City of

District 16

Alder Michael J. Tierney

Image of Alder Michael J. Tierney

Alder Michael J. Tierney

Contact Information

Home Address:

4534 Secret Garden Dr
McFarland , WI 53558

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service

Alder Tierney’s Updates

Entertainment License

July 10, 2017 10:56 AM


Some of you may be following the proposed change in the ordinance governing the entertainment license, placing karaoke back in the ordinance.  I want to take this opportunity to lay this proposed change out for you to the best of my knowledge.

The first important fact is this is a change in an ordiance.  As you know ordinances govern the City not one business, but all affected businesses in the City.  It is true that Alders on ALRC decision to look into this ordiance change was spurred by a resident complaint about a particular business. However, what was communicated to me is the proposed changed was initiated because ALRC has heard other complaints about noise level and karaoke in the near past.

The ordinance governing entertainment previously included karaoke and although we could debate if karaoke is truely entertainment, (especially if I am singing), it is hard to not acknowledge that simularities such as crowds, late night noise, and hopefully a lot of laughter exist in karaoke and other forms of musical entertainment. 

An entertainment license comes with a $300 fee, which is less than a $1/day.

I have spoken to two attorneys in the City Attorney's Office and this is what I have gathered.  It seems best that  karaoke be governened under the entertainment license rather than alcohol license.  Conditions on an alcohol license can only be taken up at very restricted times, such as when the license is grated, when it is renewed and after a Chief of Police request.  Where as a condition on entertainment license can be heard at any time.  I am concerned that small businesses offering karaoke would be damaged in a neighborhood, if residents needed to wait for weeks or months before they had the opportunity to be heard.

I am in favor of more places to gather and have fun in my district.  We have very few places to walk to and have dinner and a drink and it is even more limited when it comes to after dinner entertainment.  And my district is very heavy in residential single family homes.  This can be a delicate balances. It is really important for the success of the businesses that they are good neighbors and understand what peramiters they need to work within.

It is also important that if the City hears complaints that they look into the compaints and understand if change is needed.  Because this is a proposed ordnance change it will go through the process of being vetted in committee and then at Council.  Residents have the opportunity to be heard, by members of the committee and members of the Council, who are residents of the City - it is difficult to be more democratic.  

I look forward to this process and I encourage you to come and speak if this topic is important to you.  The ordiance change is being introduced at Council this Tuesday.  There is no discussion when an item is introduced. This item is being referred to the ALRC which will meet on Wednesday July 19th, 5:30 in the City County Building Room 201.


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