Apparently Walgreens has no idea who they are dealing with, when they recently tried to ‘strong arm’ Naperville Mayor George Pradel, who also happens to be the Naperville Liquor Board commissioner. It’s not often that the public gets to see or hear George get bent out of shape about anything; when it does happen, it usually occurs behind closed doors. He’s like a duck. The part we see is gently gliding across the water, but below the water, things are churning at a furious pace. And isn’t that what residents want in their mayor; cool and in control on the outside, and ready for battle on the inside.
When Walgreens wanted to open stores in Naperville, city officials asked company representatives if they wanted to sell liquor in those stores, and the answer was a clear ‘no’. Now that Walgreens has a foothold in Naperville, thanks to city officials, Walgreens is reneging on their ‘no’ and requesting to sell liquor, which would require a new liquor license category. Bad timing on Walgreens part, considering what city officials are trying to deal with in the downtown area of Naperville. Walgreens trying to get the green light to sell liquor in Naperville now, is like the City of Napervlle trying to win the award for being family friendly in downtown Naperville after midnight on weekends.
Walgreens representatives are trying to ‘put the rush’ on the mayor and city officials for approval, and did so in a letter which Mayor Pradel considered offensive and filled with unfair ‘accusations’. Obviously Walgreens is not familiar with the ‘Golden Rule’; he who has the gold makes the rules, and Mayor Pradel and city officials have the ‘gold’. Mayor Pradel wants to make sure things are done right, and that requires due diligence. Lack of planning on Walgreens part, does not constitute an emergency on the Mayor’s part.
Walgreens representatives might have thought they could take advantage of mayor considering he was ‘Officer Friendly’ when he was with the Naperville Police Department. What they may have overlooked is that even ‘Officer Friendly’ is more than familiar with fire arms, so it’s not wise to upset the Mayor.