MEQUON — For
all the debate over the Logemann Center that consumed the Mequon
Common Council for countless hours this year, the end was swift
It took a grand
total of two minutes for the Mequon Common Council to sustain Mayor
Dan Abendroth’s veto of its sale.
introduced the agenda item. Alderman John Wirth moved to sustain the
veto. He got a second. The city attorney offered a brief
explanation. Abendroth asked the clerk to record the vote. No
discussion. No drama.
5-3 to keep the veto in place. That means former Alderman John
Leszcynski’s plans to build the Northwoods Pub & Grill on the site
in the developing Mequon Town Center are dead.
Center, which offered recreation programs and housed community
organizations, closed late in 2015. The building needed significant
repairs and was too expensive to keep open. It’s in the middle of
the developing Town Center.
Six votes were
needed to override Abendroth’s veto of
which was approved last month. Wirth and Dale Mayr, who supported
the sale in November, switched sides and backed the veto.
was already dead,” Wirth said after the meeting. “It was quite clear
the veto never would have been overridden – and at some point, you
have to be realistic.”
Wednesday he initially thought it was a good project and Leszcynski
deserved due process. As he looked closer at the parking situation,
he decided it didn’t make sense to continue backing the plans.
meeting got underway, it appeared the night might go differently.
There was talk an alderman might challenge the validity of the veto.
The room was filled with community members interested in the
outcome, including well over a dozen uniformed members of the nearby
American Legion post. The post commander has been at City Hall every
time the issue has come up and voiced parking concerns.
As the veto was
quickly sustained, the Legion members and others appeared surprised.
They got up to leave and milled in the hall outside the council
“It’s just a
continuation of the disgrace,” Leszcynski told a reporter. “He
doesn’t even take public comment before the vote.”
In an opinion
piece Leszcynski submitted to the News Graphic Wednesday morning, he
said his proposal has cost taxpayers more than $100,000 in parking
studies, 17 months of city staff time, appraisals, offers and
and the mayor’s agenda has been a manipulated disgrace,” he wrote,
adding he suspects it was part of an effort to “return favors” to
developers of two other Town Center projects.
Gierl, the most-vocal supporter on the Common Council for
Leszcynski’s restaurant plans, was told after the meeting of
Leszcynski’s concern that no public comments were taken.
“I think this
thing has been talked to death,” Gierl said. “I don’t think anyone’s
mind was going to be changed from what they heard tonight.”
Now that a final
decision has been made on Leszcynski’s plan, Gierl said it is
important to look at what happens with a proposal made by a group of
community leaders for improvements to the civic campus, including
the swimming pool and Rennicke Field. That group said in January the
improvements could be worth $4.1 million to $7.1 million.
“How soon will
they get to work on raising the funds? Let’s see if they follow
through on that,” Gierl said. He added that a few years from now, he
doesn’t believe there will be anything more on the Logemann site
than a parking lot or a beer garden.
“To tell you the
truth, I hope I’m wrong,” he said.
<<EARLIER: Backwoods Pub makes its final stand