Beaver Dam Tavern Survives Vote On License Revocation

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Administrative Committee Monday night voted against a recommendation by the city attorney and police chief to revoke the liquor license of a Madison Street tavern. In June, Johnny’s Lounge was assessed 230 points under the city’s Demerit Point Ordinance for a closing-time fight, enough to trigger a suspension or revocation. Last month, the committee authorized City Attorney Mary Ann Schacht and Chief John Kreuziger to enter into negotiations with the owner of Johnny’s Lounge. Before Monday night’s vote, Schacht said she would not discuss the details of the negotiations except to say that nothing was resolved, and she is now recommending revocation.

The committee then voted down the recommendation to revoke the license with two votes in favor, two votes against and three abstentions. After being further pressed by city officials, Schacht revealed that during the failed negotiations, she had offered a suspension but that was rejected. Alderman Kevin Burnett said that information would have been helpful earlier.

The committee discussed the issue for 16 minutes after the initial vote, prompting both Alderman Ken Anderson and the attorney for Johnny’s Lounge – at separate times – to call a point of order noting that the vote had been cast.  Chairperson Lisa Davidson explained to Anderson that the city attorney had been asked about the next step and was explaining. Davidson was less cordial when the taverns attorney called a point of order.

“Thank you for your feedback but you are not a participating member of this committee,” she said adding after he pressed further, “You are out of order.”

In the end, the committee voted in favor of directing the city attorney to reopen negotiations with the tavern owner before their next meeting on August 20.

The city adopted a demerit point ordinance in 2009 to better manage drinking establishments that break the law. Taverns that accumulate 200 points in a rolling 18-month period could have their license suspended or revoked.


Listen to the committee meeting here: