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Milwaukee alderman calls on mayor to reopen city as some business owners express frustration

NOW: Milwaukee alderman calls on mayor to reopen city as some business owners express frustration


MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A Milwaukee alderman is calling on the mayor to reopen the city, as the county prepares to end their stay at home order.

Alderman Mark Borkowski sent a letter to Mayor Tom Barrett, after hearing from business owners who are right on the border with other cities getting ready to reopen.

“The last two months have been terrible,” said Sean Raffaello, who owns McCarty Park Pub and Grill.

Raffaello has been struggling during the pandemic, and soon he’ll watch other bars reopen while he’s forced to stay closed.

“There’s probably a bar down the street within 2,000 feet of here that will be open by Friday,” said Raffaello.

He’s one of many business owners who border other cities in the county.

“It’s grossly unfair to Milwaukee businesses,” said Ald. Borkowski. “The only municipality that will not be open for business is the City of Milwaukee, and I say that’s crazy,” he said.

“We know that there are a lot of people that want to act like life is back to normal,” said Mayor Barrett Wednesday afternoon.

But the mayor is holding firm on his decision to stay closed. He says now is not the time to rush to reopen, even if surrounding communities are.

“We’re dealing with a pandemic, so we have to be responsible and deal with this in a way where we think it's not going to cause us to potentially have a huge setback,” said Mayor Barrett.

However, business owners want the chance to show they can open safely. “He’s not showing any confidence that we’re going to behave like civilized human beings, and we’re going to,” said Raffaello.

Raffaello says if he is allowed to reopen, he knows how to do it right.

“We’re going to do everything we’re supposed to do in our establishment to maintain social distancing and having people safe,” said Raffaello. “We’re not trying to get away with anything, we’re trying to survive, and survival's very tough,” he said.

The mayor did not set a timeline Wednesday on when the city will reopen.

Raffaello says he will be ready Friday, but isn’t going to break any laws, he will wait for the mayor to lift the order.

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Lawrence 9 days ago
I don't blame anyone whose job is to protect the public for trying to protect the public, and using sound science and stats to base those decisions. Contrast that to the screaming, name-calling, blowhards.
That said, businesses are badly hurt in this and minimizing that damage is also important.
If Milwaukee is surrounded by "early openers" the safe choice becomes more and more hard to stick to.
Mayor Tom is in a tough spot, but he's a very smart guy who takes the toughest job in WI.
Bassgeye 9 days ago
Enough is enough! This shut down is doing MUCH more damage than it is good! What kind of MORON do we have for a mayor! They said Georgia and Florida would crumble with all the death opening up would cause. There was NO JUMP in cases! Only businesses here are locked up. Take a roll through the inner city some time mayor. They are grouping ALL OVER THE PLACE! Practically every corner has a crowd! Why are you killing our city?
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Ruth James 9 days ago
NO ONE is forcing you to leave your home! Why is this so hard for you to understand!!!
SportingMan James 9 days ago
How about you post the dozens of stories from Florida and Georgia..those show that cases have decreased since they re-opened. If you don't want to leave your home then dont. Fools
Bassgeye James 8 days ago
NYC - shut down - population 8 million, 4,000 deaths - Hong Kong- never shut down- population 7 million, 4 deaths. Hong Kong was also infected and are right next door to Wuhan. NOTHING should have EVER been shut down. Suicides kill also. Domestic violence also kills. Cancer kills. Heart disease kills. ALL of those things and more are increasing because some pansies decided everyone needed to hide under the bed. The "cure" has turned out to be MUCH worse than the disease. Handling the infected, or I should say MIS-handling the infected has caused more COVID deaths (should have followed the Hong Kong model) along with the economic disaster of killing businesses and virtually jailing average citizens.
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