Monday night's meeting of the Hudson City Council had more drama than usual when members of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club paid a visit to City Hall.
The Outlaws are upset with rules aimed at keeping them away from Hudson that have been imposed on Dibbo's nightclub. Dibbo's had to agree to the rules as a condition for keeping its liquor license.
Shortly before the City Council meeting was set to begin at 6:45 p.m., members of the motorcycle club reportedly showed up at Dibbo's wearing their "colors" and asked to be served drinks.
Their presence violated one of the conditions of an agreement Dibbo's management signed with the city in order to keep its liquor license -- that anyone wearing gang colors won't be allowed on the premises.
After being refused service, the group of around 15 Outlaws gathered in the City Hall parking lot and then filed into the crowded council chamber after the meeting had begun.
There was already a larger-than-usual audience on hand.
Residents of Aldrich Avenue were there to express their opinions about a planned storm sewer and street project in their neighborhood.
Landowners, professionals and businesspeople with an interest in a petition for the city to annex 54 acres from the town of Hudson also were on hand.
Members of the St. Croix Valley Riders, a local motorcyclists' rights organization, also unhappy with the Dibbo's rules, were in attendance, too.
The Outlaws' leader walked in at the start of a public hearing on the Aldrich Avenue project and took a seat next to the podium from which members of the audience and city staffer address the City Council.
The tall, burly man wore a beret, sunglasses and a vest with a patch on it showing a hand raised in a one-finger salute.
The Outlaw sat patiently while residents expressed opinions -- pro and con -- about the Aldrich Avenue project. He appeared to nod his head in agreement with a speaker at one point.
After the public hearings on the Aldrich Avenue project and several amendments to the zoning code related to the downtown, Mayor Jack Breault invited anyone in the audience with a comment or suggestion for the council to speak.
Hudson resident Dave Anderson, a member of the St. Croix Valley Riders, was the first to come to the podium. He said the rules that were aimed at the Outlaws also had affected his organization, which could no longer hold its meetings at Dibbo's.
"We feel this discriminates against all motorcycle riders," he said.
Anderson was followed by Kim Heinemann, president of the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce, who gave a rundown of coming Chamber events, including a Girls Night Out bike ride event planned for Sept. 7-8.
Heinemann, apparently addressing the motorcyclists ringing the back walls of the council chamber, somewhat nervously added that it was a bicycle ride, and said, "Sorry."
The clarification brought a ripple of laughter from the audience.
Then the Outlaw leader stood to address the council.
"Jimmy," he replied in a gravelly voice when Mayor Breault asked him to identify himself.
Jimmy said he had been at Dibbo's on the night of April 14 when, according to Police Chief Andrew Smith, 30 to 40 members of the Outlaws took control of the nightclub.
"Nobody got hit. Nobody got hurt," Jimmy said. "...We didn't come into town to hurt anybody. We came into town to have some fun."
The Outlaws leader said the rules the city has forced Dibbo's to enforce are unconstitutional and that the motorcycle club would challenge them.
"We will go there. And we will get arrested. And we will challenge you in court and win," he said, claiming that a court has ruled that similar regulations imposed on Milwaukee establishments are illegal.
The Outlaws leader lectured council members that they took an oath of office to uphold the constitution. Instead, they ordered a local business to violate it, he said.
Motorcycle engines were heard rumbling past City Hall after Jimmy had his say, and the Outlaws left the meeting.