Country Pub Permit Motion Dies, Letter of Engagement Tabled As VOSJ Barely Meets Quorum

By Benjamin Cox on September 20, 2019 at 4:30am

The Village of South Jacksonville committee of the whole and special meeting was nearly over before it started last night. Village President Harry Jennings postponed the meeting for five minutes to allow Trustee Greg Nelson to show up so the village could have a quorum to meet. Nelson, along with trustees Dick Samples and Tom Jordan were the only 3 trustees present last night. Samples originally protested the meeting not having quorum, but was assured by the Illinois Open Meetings Act that 3 were all that was necessary to proceed.

The village was then able to get down to business on discussions of the special use permit of the Country Pub that is to be located at 1724 South Main, Suite A. Tom & Stacy Pinkerton, the proposed owners of the new establishment along with building owner Rena Paredes were in attendance. Trustee Dick Samples said that he objects to the issuance of the permit because Pinkerton had turned down a liquor license for the building while she was a trustee in October 2016.

Samples explained: “[Paredes] was turned down by the board at that time for a license to sell liquor, which you have to have in order to have a gaming parlor. Stacy [Pinkerton] voted against it then and now the tide has turned, so to speak. She’s on the opposing side, and I don’t think that sets a very good example for the Village of South Jacksonville Board of Trustees, in my own personal opinion.”

During the official meeting after executive session, Trustee Greg Nelson made the motion for the permit to be issued by neither Jordan or Samples seconded it and it died. Jordan explains some of his objections to the permit being issued. “I think a fire inspection should be done by a professional, not necessarily employed by the village. Also, the possible legal concerns of should there be a fire, would the village be liable or not.”

Nelson also had some personal objections to the location of the establishment being just a few blocks east of South Elementary School. He understood that the building was within legal limits as far as having a liquor licensed issued but still wished it to be located further away from the school. The item will be brought back up for discussion at the next committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday, September 24th.

The other lone action item for the evening also will have to wait. Prior to the meeting, Village President Harry Jennings circulated correspondence from Village Attorney Rob Cross about questions concerning Alice Hancock’s letter of engagement. Jennings brought a motion to accept the letter with the new changes recommended by Cross. The motion was countered by Nelson to table the action until the October 3rd village meeting. The counter motion was seconded by Dick Samples and the motion passed.

The next meeting of trustees will be held in committee of the whole on September 24th at 6:30PM at Village Hall on Dewey Drive.