Resolve the liquor law issue

Opinion: Columns

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Print

Bruce Broerman

In response to the "Our Views" of April 24 [Liquor resolution]: The recent village elections are an excellent example of an unlearned lesson in citizen involvement — failing to exercise your right to vote can have disastrous consequences.

Someone with no prior interest, experience, or involvement in village governance is elected village president over someone with a stellar and proven track record of civic engagement that spans decades. To speak of this as a voter mandate and a landslide victory is ludicrous. Spending unprecedented sums of money for a single-person slate and utilizing the influence of state-elected officials in a local election does not bode well for the future.

No one disputes that certain departments and the m.o. of certain individuals in village government could be improved, but the oversight lies squarely on the village manager, not the board and not the village president.

In regard to the liquor ordinance, you state, "The obvious conclusion: Voters did not see a conflict ... tells us that voters want those hurdles cleared away." Whoa! You, along with Senator Harmon and Representative Lilly are confusing the registered voters of Oak Park with those who voted for Mr. Abu-Taleb. The latter constitute a tiny percentage of eligible Oak Park voters, so you certainly cannot claim that you know what the voters of Oak Park want.

There should not even be a discussion about the liquor and ethics ordinances. Mr. Abu-Taleb stated quite clearly in a public forum that he would divest himself of his business if elected. When John Hedges responded that as long as Mr. Abu-Taleb and his family divested themselves, it was not an issue, Mr. Abu-Taleb retorted that that was not what he said, but then repeated the promise to divest himself if elected, presumably knowing that neither he nor a family member could hold a liquor license under the current Village Liquor Ordinance, but also knowing that local state officials had begun working on his behalf since the beginning of January on this pesky little problem.

Either we can take Mr. Abu-Taleb at his word, whatever that is, or we cannot.

Apart from divesting himself, he does have other options available that would allow him to retain his business and not violate any local ordinances. He could move his business to Forest Park, which he held up as a model to be emulated by Oak Park, or he could simply relinquish the current liquor license and function as a BYOB establishment for the tenure of his office. That is the one and only way "that Oak Park's rightly strict liquor ordinance and our adherence to strong ethics policies" can "be respected and advanced."

Reader Comments

19 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

cathy kushnick from oak park  

Posted: May 3rd, 2013 8:36 PM

Really? I appreciate reading the comments section to keep abreast of the feelings of the OP residents but I honestly thought a lot of the vitriol regarding the board was about the board, not just the vitriol. Sheesh the man is not even installed yet.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 3rd, 2013 5:31 PM

Bruce - to clear the record - at the WJ Debate, Anan said he would divest himself of Maya del Sol if needed. About a week later it came out that not only Anan would have to divest but his entire family--several work at the restaurant, his son is the manager. At the Buzz Cafe Debate again said he would divest. John Hedges said that Anan had said that he and his family would divest. Anan corrected John stating "I only said I would divest." As far as your hoping that Anan succeeds as President. That is incredibly hard to believe.

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 3rd, 2013 12:04 AM

Bruce, I believe it is legal to tape what goes on in a public forum. Any lawyers out there who disagree?

Bruce Broerman from Oak Park  

Posted: May 2nd, 2013 11:12 PM

The Anonymons doth protest too much me thinks. I want Mr. Abu-Taleb to succeed, as I would for any Board member. We know all too well the consequences when Board members do not live up to the expectations of the electorate. I also do not dispute the need to review the existing liquor ordinance, but in a reasoned and deliberate process. I also think everyone should hear the full audio transcript of Mr. Abu-Taleb's comments at the OP Library forum (I assume they were legally recorded).

Unfortunately  

Posted: May 2nd, 2013 5:42 PM

@Speedway. I hope that A LOT of people like you have recently had their eyes opened to the methods and idiocies of some of our neighbors who adhere to the VMA Uber Alles mentality. Fortunately, a good portion of their own membership feel the same way and so, hopefully, the necessary change will come from both within and without. John Hedges is a good example of what this group can and should be and while I was happy that Anan won - I was sad that John lost.

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 2nd, 2013 3:00 PM

I've been around awhile. But, I don't recall ever seeing this amount of backstabbing by the VMA. Maybe because their candidates usually won. Cynical being that I am, wondered about the VMA and what was behind it. Now I'm seeing a whole new side. I'm not pleased with the picture.

Unfortunately  

Posted: May 2nd, 2013 2:33 PM

@Speedway. You must be a relative newcomer to "tolerant" OP and the VMA cabal who enjoy (mis-)"ruling" it. Knowing a lot of the "adults," like Broerman, who hold impt positions within this organization, has enabled me to understand the history and mindset of the people who have wrecked, ruined, and destroyed civilizations and nations in the past (and today - N. Korea, etc). My goodness, re-read the vitriol in this letter and realize that the writer is NOT a lone wolf within the VMA structure!!!

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 2nd, 2013 9:52 AM

I have never had issues with the VMA. Questions about their vetting of candidates perhaps, but no issues against this group. In light of the current comments and shenanigans of the VMA, I am having serious doubts about this group and their current ideology. I think if this continues it will seriously jeopardize this group's candidates in future elections.

Bridgett from Oak Park   

Posted: May 2nd, 2013 7:06 AM

@voter, "I am really trying to believe the current VMA board means what they said about supporting Anan and moving forward together." From what I read, only two board members, Salzman and Tucker, have publicly stated their support. But maybe I missed something?

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 2nd, 2013 4:12 AM

In response to Mr. Borderman: Hey, Ronald Reagan did it, why not Abu-Taleb.

voter  

Posted: May 2nd, 2013 12:16 AM

Yep, move over VMA. Play nice and make room for Anan. I am really trying to believe the current VMA board means what they said about supporting Anan and moving forward together but they have to prove it. I have my doubts about Johnson and Lueck.

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 1st, 2013 10:38 PM

Mr. Borderman why don't you get it. That is not why Anan won. It had more to do with what Anan offered than Hedges. The VMA is more responsible for Hedges defeat and his so called slate of fellow VMA candidates which were running unopposed. Suggest you think about it and plan a better strategy for the next election instead of crying in your beer.

Mr. Borderman from Oak Park   

Posted: May 1st, 2013 5:23 PM

Bruce Broerman's excellent comment suggests a potential downside to the Big Business Man Victory 2013: Oak Park being hoodwinked by a George W. Bush-like delusion that successful businesspeople are automatically qualified to run government. Americans still worship money, and the people who make a lot of it, no matter how many times the rich wreck the economy and the government.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 1st, 2013 1:08 PM

Bruce Boremann Quote (Re Anan's Liquor License) Apart from divesting himself, he does have other options available that would allow him to retain his business and not violate any local ordinances. He could move his business to FOREST PARK, which he held up as a model to be emulated by Oak Park, or he could simply relinquish the current liquor license and function as a BYOB establishment for the tenure of his office. That is the one and only way "that Oak Park's rightly strict liquor ordinance and our adherence to strong ethics policies" can "be respected and advanced." Golly Bruce, do you think anyone would follow your suggested Maya del Sol's exit from Oak Park in order to be Village President? The simple fact of the election is that the VMA Slate was not a slate at all. The election was Mano on Mano -Hedges v Anan. The other slate member were unopposed. Instead of moving resources to Hedges, the slate campaign team decided to have literature and lawnsigns with five candidates, of which one was actually in a election race. They followed that with literature that buried Hedges in a sea of smiles. They followed that up by having all five slate candidates acting like they were actual in a contested election and conducted a 5:1 bombastic attack on Anan. The 5:1 bombast strategy did not seem to be working so the next tactic was a negative campaign using the fabled ex-VMA board member, and notched up the "Status Quo" platform in hope of turning out their traditional voters. Those registered voters stayed home. Anan ran a great and clean campaign, but the poor slate execution of a weak issues platform was a prime advantage given to Anan. The real problem is that the slate now is saying that the election results are unfair. It is time to stop the whining and get on with the bringing the village together.

dystOPia  

Posted: May 1st, 2013 12:01 PM

The Oak Park Public Library, Park District, DTOP Association, Avenue Association, Unity Temple, and nearly every major nonprofit and church in Oak Park has a liquor license. Is Mr. Broerman holding every elected official and staff person accountable if they are affiliated with these organizations, as per the Oak Park Liquor Ordinance?

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 1st, 2013 11:24 AM

I think there is something wrong when we ask an elected official to divest himself from his livelihood to run or be in OP government. We haven't asked this of any other candidate. There is an issue here that needs to be resolved and I hope it will be soon. This is not to say John Hedges was not a great candidate, but he appeared to run on a platform of the same old, same old. Which is a problem for me. Bruce, I appreciate what you have said but I can't agree with you on this.

dystOPia  

Posted: May 1st, 2013 10:41 AM

Amazingly accurate portrayal of VMA ideology provided by Mr. Broerman's viewpoint. In a nutshell, core VMA members political doctrine is "We self-selected few know better than you", which has become their mantra after years of political inbreeding. The strategy of requiring years of VMA fidelity disguised as community service has resulted in a mindset that is staggeringly arrogant, ignorant and insular.

Jim  

Posted: May 1st, 2013 8:39 AM

Here are names to remember...Broerman, Kamenitsa, Hale, Kelly, Lueck and Johnson. They are the VMA insiders still stinging from their incompetent campaign management. They intend to, and will, obstruct progress in this town to their last breath. Bruce, the voters have spoken and you lost. 8000+ came out to vote. When your guy won with 7000 ballots cast you claimed a resounding victory. You and your ilk are hypocrites of the first order.

Bridgett Baron from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 1st, 2013 2:21 AM

Bruce, there are a few things in your letter than are wrong and offensive. But let me just focus on one: Your recollection of what Anan said and didn't say about the liquor license in that public forum (the WJ sponsored forum on March 13th at the Main Library), is incomplete. You conveniently left out a part of the conversation which was about a desire to change the ordinance. Falsely accusing Anan of not keeping his word, and failing to *accurately* recount *all* of what he said and didn't say, is getting really old. You're not the first, and you most certainly won't be the last. WJ's forum was the first candidate event I have ever been to in my 18 years as an Oak Park resident. Before that night, I had never met Anan and met John Hedges only briefly, three years earlier. All that to say, I went in to that event with no opinion of either candidate. I was open, with no agenda, no pre-conceived ideas. And while I took notes, I also audio recorded the event. Don't know why I did, but I'm glad I did, because every time I read (false) accusations like yours, I refer back to my recording and know the truth of what Anan did and did not say.

Find a garage sale near you!

In search of local garage sales? Find out what sales are happening near you on our map and listing page.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.


            
SubscribeClassifieds
Photo storeContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor

Latest Comments