Ald. Terry Witkowski
Press Release

Local Business Action Team producing legislation to simplify city permitting

The first two pieces of legislation to eliminate outdated laws and licensing requirements for Milwaukee business owners are advancing through the Common Council committee process.

By - May 13th, 2015 03:55 pm

As a result of the Local Business Action Team (LBAT) initiative championed by Alderman Terry L. Witkowski, the first two pieces of legislation to eliminate outdated laws and licensing requirements for Milwaukee business owners are advancing through the Common Council committee process.

“Under the resolution that I authored to create the LBAT, the committee was charged with streamlining city ordinances and procedures to help make this a better place to do business,” Alderman Witkowski said. “The resulting discussions have already prompted city departments to begin going over their books and identifying outdated ordinances in need of repeal, and I’m pleased to see these early results.”

Common Council file #150064 would repeal Chapters 65, 69, 70, 71 and 72 of the Milwaukee Code of Ordinances, which delineate operational rules for various food businesses. Alderman Witkowski said that the local ordinances have been made obsolete by updates to local, state and federal regulations, and that business owners have asked for their repeal in order to bring the region under a uniform set of operational standards. The Public Safety Committee will take up the file at its meeting on May 28 at 1:30 p.m.

Common Council file #150078 would repeal an outdated requirement for professional photographers operating in Milwaukee to be licensed by the city. The Licenses Committee will take up the file at its meeting on May 14 at 8:30 a.m.

“When we make it easier for business owners to work, we make it easier for them to create jobs, and that benefits everyone in the city,” Alderman Witkowski said. “I expect these are only the first of many more reforms that will come about as a result of the good work being done by the Local Business Action Team.”

The LBAT is composed of officials from various departments involved in the city’s inspection, licensing and permitting processes, along with local businesses. In March, the LBAT held a series of public hearings to gather input from local business leaders, and is using the input to put together a series of recommended reforms for the Common Council’s consideration.

Alderman Witkowski, who co-chairs the LBAT with Commissioner Art Dahlberg of the Department of Neighborhood Services, said he wants the team to compile final recommendations in time for more changes to be included in the 2016 city budget.

Business owners and others who would like to provide input and feedback to the LBAT are asked to make contact by emailing license@milwaukee.gov. Submitter details will be kept confidential, but respondents are also welcome to ask that their name and contact information be shared with the team.

Visit milwaukee.gov/LBAT for more information and updates.

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