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St. Charles approves liquor commission

ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles City Council on Monday approved a move to implement a five-person liquor commission.

Mayor Ray Rogina said he plans to announce the names of the two city aldermen and the two city residents who will make up the commission later this week. As mayor, Rogina will serve as the liquor commissioner and the other members will serve as advisory members.

“My role as liquor commissioner will be to make the final decision,” Rogina said after the meeting. “But I will take their input very seriously.”

Rogina added that the City Council has worked closely with Police Chief Jim Lamkin, who he said has been an “integral part” of the commission. He said he hopes the commission will help curb some liquor-related issues in St. Charles, such as over-serving patrons, underage drinking and fighting.

The next phase, Rogina said, is to define a bar and a restaurant, and possibly implement new protocols such as reviewing 2 a.m. liquor licenses on an annual basis.

“I just think it gives us four extra sets of eyes for the purpose of making those decisions,” he said.

The ordinance sets some restrictions on who can serve as a commissioner.

Members should not own or work at any licensed establishment, nor should their spouse, parents, siblings or children.

The commission would meet as called by the liquor commissioner. At the commissioner’s request, it would review applications and background investigations and submit findings and recommendations to the commissioner.

In other business, aldermen approved another 30-day extension to City Administrator Brian Townsend’s contract, which expired May 6. It’s the third time the council voted to extend his contract for 30 days while the contract is negotiated.

The latest extension goes through Aug. 5.

Townsend has worked as city administrator since 2005 and received a new contract in 2009 that set his earnings at $217,000, which includes salary, travel and health insurance.

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