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Geneva committee against changes in liquor license

GENEVA – Geneva aldermen Monday recommended voting down an ordinance that would allow a liquor license holder to run for alderman.

During Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, aldermen voted, 4-5, to reject the ordinance. Voting “yes” were 1st Ward Alderman Sam Hill, 1st Ward Alderman Chuck Brown, 3rd Ward Alderman Dean Kilburg and 5th Ward Alderman Ralph Dantino.

Voting “no” were 2nd Ward Alderman Donald Cummings, Jr., 5th Ward Alderman Craig Maladra, 2nd Ward Alderman Richard Marks, 4th Ward Alderman Ron Singer and 3rd Ward Alderwoman Dawn Vogelsberg.

Fourth Ward Alderwoman Dorothy Flanagan was absent from the meeting.

The matter arose because Mike Olesen, who owns Stockholm’s pub and restaurant, announced his intention to run for alderman. A Geneva ordinance does not allow a liquor license holder to be on the City Council.

Brown said the voters are smart enough to make their own decisions. Other officials, such as Maladra, voiced concerns.

“This is not about Mike; this is about a policy that has been in place for a long time and it has not caused a problem,” Maladra said. “Geneva has done just fine.”

Downtown business owner Mike Simon appealed to aldermen to change the policy.

“Let the voters decide,” he said. “Don’t put up barriers to keep good people from running.”

Olesen has until Dec. 24 to file his candidate petition for alderman. He said if the ordinance change is approved, he will have enough time to make the filing.

He also appealed to aldermen.

“Take me out of it,” Olesen said. “Think of the people. I am here because I am repeatedly asked by the citizens of Geneva to run for City Council or run for mayor. I am here for the people.”

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