Jeramey Jannene

East Town Shoots Itself In The Foot

By - Jan 23rd, 2009 10:31 am
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We had originally speculated about the origins of the ban on carry-ins at Jazz in the Park.  Our speculation was that it was really a money issue, but that we thought the East Town Association had the right to and should attempt to generate money from the event.

Today we received just about all we needed to confirm our suspicions, a couple of great quotes from the Milwaukee Chief of Police Edward Flynn courtesy of the Journal Sentinel article Jazz in the Park fans have a whine and cheese party.

“It’s the first time I’ve been thrown under a bus by a wine-drinking Brie-eater,” he said.

“Listen, I can’t tell you the Police Department is not going to enforce appropriate laws. I will tell you that when it comes to an event like this, we’re going to respond to conduct. We’re not doing anything pro-active.”

Translation: The police don’t care if you uncork your own bottle of wine or pop a few carry-in beers at Jazz in the Park, as long as you’re peaceful and behave.

Flynn communicated this to Kate Borders, East Town’s executive director, when he saw her at the fest last summer. “Against the backdrop of 19 years of no major incidents there, I certainly assured her that we weren’t suddenly going to become revenuers,” Flynn said.

It’s perfectly reasonable for the East Town Association to want this event to break-in, or even generate a profit to support area businesses, no one should complain about that.  What is a shame is how this whole thing has been handled.  The East Town Association has done nothing to help itself here, failing to control and soften the reaction at every step of the way.  The statements from Chief Flynn, that contradict earlier reports from the East Town Association, are just another step in this saga that probably isn’t over.

Let’s at least give it a catch title.  Jazzgate?

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