the previous year, then it has to go back to the committee. There has been a case where she has filed at the time, and Alderman Herron at the time did not -at that time wanted -- His thing was, well, we'll

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grant it with what she has, and we'll deal with the tavern related later, and there's a letter from me to her explaining that, but before Alderman Herron could bring it back, he left office, so then it rolled over to Alderman Davis, and that's why I think that's where we are today. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: This last application was filed -MR. COPELAND: Could you give me a date on that? CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: This Item No. 6, Exhibit 6 of 10. I mean to me the categories look like they're self-modified. Comedy acts, in the future; solo singers, possibly; floor shows, somewhat; exotic dancers, male or female strippers, to an extent. Frankly I don't understand that. ALDERMAN WADE: No Frank Sinatra, though. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: Dancing by performers, somewhat; disc jockies, weekends; wet T-shirt contests, no, none planned. What I'd like to do is come to a -- I don't want to stay here until midnight going over all the details on this. I want to see if -- Are there people from the neighborhood here for or against this license? Okay. There's nobody from the neighborhood

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here. Alderman Davis, have you worked things out with this applicant as to what you expect and -- How many times have you met with her? ALDERMAN DAVIS: We have discussed this issue over the phone. I had instructed Mrs. Honey to go out into the community and find out exactly what their sentiments were, and I think she has taken on that task. My main concern, Mr. Chairman, is this, is that, you know, on some of these applications that she has filed, it says that, you know, the same type of entertainment as originally granted back in 1998. Well, back in 1998, clearly it said that there would be no nudity, there would be no stripping, no thongs, bare breasts, and other see-through clothes, but yet still, as Mr. Copeland has said, it's -- I have no description of what Las Vegas style shows are, and Las Vegas style shows, to me, are concerning because that could be borderline inappropriate for the district in which I represent, and I've been trying to be consistent on that point, and I would like to get some clarification, or I would like to have this application amended so it reflects that none of this type of activity which is risque and which will

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involve nudity would not occur. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: Now I'm going to ask for some advice from our city attorney. MR. SCHRIMPF: I was afraid of that, Mr. Chairman. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: Do you want to speak on this matter? How can you more clearly define what she can and cannot do based on -- Did you see this page six? MR. SCHRIMPF: Yes. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: I mean is that vague, or is that my imagination? MR. SCHRIMPF: No, that's very vague. Not only is it vague, it's inconsistent. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: Yes. MR. SCHRIMPF: Because she checks that there will, for example, be a patron contest, wet T-shirts, and then she says none planned. Well, either you're going to have them or you're not. MS. HONEY: I didn't know what the future was going to hold, so I was going to try to -- I didn't want to be in violation, so I was trying to make it so that -ALDERMAN WADE: You did a good job. MS. HONEY: I wasn't going to play -- I

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really was trying to cover that -- if it came along later, then it wasn't going to be a problem. I didn't plan it that -MR. SCHRIMPF: And Mr. Chairman, -- I'm sorry. I didn't want to cut Ms. Honey off. This committee has in the past, and this council in the not distant past, has had the term, quote, Las Vegas style shows, close quote, put before it, and nobody understood what it meant. And I followed up with the licensed applicant at the time saying, well, are you going to have exotic performers? No, there's not going to be exotic performers. So the next thing that happened is the place was going nude and semi-nude, and we wound up in protracted litigation over precisely the use of that term, Las Vegas style shows. ALDERMAN BOHL: Mr. Chairman? CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: Alderman Bohl. ALDERMAN BOHL: I do want to clarify that Exhibit 6 of 10 was an application that came forward here two years ago in 2002, and it very likely was amended at that time. I can't speak to that. If you look after Exhibit 10, you are looking at a present supplemental application which does not exclude all those boxes checked.

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The one after -- The sheet after that I believe would have been last year's, where there was only floor shows. The change that I read here is she's also checked the box for live musicians, poetry reading and solo singers, and that the exotic dancing, fashion shows, wrestling, patron contests and the like are not checked, so -- That would have been two years ago and not what we have before us. MR. COPELAND: Excuse me. Correction. In the packet concerning her application that was filled out -- originally filled out on the 15th of March, 2004, in that the applicant checked dance, pop; dance, rhythm and blues; and in lower case she said dancing by performers, and right across from there there's a line that says Las Vegas routine shows, and she's got live musicians, poetry reading, possible; live musicians, on occasion; solo singers, possible, and then the statement says, "All shows will be as they have been since the original license was issued in 1998." MS. HONEY: Can I say why I say Las Vegas style shows? CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: Briefly. MS. HONEY: Okay. Stripping is -- Dancing is dancing, whether it's ballet, whatever. Las Vegas

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style shows are shows that are choreographed, there are costumes to the shows, there is music to the shows. Some of the ladies spend, you know, hundreds, and I've had some come in that have spent 15 hundred dollars for costumes. This is not what you call stripping. I mean I understand that -- And when I told him -- when I first got the license, I told him that there would be dancing but no nudity. I told him that there would be clothes taken off, but no nudity. They told me to follow this 90.22. And this says that as long as, you know, the parts of your breast are covered, and it also says that -- Well, I don't know how much I can say, so -- See, I drew a picture here. Thongs are not allowed. That's clear in 90.22. String bikinis or G-strings are not allowed. That's clear in 90.22. But dancers have what they call half backs and full backs, where it follows -- where it says no cleavage, and that is what I follow, although I'm -- There is no nudity. There's never been any kind of nudity. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: Okay. I have a -Thank you. Mr. Schrimpf, I just have a question for you. Is there -- By law, is there a clear and concise line between dancing by performers, i.e. Las Vegas

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routine shows, and exotic dancers, strippers, adult entertainment? MR. SCHRIMPF: No, there is not. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: There is not. I was afraid of that. To be expedient here, I want you -I'll get the consensus of the committee on this, I hope. I want you to do what Alderman Davis is comfortable with you doing over there. MS. HONEY: I'm more than willing to do that. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: And then for now, I, as the chairman, will be comfortable with renewing this license, but I don't know how we can guarantee that -- What kind of assurances can you give the alderman's office that -MS. HONEY: Just my word. My word will be my guarantee. Like I told Alderman Davis, I'm a hard person to work for. I've been known to fire everybody. I have done it several times. Because like I told Alderman Davis, it's my license, and I've put too much into it, and my kids are too close to college for me to lose everything now. And I'm not a silly person. So what the alderman is comfortable with is what I'll try to work with. I don't know what he wants me to do.

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CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: Alderman Davis, give me some guidance on this. ALDERMAN DAVIS: Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I'm a realist, and I'm a fair man, and even though there is no police report involved in this applicant, I am concerned about the term Las Vegas style shows, because as the city attorney has expressed, and also as the licensing division has expressed, it is a vagueness. So I would be comfortable if Miss Honey would delete that term as far as Las Vegas style shows, I would support the approval. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: Miss Honey? MS. HONEY: So then what? That means no entertainment? ALDERMAN DAVIS: No, that means you will still have the designation of dancer by performer, but that vagueness of Las Vegas -- And I'm going to speak directly to the chair if I may. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: Please, please. ALDERMAN DAVIS: In my opinion, sir, what that would mean is that at least she would still have the designation of dancing by performer, but that vagueness as far as Las Vegas style shows, which will create the gray line between stripping and non-

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stripping, would be gone from the applicant, and when the police do make that appropriate check on the establishment, it will be a clear understanding on what they should be inspecting. MS. HONEY: But I don't understand what -What do you mean by floor shows? But I can talk to him about that later. I would like to say, though, if I can have another minute, every club in this city with a cabaret license that is in this newspaper, -- and I brought enough for everybody on the council to see, -- quite frankly, I believe my establishment is probably -- not probably. I believe it's the most well run and the hardest on the employees. Every club in the city with a cabaret license that has dancers, you will see that I am by far -- and I know there's some more here today, but I am -- I run the hardest one. I don't let as much go on as goes on in the other ones, and every single one, no matter what district, is doing what I'm doing and more. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: Okay. Miss Honey, we may, in fact, be on the same page, but we're just having a problem with definitions here. I'm not sure. But would you be willing to amend your application to

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eliminate the Las Vegas routine shows? You can still have dancing by performers. MS. HONEY: I'm willing. I was going to tell you that if Alderman Davis didn't want me to have the dance license, you know, and to keep the club open and to keep my employees, -- I have 12 employees between bartenders and security, -- to keep them employed, you know, and to keep the business open, you know, I would have been satisfied with just a liquor license. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: I think what he's saying is go ahead and continue to have dancing by performers, except maybe a little less risque. That's what I'm gathering from all this. ALDERMAN DAVIS: Thank you, sir. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: So if you would be willing to just amend your application to remove just the line -- Dancing by performers is okay, but remove the line that says Las Vegas routine shows. Is that correct, Alderman Davis? ALDERMAN DAVIS: That's correct, sir. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: Okay. Would you be -MS. HONEY: Yes, sir. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: Then the license that's before us, -- Alderman Bohl moves to amend the license

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that's before us to remove the words Las Vegas routine shows. But still, the box is still checked saying dancing by performers, and that will be something that will have to be worked out between you and the alderman's office. We'll see if there's some -There will probably be a -- perhaps a review by the police department. Okay. ALDERMAN BOHL: Move approval as amended, Mr. Chair. CHAIRMAN WITKOWIAK: Alderman Bohl moves approval of this renewal application as amended. Are there any objections to that motion? Hearing none, so ordered. Thank you. ALDERMAN DAVIS: Thank you. MS. HONEY: Thank you. God bless you. * * *

00020 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 STATE OF WISCONSIN) ) MILWAUKEE COUNTY ) ss:

I, DONNA GULCZYNSKI, of Milwaukee Reporters Associated, Inc., 5120 West Bluemound Road, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, certify that the foregoing transcript, consisting of pages 2 through 19 inclusive, is a full and complete transcript of the proceedings taken in this cause.

Donna Gulczynski - Court Reporter

Dated this day of Milwaukee, Wisconsin

, 2004


								
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