Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

The Friday 4 PM email was postponed due to angry constituent

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So a guy walks into city hall and says, “Hey, can I get a permit here?”

That’s the punchline.

Apparently the owner of Turn-Key Homes was a little miffed about the city of Waukesha’s permitting process. According to the Waukesha Freeman:

The man, a 61-year-old contractor, wanted to speak with the building inspector about a building permit, and went into the mayor’s office demanding to speak to mayor Scrima when the inspector wasn’t available.
Habanek said Scrima’s secretary, Carol Capes, told the man he couldn’t see the mayor without an appointment, but the man – seeing Scrima working in his office – burst into his office, slammed a folder down on the table and began screaming and swearing.
The man was arrested and will likely be charged with disorderly conduct, Habanek said.

Aside from being in the wrong office (the city administrator’s office is next to the city attorney), such conduct is unlikely to get anything accomplished. After all, this isn’t Madison. In Waukesha the cops actually arrest people.

We weren’t there to witness to the situation. We can only go from the news reports. So we don’t know if Mayor Jeff Scrima’s secretary Carol Capes said the contractor needed to make an appointment in an effort to shield her boss from the angry horde of one, or if Scrima does not like to be disturbed on Friday afternoons when he sends his infamous late afternoon emails. We don’t know if Scrima or Capes hit the panic button when the contractor went past her or if a call was made after he was in Scrima’s office for some time. We weren’t there so we can’t judge whether Scrima or Capes really felt there was a threat.

Unfortunately, Scrima isn’t talking, citing “security reasons.” So we don’t know if it’s standard operating procedure to only see visitors by appointment, nor do we know what Scrima was doing to make him unavailable to visitors.

I suspect those are the real “security reasons” for not talking about the incident. After all, it’s not like Scrima is sworn to hide the location of a secret “undisclosed location” under city hall.

We also don’t know how quickly the police responded. I suspect it was rather quick. The poor guy is lucky the police didn’t crash the door with the armored car. I wish I thought of this comment first, “In Milwaukee the mayor would have waited 4 hours for a squad car.”

But for however misguided and obnoxious this one person was on Friday, he did have a point. We have a contractor in the family and he’s said that he doesn’t like to take jobs in Waukesha. The permitting process is impossible. My wife and I are dreading pulling permits next spring to add a deck.

If you’re looking for irony in the situation, Police Sgt. Jerry Habanek said, “It’s a scary situation for elected officials to have people yelling in their face.”

Yes, the guy should have saved the screaming and yelling for the public comment portion of the next Common Council meeting like everyone else.

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