Little Notice To Expand Signage For Video Gaming | Journal & Topics Media Group

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Little Notice To Expand Signage For Video Gaming

By

Tom Wessell

|
on
October 11, 2018

Editor, Journal:

I am very angry that the residents of Niles have not been given the opportunity to discuss the proposed change and increase in signage at video gaming locations until the 11th hour. At the September village board meeting, there were no items on the agenda for the informal consideration. Then, suddenly, a three-item agenda is posted on Oct. 5.

Mayor Przybylo knows that I have been complaining about the lack of enforcement of the existing signage ordinance for gaming locations (in existence for more than three years) since the beginning of this past summer.

I have contacted the assistant liquor commissioner, the community development director and the mayor a number of times about this issue over the summer.

The village found it necessary to hold an in-house, special meeting with the village attorney and community development director to discuss the existing ordinance, all five words of it pertaining to signage, (“Exterior signage shall be prohibited.”). And even after that meeting, an illegal sandwich board stayed in place for another week or two. It took until last week for the ordinance to finally be enforced at one location of the many that are in violation.

On Wednesday, Oct. 9, there is a special meeting to expand the video gaming ordinance, expanding signage. There is no opportunity for residential input except at the meeting where the vote is to be taken. A meeting that almost no one knows is taking place.

Why was there a need to rush this change through without resident input? Niles is looking like a shantytown with signage advertising gaming popping up prominently all over town as the number of video gaming locations keeps growing. But the mayor keeps lobbying for TIF districts to “beautify” Niles.

I sent all of the village of Niles Board of Trustees members and the mayor an email asking them to table a vote on the expansion of video gaming signage until a well-publicized public meeting could be held. If the results of the Oct. 9 meeting do not show the trustees tabling the issue, in order to get more feedback from the residents, then the belief of many will be strengthened that the best interests of business comes at the sacrifice of our residents.

For many years Niles proudly stated that our village is “Where people count.” While it is not the official Niles motto anymore, it looks like it doesn’t even exist when it comes to letting people speak up about signage in their community.

Rosemary Palicki

Niles

via Journal Online

October 11, 2018 at 09:19AM

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