By Bob Balgemann


MACHESNEY PARK – Every once in a while the Machesney Park Village Board will disagree over how many liquor licenses a particular class should have.

There was such an instance May 2 when the village board voted 4-3 to increase the number of Class A licenses from nine to 10. A Class A license allows on-premises consumption of alcoholic beverages and retail carryout in the original packaging.

At issue was a request from Susan Wheeler for a Class A license to be awarded to the Wild Rhubarb and Bakery restaurant, which will be operating inside the Atwood Homestead Forest Preserve Golf Course at 8990 Old River Road.

The matter first was considered at the board’s April 18 meeting, when it joined other topics on the consent agenda. That meant one motion, and one vote among the trustees and Mayor Jerry D. Bolin, would dispense of all those items.

The only exception would be a trustee asking that one of the issues be withdrawn for separate discussion and vote.

Mayor Bolin asked if anyone wanted an item or items removed from the consent agenda and no one made such a request.

He then called for a vote and all of the items, including the additional Class A liquor license and issuing one of them to the restaurant, passed with a 7-0 vote.

The restaurant matter also required the board to approve decreasing the number of Class C licenses from two to one. A Class C license previously was held by the golf club and allowed only sales of beer and wine.

But the board’s May 2 meeting was a different story.

The two Class A liquor license actions once again were on the consent agenda, this time for approval at second reading. But this time Trustee Erick Beck asked for it to be removed for separate discussion and a vote.

After the other items were approved in a unanimous vote, Mayor Bolin called on Trustee Beck to address the Class A license issue.

Beck said he thought nine Class A licenses was plenty for a village with a population of 23,000 people. He added that some other trustees also believed that to be true.

When it came time for a vote he was proven to be correct, though there weren’t enough board members sharing his view to defeat a positive committee recommendation.

The motion for approval passed, 4-3, with Mayor Bolin breaking the 3-3 tie with a yes vote. Trustees Robbin Snodgrass and Steve Johnson sided with Beck, while trustees Terri Bailey, James Kidd and Aaron Wilson voted in favor of the license being issued.

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