Meghan O'Driscoll Wielebski, a local high school teacher, moved to Cedarburg several years ago with her family.
She told the Cedarburg Common Council that she specifically chose Cedarburg as their new home because of the sense of safety and family accommodations.
Her concerns about her family were raised after hearing about the ongoing allegations against Jacob Banas, the manager of the August Weber Haus who has been accused of drugging and sexually assaulting several women.
“As a teacher, I always try to give people the benefit of the doubt and forgive their past mistakes,” she said, referring to Banas' troubled past that dates all the way back to 2004. “However, I am concerned about the pattern of behavior that I have seen from him.”
Wielebski chose to speak on behalf of the Committee for a Safe Cedarburg, who attended the Common Council meeting on Monday, Dec. 12, to once again present their petition to revoke the liquor license of the August Weber Haus.
The group had reason to feel optimistic about their petition, as the common council voted to approve an ordinance that would require licensed establishments to be open for a minimum number of hours per month.
The ordinance would require for-profit businesses with liquor licenses to be open a minimum of 15 days a month and four hours each of those days. Future provisions to the ordinance would be made for extraordinary circumstances for closure such as remodeling, with proper enforcement and inspection to be made to make sure that businesses are adhering to the ordinance.
Most of the council agreed that the ordinance was fair based on the number of hours required, as 15 days a month and four hours a day was described as a bare minimum.
“Businesses operating with liquor licenses need to stay productive to warrant those licenses, and we believe that this ordinance will make that happen,” said Mayor Kip Kinzel.
Prompted by a letter from Jacob Banas' attorney, the council re-iterated that the ordinance was not created as a legal attempt to revoke the liquor license of the August Weber Haus, and that the ordinance was drafted several months ago.
However, it was clear that the turnout from the Committee for a Safe Cedarburg was prompted by the passing of this ordinance. At the conclusion of the meeting, alderman Dick Dieffenbach commented on the ongoing discussion about the liquor license.
“It concerns me that this committee has spoken to the council three weeks in a row and we haven't formally addressed their concerns,” said Dieffenbach, whose concerns echoed the sentiments of Megan’s speech, which ended with a direct request to the council.
“I made a promise to my children that Cedarburg was a safe place to live,” she said. “Please don't make a liar out of me.”