Commissioner Scott Delzer suggested that the decisions about serving alcohol at the old railroad depot should reside with the local Chamber of Commerce, since the Chamber's offices are in the building. The Chamber has hosted events in the depot and could perform some caretaker duties.
City Attorney David Jencks expressed concerns about the city relinquishing its oversight duties at the railroad depot by giving too much authority to the Chamber [Chuck Clement, "City Agrees to Changes in Consumption Policy," Madison Daily Leader, 2009.06.09].
Thank you, attorney Jencks, for gently reminding the commission of the proper role of local government.
The commission did authorize Jencks to spend the week writing up a new ordinance laying out a permit process to allow limited alcohol consumption on city property. The new ordinance might actually tighten our alcohol regs by following Mayor Hexom's recommendation that the new ordinance ban alcohol from Westside Park during swim season and limit alcohol to the picnic shelters. I say make those rules as tight as possible. Every public space in Madison should be as family-friendly as possible. You can have a perfectly enjoyable picnic or dance or even a Chamber mixer without alcohol.