The Naperville city council finally had the courage to make a decision on whether or not to allow the sale of recreational marijuana in Naperville and by a decision of 6 to 3, the answer for now is ‘no’; well sort of. Naperville’s 9-member brain trust (city council) is kicking the can down the road by considering whether or not to put the issue up for a non-binding referendum in spring or sometime in the future maybe, possibly, could be, etc.
‘Non-binding’ meaning the 9-member council can override whatever the 147,000 residents want. That gets us back to kicking the can down the road and that road leads to neighboring towns which could approve selling recreational marijuana before Naperville. North Aurora has already approved the opportunity.
No one has ever accused the Naperville city council of being too courageous regarding making timely decisions. In the early 1970’s Naperville city officials finally decided not allow Fox Valley Mall to be built in Naperville at the corner of Aurora Avenue and Rt. 59 because of traffic concerns. It was then built across the street at the same intersection when the City of Aurora approved the development and Aurora has been banking those sales tax dollars for the last 44 years.
All it took for the council to finally take the can-kicking action was 238 people signing-up to speak for 3-minutes each during public forum; that’s almost 12 hours of public forum talking; that’s getting into councilwoman Patty Gustin range. My first thought was they would have four people speak simultaneously with the loudest one getting heard the best. Somehow the council got through the ‘Patty Gustin Marathon’ (non-stop talking).
When the dust settled and ‘no’ to selling recreational marijuana was announced, it cleared the way for Naperville residents to purchase the item elsewhere, just not in Naperville. It was a great moment for North Aurora, and likely other nearby towns.
So while Naperville city officials continue to kick cans down roads, opportunities flow by. I don’t have a horse in the race. Three days a week I’m in favor of selling it in Naperville, three days a week I’m not, the other day of the week I need to give my head a rest.
However when I drive by Fox Valley Mall, I can’t help seeing sales-tax-revenue dollars pouring into Aurora and wondering if Naperville council members from the early 1970’s ever had the same vision.
One thing for sure, if you are a can salesman, the City of Naperville would be an outstanding prospect.