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Committee backs restricting solicitors, market managers for Lambeau Field events

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

AHSWAUBENON – A proposed village ordinance amendment to prohibit solicitors and market managers from operating on days of Green Bay Packers home games or other events at Lambeau Field would not affect licensed direct sellers, Ashwaubenon Attorney Tony Wachewicz informed the village’s Public Works and Protection Committee at its meeting Tuesday, Sept. 4.

Wachewicz said the permit applications for solicitors and market managers already include specific language that they are prohibited from operating on those days, though that wording wasn’t included in the village code.

Ashwaubenon Village Attorney Tony Wachewicz appears Tuesday, Sept. 4, before the Public Works and Protection Committee to discuss an ordinance amendment to prohibit solicitors and market managers from operating on days of Green Bay Packers home games or events at Lambeau Field.

“What the proposed ordinance here does it simply builds that language into our ordinance with respect to only solicitors and market managers,” he said. “It does not apply to direct sellers, so direct sellers that currently operate right now will still be allowed to continue to operate on Packers game days or Lambeau Field event days. There’s really no intent to prohibit that sort of operation as continuing as it always has.”

The purpose for having the prohibition of solicitors, Wachewicz said, is because they are more mobile or transient in nature and possibly difficult to track and locate on days of Packers games when the resources of the Public Safety Department are limited and have to be prioritized.

Wachewicz said market managers, such as those who are in charge of farmers markets, can have multiple sellers underneath them, making it a challenge on a game day to track.

He said a direct seller’s permit specifies a fixed location where someone could operate.

Committee member Josh Kohnhorst questioned whether a ban on solicitors should be village-wide when the Packers play at home or there are other events at Lambeau Field.

“I don’t like to have the village to get into a position where we’re restricting business, especially if they acknowledge that they won’t be doing it around the Lambeau area, but if they wanted to solicit (around by Austin Straubel Airport), I would hate to say that they couldn’t do that,” Kohnhorst said.

But after being informed by Wachewicz about no one objecting to the amendment applying throughout the village, Kohnhorst joined the unanimous committee vote to recommend the measure to the village board.

One direct seller present for the meeting, Tom Wall, said “there was a lot of confusion as to what (the proposed ordinance amendment) meant.”

“After sitting here and hearing your explanation, I think all of us who are here today because of this change, it doesn’t affect us, and based on what we’re hearing, we’re all in agreement,” Wall told the committee.

Trustee Ken Bukowski said what happens at Lambeau Field affects the village because the “Packers organization is the 800-pound gorilla in our room very often.”

“Lambeau Field itself is in the city of Green Bay – it’s carved out – but the rest of it, a lot of it is in Ashwaubenon,” Bukowski said. “We deal with issues like this, I don’t want to say every meeting, but many, many meetings during the year we deal with issues that are related to the Packers and games and game day and so forth.”

However, Bukowski said he wouldn’t want the ordinance amendment to result in Girls Scouts not being allowed to sell cookies on Packers game days.

“We’re not going to stop that,” he said.

Village President Mary Kardoskee said she received several email messages over the Labor Day weekend from people confused about the proposed ordinance amendment.

“As soon as we were able to clarify that it had (to do with) the market manager license, not the direct seller permit, I think that cleared up a lot of the confusion for a lot of people,” Kardoskee said.

The proposed ordinance amendment will be up for final approval at the village board’s Sept. 25 meeting.

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