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Thread: Grafton Meeting - Jan 12, 2010 6pm

  1. #1
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    There is a similar thread related to Saukville, but I felt this was better suited for it's own thread.

    The discussion was regarding a similar ordinance to Saukville that is on the books in the village of Grafton. This ordinance is on the books in other communities around here as well, but we'll take one at a time.



    Ordinance: http://www.village.grafton.wi.us/Doc...w.aspx?DID=179

    9.74.010 Discharge and carrying of firearms prohibited.
    No person, except a sheriff, constable, police officer or their deputies shall fire or discharge any firearm, rifle, spring or air gun of any description within the village, or have any firearm, rifle, spring or air gun in his possession or under his control, unless it is unloaded and knocked down or enclosed within a carrying case, or other suitable container; provided, that this section shall not prevent the maintenance and use of duly supervised rifle or pistol ranges or shooting galleries authorized by the village board, or the firing or discharging of B B guns upon private premises by person over sixteen or under the direct personal supervision of a parent or guardian. This section shall be deemed to prohibit hunting within the village; provided, that the chief of police may issue written permits to owners or occupants of private premises, to hunt or shoot on such premises if he finds such privileges necessary for the protection of life or property and subject to such safeguards as he may impose for the safety of the lives and property of other persons within the village. (Prior code SS17.01(2)).




    Another user on this forum had requested the ordinance to be removed from the books. His recent response from the Grafton Police Chief is below. I'll follow this post up with my e-mail communications to keep everyone up to date.

    I hope to see as many of you at this meeting as can make it on the 12th.

    Thank you.

    Jason



    Letter received by another user on this forum from the Police Chief:



    Good Morning Mr. Sky:

    I just spoke to the Chairman of the Public Safety Committee regarding your request to have the open carry ordinance removed from the books. The Chairman has directed that the issue be placed on the January 12, 2010 Public Safety Committee agenda for discussion. The meeting will be held at the Village of Grafton Police Department, 1981 Washington St., Grafton, WI, at 6:00 pm.

    Since the meeting is being held in a government building which is also within 1000 feet of a school, you will not be able to carry a firearm to the meeting.


    Sincerely,
    Charles E. Wenten
    Chief of Police
    Village of Grafton Police Department
    1981 Washington St.

    Grafton, WI 53024

    cwenten@village.grafton.wi.us
    (262) 375-5320 Office

    (262) 375-5338 FAX


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    My e-mail follow up to the Grafton Police Chief:


    Chief Wenten,

    I have just been informed of the letter you wrote to Mr. Sky regarding getting the Open Carry Ordinance removed from the Grafton books. I appreciate your prompt attention to this matter.

    While reading your reply, I see you stated that “The Chairman has directed that the issue be placed on the January 12, 2010 Public Safety Committee agenda for discussion.” Having this item on the agenda is definitely the correct step to remedy this situation; however, I must point out a possible oversight. Perhaps your wording in the letter to Mr. Sky was a simple error, or perhaps this has been overlooked. The proper way to list this item on the agenda would be, “Discuss/Approve the removal of ordinance....”. By simply putting Discuss on the agenda, follow proper meeting rules, the committee will have no ability to vote/approve the removal of said ordinance.

    Due to the ordinance being void and un-enforceable anymore, I don’t see much need to discuss its removal, other than to explain the reason why it needs to be removed, then to approve removing it. By listing the agenda item as Discuss, you restrict yourselves in the ability to approve its removal, and will only lead to having to table this issue for the next meeting. That will only take more time, clog up your next meetings agenda with un-necessary items, waste your committees time and any residents who wish to show up, leave an un-enforceable ordinance on the books, and also waste more taxpayer money.

    Again, if this was merely and over-sight in your typing I apologize for this e-mail. If it was an over-sight by your committee chairman, please simply direct him to make sure it states Approve, or Discuss/Approve so it may be properly removed from the books in a timely manner.

    Thank you very much for your time.


    Jason Lillis
    Kokomo Enterprises
    2085 1st Ave #104
    Grafton, WI 53024
    www.kokomoenterprises.com – Entertainment, Audio, Video, Radio, TV

    www.doseofreality.tv – Get your weekly Dose Of Reality with Dr. Nicki

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    My response from the Grafton Police Chief:


    Dear Mr. Lillis:

    Thank you for your input. The Chairman is interested in receiving input from interested parties prior to deciding on a specific action. I assure you that the appropriate posting for the purpose will be observed.

    Sincerely,

    Charles E. Wenten
    Chief of Police
    Village of Grafton Police Department
    1981 Washington St.
    Grafton, WI 53024
    cwenten@village.grafton.wi.us
    (262) 375-5320 Office
    (262) 375-5338 FAX
    Check out our new website: www.QualityLifeGrafton.com


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    My reply back to the Grafton Police Chief:


    Chief Wenten,

    Thanks for your reply.

    If you could please clarify what input the Chairman is seeking?

    Deciding on a specific action makes sense when changing an ordinance, adopting a new ordinance, or removing an ordinance because someone wishes for it to be removed. However, when an ordinance is clearly illegal due to federal/state law, there is no reason to hear discussion and use that discussion to “decide” what to do. There is only one outcome here that can be done, removal of said ordinance.

    Leaving the ordinance on the books is not an option, so I am a bit confused by this response.


    Thank you.


    Jason Lillis

    Kokomo Enterprises
    2085 1st Ave #104
    Grafton, WI 53024
    www.kokomoenterprises.com – Entertainment, Audio, Video, Radio, TV

    www.doseofreality.tv – Get your weekly Dose Of Reality with Dr. Nicki

    www.wpeg.net – Wisconsin Public Education & Government


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    The first clause is authorized by

    66.0409 Local regulation of firearms.
    [ ...]
    (3)
    [ ...]
    (b) Nothing in this section prohibits a city, village or town that is authorized to exercise village powers under s. 60.22 (3) from enacting an ordinance or adopting a resolution that restricts the discharge of a firearm.
    The last clause, that addresses hunting, is certainly within the purview of village powers

    61.34 Powers of village board. (1) GENERAL GRANT. Except as otherwise provided by law, the village board shall have the management and control of the village property, finances, highways, streets, navigable waters, and the public service, and shall have power to act for the government and good order of the village, for its commercial benefit and for the health, safety, welfare and convenience of the public, and may carry its powers into effect by license, regulation, suppression, borrowing, taxation, special assessment, appropriation, fine, imprisonment, and other necessary or convenient means. The powers hereby conferred shall be in addition to all other grants and shall be limited only by express language.
    I note that Grafton is the home of Houseman & Feind that employed a proactive attorney candidate for public office.

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    Thus my guidance of Discuss/Approve on the agenda.

    If they wish to change the ordinance, other than remove it, they know the proper way to do that.

    They're making the choice to only place it on the agenda with the term Discuss, as they know they are not obligated, nor allowed to make any decisions.

    I'm interested in seeing the word Approve either replace Discuss, or added after Discuss as Discuss/Approve on the agenda for the Jan 12 meeting.

    Dragging this on over meeting after meeting is, in my opinion, a way of hoping we will just go away or accept the "feet dragging" if you will.

    I will of course attend as many meetings as needed to see this through to resolution, as I would hope many of you will do as well if possible. However, I would prefer not to visit their meeting room any more than needed. By only discussing this topic, they are spending more time and money on it than need be.

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    My town is not so structured and is not a village though we were granted village powers.

    Were I involved in a similar effort to clean-up your village ordinances then I would want time to discuss the intent of the ordinance and to write new ones to separate and replace the permissible regulations.

    From my ordinance drafting class, a judge will "bend over backwards" to uphold the intent of even a poorly drafted ordinance, and a statement of intent should be the first paragraph of an ordinance.

    You might consult the Wisconsin Towns Association or the League of Wisconsin Municipalities.

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    I will take a look.

    Any guidance I can give them I will offer.

    Thanks.

    Jason

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    One thing I can say is this process of law removal, or change is never a fast thing... Well never say never, but it does not seem to be...

    My guess is they talk about the need for removal, and ask the village atty. to draft the change. The atty. will talk to friends, and the local leos, and it will come up again at a later date for a vote. I guess I have seen this process a few times now.

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    AaronS wrote:
    One thing I can say is this process of law removal, or change is never a fast thing... Well never say never, but it does not seem to be...

    My guess is they talk about the need for removal, and ask the village atty. to draft the change. The atty. will talk to friends, and the local leos, and it will come up again at a later date for a vote. I guess I have seen this process a few times now.
    I too know it is never a fast process, but I will never state that in any letter to an official about getting this done.

    We've been dealing with politicians for a couple years now, and have been at and involved in more long boring public meetings than I would ever like to admit too.

    The process is there, and it will work itself out, but I'm here to keep the fire lit to get it done as fast as humanly possible. Allowing a politician (or anyone holding a voting position on a committee or in a gov. office) to take their time will almost guarantee that it doesn't get done.

    Hope to see some of you there!!

    Jason

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    Ok, figured I'd post an update on here.

    It's Friday evening and no response back from the Chief.

    I'm actually planning on popping into his office on Monday to see what I can do, if anything to help the process, etc... If that means gathering information, talking with other communities (maybe I can get the other ones that have the same ordinance involved and then they can just follow suit with whatever Grafton ends up doing).

    I'd also like to see if I can get those brochures to be included in the brochure rack that's in the lobby of the police department here and the other communities.

    I've attached the brochure below, can someone tell me who the creator is? I'm sure there would be no objection, but just like to check. I'll print them and pass them out to the police stations at my expense, just gotta get them to let me put them out.

    Thanks!!!

    Jason

    P.S. I also wanted to post something here to keep this post near the top...since it involves a meeting date, I'm hoping it'll stay alive so people show up.

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    I didn't make it to talk with the chief yesterday, had some things come up.

    I'm not going to make it to see him until after this week is over most likely.

    I'll post an update after I get it.

    Jason

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    Well tonight is the night for Grafton. My truck is in the shop, so I have to drive the wifes car (when she gets home). I should make it on time.

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    I shall be there as well.

    Unfortunately, I never got the chance to meet with the Chief as planned before this thing, but I will for sure speak with him tonight or tomorrow morning after this meeting is over.

    Hope to see a few of you there!

    Jason

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    Wish I could be there, but just foundout aboutthis today. I grew up in Grafton, and still have family there (though they are allmostly anti...).

    Good luck with the Grafton Gestapo!

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    Aaron,

    This contact with the chief was initiated by you.

    I was merely planning on attending as an observer to see how things went, and with press credentials recording the meeting.

    After looking at the agenda just now, they have it as a request from a citizen to remove this ordinance.

    Are you prepared for the meeting tonight with something to say and any documents to present, in case they wish to hear from you?

    Thanks!

    Jason

    (I've attached the agenda below)

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    icepik wrote:
    Aaron,

    This contact with the chief was initiated by you.

    I was merely planning on attending as an observer to see how things went, and with press credentials recording the meeting.

    After looking at the agenda just now, they have it as a request from a citizen to remove this ordinance.

    Are you prepared for the meeting tonight with something to say and any documents to present, in case they wish to hear from you?

    Thanks!

    Jason

    (I've attached the agenda below)
    I am very happy that you asked this question. I feel that I am a very poor public speaker. I will talk if asked, but I just don't think I am the person that should. But I will ask that the law on the books be changed. If you would like to also talk to them, this would be a good time. I do not have access to a working printer at this time, so my paperwork will be limited. I should have a few copies of the law that is in place, and I have a few ideas on how the new law could be worded, but that is a change that the lawyers will have to draw up anyway... For the most part, I think this should still go well for us. I do also think it is worth bringing up the fact that the "school zone" law is being challenged in court this year, and that it will most likely be found unconstitutional. And that with out hunting, the "park ban" is also most likely unconstitutional as well. I might have gotten this "fire" started, but please feel free to add wood to it.

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    There may be no request for anyone to speak, or they may ask.

    However, being that you initiated the request, you may be the only one they will hear from.

    I will of course step in if need be, but for proper meeting guidelines, this is only an informational meeting, and typically they will only hear from the person who requested this change.

    With that in mind, I will be there, and will be willing to speak if needed and allowed by the board.

    We'll see you there.

    Jason

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    The meeting went well.

    The city attorney is going to work on drafting an amended ordinance to present to the safety committee at their next meeting. Once the safety committee reviews the revised ordinance, they will recommend it to the village board for approval.

    The amended ordinance will essentially remove the open carry restriction, but mirror the state ordinance as far as restrictions.

    The safety board president seemed to be interested in seeing more detailed descriptions of what is allowed and not allowed. For example, he was concerned that someone should not have the right to walk from a public sidewalk onto someones private property while carrying a firearm. He also made a statement that he believes if someone were to open carry into a bank, the police would for sure be involved. That statement seemed to not carry well with the police chief or the city attorney. The safety board president seemed to be concerned with allowing or restricting the carry of firearms on certain property as in commercial, residential, etc...

    His input comes from a lack of understanding of the law, and it appears that the city attorney and the police chief have a clear understanding of the open carry laws and are in support of amending this ordinance to match the state statutes.

    With that, I believe this night was a success. However, I do see a potential speed bump from the chair when the amended ordinance is presented at the next meeting. I also believe that with a little education, and the support of the city attorney as well as the chief, we can make it past this speed bump with little trouble.

    That's the update from tonight.

    On a side note, Aaron, nice to meet you and your wife. You did fine. Thank you.

    Jason

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    So now you understand what I am saying when I tell you that I am a poor public speaker. I guess some are just good at it, and then there is me...

    Well I guess the board might not have had time to read up on the state of our gun laws (I have to try to give them a chance). It was nice to see that the police understand the issue. So next month we might see a draft of this new law. Hope it goes that fast.

    I am starting to get a bad taste for board members... When I see that the people will not even take the hour or so of reading before a vote on any given law, I guess it makes me throw up a little in my mouth... It just looks more and more to me that most board members just listen to the police or lawyer, and do what they are told...

    I guess we get what we pay for...

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    AaronS wrote:
    So now you understand what I am saying when I tell you that I am a poor public speaker. I guess some are just good at it, and then there is me....
    You underestimate yourself, Aaron; this summer you gave a very professional TV interview for our trash pickup crew. You responded with clarity and depth to the interviewer's questions in a clear, strong voice. You can obviously think on your feet and express your thoughts. If public speaking throws you off, there are some strategies that will help:
    1. Have some prepared notes in front of you
    2. Practice in front of friends and family
    3. Imagine that the audience is sitting there in their underwear...


    Thanks for your efforts.

    Dave

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    AaronS wrote:
    So now you understand what I am saying when I tell you that I am a poor public speaker. I guess some are just good at it, and then there is me...

    Well I guess the board might not have had time to read up on the state of our gun laws (I have to try to give them a chance). It was nice to see that the police understand the issue. So next month we might see a draft of this new law. Hope it goes that fast.

    I am starting to get a bad taste for board members... When I see that the people will not even take the hour or so of reading before a vote on any given law, I guess it makes me throw up a little in my mouth... It just looks more and more to me that most board members just listen to the police or lawyer, and do what they are told...

    I guess we get what we pay for...
    You did fine there. It's not your fault that the board doesn't understand the laws.

    Trust me on this, I've been to more public meetings in different communities to know that the board members are typically un-educated about the current topics they discuss, unless it's something that personally interests them.

    Yes, they very much look to the "powers that be" for guidance. (City Attorney, LEO's, Etc...)

    This particular issue is almost beyond this board. They are there to make sure for the safety of the village so to speak. Take note of the bike race they were talking about, or later in the agenda...speaking about the LED stop lights that get covered in snow. Those are the issues this board is concerned with. Not something of this caliber, no pun intended.

    To make my point even clearer, this is not even an issue they can "approve". They can only "approve" the wording of the new ordinance and then forward it on to the village board who then votes to put it in place. The safety board is there to handle these "little" issues so the village board doesn't get bogged down.

    Yes, you get what you pay for, which isn't very much where these boards are considered. Very little pay, very little patience or understanding. Again, unless it's a personal issue near and dear to one of their hearts, they care, but not enough to spend personal time learning about it.

    I've seen plenty of board members elsewhere let personal beliefs, personal issues, and other ridiculous things come in the way of bettering the community. That's a story for another forum, lol

    I'm fairly confident that this will be presented at the next meeting. It needs to be actually, following proper meeting rules. The city attorney will get it done, and present it as he was asked. If the board "approves" it, is another story. That's why next months meeting is almost more important than this one.

    Then of course the village board meeting where they will approve it is the most important. They don't deal with the little details, how to word this ordinance, etc... from the beginning, but if the amended ordinance gets to them, and they don't like it, they can either vote to deny the change, or make changes of their own.

    We'll see how that goes...

    I'll follow up with the chief and attorney in the next week or so and see how things are coming along.

    Now on to preparing for Saukville's meeting tomorrow night.

    Maybe I'll see you there perhaps?

    Again, you did fine. (And don't worry, I wouldn't want to have pictured any of those board members in their underwear either) :shock:

    Jason

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    AaronS wrote:
    I feel that I am a very poor public speaker.
    we all were at one point - its gets better the more you do it - keep it short simple, no more than 3 points - state up front what you want, explain whay that's a good idea for them to do - theen rstate what you want at teh end and ask for nyone i ntheaudience who basically agrees with you to stad - then sti down - 2-3 minutes max - its the council's show, you are just the bit performer for the night!

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    Mike wrote:
    AaronS wrote:
    I feel that I am a very poor public speaker.
    we all were at one point - its gets better the more you do it - keep it short simple, no more than 3 points - state up front what you want, explain whay that's a good idea for them to do - theen rstate what you want at teh end and ask for nyone i ntheaudience who basically agrees with you to stad - then sti down - 2-3 minutes max - its the council's show, you are just the bit performer for the night!
    Phone post?

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    Well it has been a long time, so I am starting back up on the "change your old law" thing again.

    So I went to the Grafton web site and saw that is was not updated yet, and sent out a letter. I got the responce in about 1 hour.



    Good Afternoon Mr. Sky:



    Yes, the ordinance has been amended appropriately. The online reference has not been updated yet.



    Item 3 / Report of the Public Safety Committee

    Motion by Trustee Grant, seconded by Trustee Meinecke, to approve Ordinance No. 008, Series 2010 approving the amendment regarding the discharge and carry of firearms, as presented.



    http://www.village.grafton.wi.us/archives/31/03-01-10%20Minutes.pdf]http://www.village.grafton.wi.us/archives/31/03-01-10%20Minutes.pdf[/url]



    Thank you for your time and concern in bringing this to my attention.



    Sincerely,



    Charles E. Wenten

    Chief of Police

    Village of Grafton Police Department



    Check out our new website: www.QualityLifeGrafton.com

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