In order to get a liquor license in Racine, an applicant must appear before the License and Welfare Committee. There the applicant will meet stern faced alderman who will lecture them on the consequences awaiting them if they violate the conditions of the license. The alderman will then look into a crystal ball in order to predict which applicants will run a clean establishment. For prospective license holders, I suggest that you not propose a hip-hop dance club. Anyway, some licenses will be denied because the committee wishes to prevent future problems.
Given this serious approach to eliminating future problems, we can be assured that the committee will address actual present day problems with the utmost seriousness. Lets say a license holder had twentyone underaged drinkers and three loaded handguns on the premises. This tough licensing committee would really go after that bar owner, right?
No. Last night members of this committee were quite deferential to license holder Lennie Hand, who has admitted that the bar was indeed filled with underaged drinkers and three loaded handguns. The committee could have voted to go to due process, which is a legal process which could result in suspension or revocation of the license. Instead, they opted to seek a negotiated settlement with Hand, all while complementing his proactive (actually reactive) steps to address the problems.
What kind of message does this send to the community and to bar owners?