One thing that has stuck out in the controversy over Mifflin has been the blame that public officials have accepted for the disaster that included two stabbings and three injured cops. Take the mayor, for instance:
Suspending the open container law and allowing beer drinking in the street was against his better judgment and Police Chief Noble Wray's recommendation, Soglin said. Organizers "were convinced it would work so I gave them a chance. I'm probably more angry with myself than anybody else," Soglin said.
Mike Verveer, who represents the Mifflin neighborhood, also accepted his.
"In retrospect, the issue of a beer permit was a tragic mistake," Ald. Mike Verveer, 4th District, said. "I should have realized when we got the advice from the city attorney's office that there was no way to ban carry-ins, the deal should have been off."
Furthermore, when I talked to him, Verveer said he thought suspending the open intoxicants ordinance was a "necessary evil," because it was the only way to get a sponsor of the event. However, after the city attorney informed the city that it could not allow beer sales on the street and prohibit people from bringing their own booze, the beer stands set up by Capitol Neighborhoods Inc. became, according to Verveer, pathetically peripheral to the thousands of kids guzzling Natty Light from their own cans.
Soglin and Verveer are saying what politicians find most difficult: "We made the wrong decision. It's our fault. We're sorry."
I love Madison.
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