Naperville has always been considered a kid friendly and family friendly city, however each year they lose some of that luster, and continue to drop in nationwide rankings of cities. But just as every action has a reaction, they would be moving up the list (if one existed) for liquor-friendly cities.
A number of cities across the country have eased their policy on drug enforcement, and some encourage and rely on casinos to enhance their revenues. In Naperville’s case, it’s the proliferation of liquor establishments, and increasing the hours that liquor can be served, which has added tax dollars to the city’s bottom line. What is particularly glaring is the fact that for quite some time the city of Naperville has denied and ignored the existence of liquor related incidents and issues. The term ‘profit hides sin’ couldn’t be more true than in the city of Naperville with regard to liquor related incidents.
Other than DUI’s, public intoxication, public indecency situations, scuffles, fist fights, aggravated battery incidents, robberies, stabbings and an occasional murder, everything is just fine in down-town Naperville on a typical evening or weekend night.
As is always the case, whenever there is an issue, local officials are quick to point blame at everyone except themselves. Never mind that city officials have laid the groundwork for liquor related problems including incrementally increasing the issuance of liquor licenses and increasing drinking hours.
What is most egregious by Naperville city officials, including the liquor commission, is the fact that they have denied that problems have existed. A comment once heard at a liquor commission meeting was, “We don’t over serve in Naperville.” This occurred at the same time a young Naperville resident attempted to get the blessing of the liquor commission and Naperville officials to start a designated driving service based in Naperville. The city of Naperville basically over regulated him out of business.
Surprisingly you would think that the Naperville Liquor Commission would be aware of issues and want to rectify them. But apparently that’s not the case. Even more amazing is fact that the city’s liquor commissioner is Mayor Pradel; prior to becoming the mayor, he was an outstanding police officer. If anybody would want to rid the city of liquor problems, it would be a police officer who becomes the mayor. Not so, issues continue, blame is misplaced, and the beat continues.
Most recently, city officials pointed the ‘finger of blame’ towards the Black Finn Saloon. In a show of power, Naperville officials nailed Black Finn for four minor code violations. Two involved managers failing to go through the city’s training for servers of alcohol, one was a clerical error on their application, and the other involved an alcohol-related offense by an employee which was not disclosed on the application and Black Finn handled it appropriately at the time. These code violations would be equivalent to a police officer issuing a ticket to a driver for not having enough tread on a tire.
If you happen to see a council member’s vehicle, you may want to measure it for tread depth.