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Mayor vetoes alcohol server ordinance

Wausau Mayor Jim Tipple
Wausau Mayor Jim Tipple

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- You could say the Wausau City Council’s Tuesday night vote to restrict alcohol consumption by bartenders gave the Mayor a political hangover. 

Mayor Jim Tipple said he would support tabling the issue during council discussion. Wednesday, Tipple effectively put the measure on hold by vetoing it. The Mayor’s veto document says, “The public and the tavern league should be allowed more opportunity than was provided to engage in discussion prior to the passing of this ordinance.”

Many from the hospitality industry called the Mayor’s office Wednesday to complain about the new ordinance and how it was put in place without their input. Interested parties now have until January 28th to provide input to the city. That’s when the city council will take the measure up again. They will need a two-thirds majority to override Tipple’s veto.

Council President Lisa Rasmussen believes the new ordinance gives officers the tools to deal with individual server’s behavior. Bar owners, like Tyler Vogt from Malarkey's Pub say it’s unnecessary, and that bar owners already have incentives to keep out-of-line bartenders from serving.  An existing incentive is the demerit point system. That system can assess 25 points against the establishment if a bartender is drunk, which can endanger their liquor license renewal.