Anan no more . . .

. . . saddled with liquor commissioner obligation. 6-1, trustees voted for relieving village president of the role. (Collette Lueck the holdout.) Loud applause, hugs for Anan. Love fest ensued. Which ends the fun for a blogger, who slinks away in the night, like a vampire caught in bright light.

The liquor control board will be looking the new ordinance over and presumably be reporting back to the (new) board headed by Anan, the board’s looking over to be a “wholistic” review, apparently with a view to tweaking it in details not affecting the president’s role.

Trustee Ray Johnson spoke up for this, otherwise laying aside his reservations, as one may read in the excellent live-blogged account, Wed. Journal’s Anna Lothson doing the honors.

I look forward to working with Anan. But we . . . don’t make policy changes based on popularity. [They] are made because it’s the right thing to do. Politics have come into play [in this case]. . . . I’m putting aside all of these issues to move forward. In some ways I’m going to offer compromise. . . . I’m comfortable moving forward, if we follow due process [commission review], so that we create certainty [clarity?]. We move forward, but at the same time our citizen commissions . . . do their work. . . . [So acting, we] will not ignore the commissions. I’m suggesting [we] vote for ordinance but have [a] commission review this.

His vote was very important. “Civility” was at stake. Johnson was at pains to present that as central to his decision. Lueck also spoke for civility but could not get past issues mentioned by Johnson, tho not in as much detail.


My concern is the process [by] which this came before us. [Anan] should have come to the board before he filed his papers and [should have asked] the board to make [the] change. Then the board would have time to do its work and make changes. That . . . [is] we should have handled it. . . . .  [To] be asked to change an ordinance for an elected official seems an abuse of power. . . . . That I see as a conflict of interest. [Our task is] not to change rules to benefit people but to benefit the community. . . .

Couple things here:

One, it’s a lot to ask of a candidate that he bring up his own potential disability. How awkward would it have been for him to come to the board and ask they change an ordinance so he could run! He would in effect be asking the board’s permission to oppose them. Theater of the absurd there, even more so than his being elected with the disability that had to be erased by legislation.

Two, I do not see the ordinance change to be for Anan’s benefit personally. Rather, it has been occasioned by his victory, which a solid majority of voters considered to the benefit of the community. The community decided his election was to their benefit, as did the board decide it was to the community’s benefit that, once elected, he should be allowed to serve.

Later: She meant, I think on further reflection, the one-off nature of the state law and ordinance changes, tailored to meet a situation, rather than it’s achieving personal gain for an individual. The new bill and ordinance are certainly not based on any overriding good for the community as a whole, state or village, but on the need to solve a problem. As were the original law and ordinance. What the state and village imposed, state and village can permit.

Now if Oak Park were to grow to 55,001 people, there would be another problem which I’d rather not think about right now . . .

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