Letter to the Editor
Posted October 1, 2017
It’s truly disgusting to see how two-faced the Pana City Council truly has been for decades, but even moreso when they discussed extended liquor sales during the month of September.
On September 11, the council vote 5-4, with a tiebreaker vote from Mayor Don Kroski to authorize city attorney Steve Mahrt to prepare the potential changes to the ordinance. Two weeks later, it gets shot down 5-3 without any valid or logical reasoning why liquor sales can’t be extended to Sundays. There were absolutely no valid arguments presented in the September 27 issue of the Pana News-Palladium on WHY the council decided to back out two weeks later.
From our economic perspective, Aldermen Butch Hocq, Joe Wiss and Tim Eddy cast their votes as an attempt to save the city’s crumbling economy. If you haven’t checked, Downtown Pana is a ghost town as compared to its former glory 25 years ago when it seemed there was a business in every building. Now, over half of the buildings are empty with one of them recently declared as condemned (with many more to come, including the former Metzger Drug building). These three men voted from an economic perspective that expanding liquor sales to Sunday would benefit not only the businesses that would serve on Sunday, but also the city regarding sales tax revenue. You can’t shame these three for truly looking out for the local economy.
The nay votes from Aldermen Glenn Schneider, Jerry Jordan, Ronald Miles, Leon Goff and Kirk Woods can easily be construed not only as caving in to pressure from the religious right but also as an anti-economic, anti-commerce vote. While Woods originally voted in favor of drawing up the potential revisions, we truly don’t understand why a businessman of his stature would flip-flop on the idea that the city could have benefitted from added sales tax revenue in his most recent vote.
It’s because of status quo politics why the City of Roses and Christian County can’t ever get ahead anymore. For as long as the Sunday ban has existed in Pana and in Christian County, both governmental bodies have allowed millions of dollars in potential sales tax revenues go to neighboring communities and counties that don’t impose a Sunday ban. If Pana doesn’t make a step in the right economic direction, your residents will keep purchasing their alcohol in Nokomis, in Tower Hill, in Shelbyville, in Vandalia, in Moweaqua and now in Ramsey on Sundays. These communities benefit from not imposing liquor sales bans.
Aldermen Hocq, Wiss and Eddy: keep fighting the good fight for the local economy. Aldermen Schneider, Jordan, Miles, Goff and Woods: you ought to be ashamed of yourselves for being against your local economy, especially when the Sunday ban is oppressive and detrimental to said economy.
Chapter Chairman & SOC Representative | Tri-Counties Libertarian Party
Deputy Communications Director | Libertarian Party of Illinois
Libertarian Candidate | Illinois State Senate, District 48
Nokomis, IL 62075