Watchdog readers have ‘spoken’ and they say ‘let the downtown Walgreens sell liquor’. In our survey ending Tuesday night, before the Naperville city council meeting, 288 voters (one vote per household) expressed their preference by a 52% to 48% margin (150 to 138) to allow Walgreens to ring-up adult beverages to those adults wanting to imbibe.
Within an hour after the Watchdog polling closed, the Naperville city council voted 6 -1 to deny Walgreens their request to stock and sell alcohol. The one vote favoring Walgreens was Paul Hinterlong. Councilman Bob Fieseler recused himself from the vote, and council Grant Wehrli was once again a no-show for the meeting.
Watch and listen as councilman and mayoral candidate Steve Chirico comments on another survey (electronic newspaper, the Naperville Patch) as he refers to a “landslide” 83% vote in favor of Walgreens selling liquor.
So even though both surveys pointed in favor of Walgreens, the Naperville city council voted by a landslide of 83% to deny Walgreens and voters to have what they wanted; the opportunity to purchase alcohol.
Chirico mentioned that a vote of nearly 70% or above is ‘hard to find’ and something that city officials should pay attention to. How interesting that Chirico would say that, considering that in 2010, Naperville voters were nearly 70% in favor of District/Ward representation rather than ‘at-large’ representation. Naperville city officials were so shocked and concerned about their own political futures that they finagled a do-over vote, and with some tricky referendum wording were able to confuse voters and keep the then and current ‘at-large’ format of representation.
Also in 2010, voters were able to secure a landslide vote in favor of term limits which Naperville city officials have yet to honor. Their reason was they needed time to do it. Here we are five years later and no sitting Naperville council member is subject to term limits.
In fairness to councilmen Chirico, McElroy, and Wentz, they were not on the city council when the ‘do-over vote maneuver’ was hatched somewhere near or within the inky shadows of city hall corridors.
The current Naperville city council has six meetings remaining (111 days) until the next Municipal election. Whichever council members are not re-elected will experience an immediate term limit. When that happens, those city officials might wish that the downtown Walgreens could sell liquor that night.