Palos Park's Denise Cowan is one of four citizens to object to the village considering video gaming. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Park's Denise Cowan is one of four citizens to object to the village considering video gaming. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Park delays gaming vote again

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By Jeff Vorva

Someone should send the mayor of Palos Park some Alka-Seltzer.

For the third meeting in a row, the Palos Park Village Council did not take any action on bringing gaming machines to town.

Mayor John Mahoney and Commissioner Dan Polk are leaning in favor of it to help out the local businesses but both said they have a distaste for gambling itself.

Commissioner G. Darryl Reed appears to be on the “no” side for now and is requesting that businesses that want the machines to appear at the next council meeting, Dec. 13, to plead their case.

Commissioner Nicole Milovich-Walters’s current stance is up in the air. After Polk reluctantly made a motion at Monday’s meeting to vote on the issue, neither Reed nor Milovich-Walters (who attended via phone) did not second it.

With the August death of Commissioner James Pavlatos and the council not yet replacing him, there are only four voting members, and it will take a 3-1 vote to get it passed. A 2-2 deadlock means it fails.

Mahoney said he had a knot in his stomach before coming to Monday’s meeting and delaying this for a few more weeks is something he is willing to deal with.

“This is a process that we don’t need to rush,” Mahoney said. “As painful as this is and as much as I don’t want to feel pain in my stomach like I did all day today, it’s not going to be rushed. If someone needs more information before we vote, that’s what we will do.

“I have huge misgivings,” he added. “It pains me to have to make a decision like this. But this is a tool that is necessary.”

From the time the issue was brought up at the Oct. 25 meeting, Reed said he wanted to hear community input.

At the Nov. 8 meeting, one resident spoke in favor of it.

At Monday night’s meeting, four residents spoke against it and gave various reasons including that it will ruin the family friendly atmosphere of the community.

After some council discussion, it was revealed that just two of the potential six businesses that would be allowed to have the machines have expressed interest – Cog Hill Golf and Country Club and McDivots Sports Bar and Grill.

McDivots, 12900 LaGrange Road, was supposed to become the new site of Tavern on Lagrange and Polk said it looks like that deal is not happening. Polk said he talked to reps from both Cog Hill and McDivots and they are interested in video games.

Reed said he appreciated the input from the citizens and now wants some face-to-face time with the business officials.

“My point is simple,” Reed said. “If you want my vote, show up and ask for it. We had folks come here tonight to tell us. They looked us in the eye. They respected us and said, ‘Hey, this is what we want.’ By golly, you ain’t asking for much.

“I’m repeating myself. Folks know where I stand. I’m dying here.”

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