Jacksonville aldermen passed the first reading of an ordinance to amend Jacksonville’s Municipal Code on liquor licenses at last night’s city council meeting.
The issue comes as a result of Illinois Theater seeking a liquor license to sell alcoholic beverages from 5 to 9 p.m.
Aldermen passed the first reading six votes to four. Among those who voted no was alderwoman Lori Large-Oldenettel, who explains where she stands on the issue.
“I think we’ve been so liberal with our liquor licenses recently that it’s going to be difficult to draw a line in the sand to figure out who should and who shouldn’t receive alcohol licenses. I think it’s important to be able to take children to activities and events where there is not alcohol, I think going to a movie theater is one of those places. I’m afraid that if we open it up to the movie theater, who’s going to be next? So where does it stop, and how much more do we need to normalize alcohol, when we already have seen some surveys recently that the Wells Center has done over the years, where we see that there’s an upward trend in adolescence drinking before they’re 21?” says Large-Oldenettel.
Most of those who voted yes said they did so because they felt it was their duty as a council to help the Illinois Theater compete as a local business. Large-Oldenettel says she understands their point, however…
“I understand the position where (the owner) wants to attract more people to come to the Illinois Theater, but I think (the owner) is only expecting to bring $125 a week, $500 a month in order for him to achieve a liquor license…is that enough? I don’t know what we want to equate to the rights of people getting liquor licenses. It’s a discussion that I think we should dedicate solely to a meeting and hash out what we think is reasonable,” says Oldenettel.
Joining Large-Oldenettel in voting no was aldermen Bill Scott, Tony Williams and Don Cook. Voting yes was Jeff Hopkins, Marcy Patterson, Travis Richardson, Aaron Scott, Mike Wankel and Steve Warmowski. .