Updated 7/24: Code change allows liquor license for space village president owns

By on July 24, 2009

updated 7/24/2009 at 2:11 p.m. CST
Village president said in July 23 email building was under contract, now sold (not rented)
Trustee’s son’s application granted, 2 others pending
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—The Elburn Village Board changed an ordinance on Monday to allow a liquor license to be issued for a new tavern in a building, at 107 N. Main St., that was owned by Village President Dave Anderson, even if he has an indirect interest in the business.

“Good common sense says everyone in the village has an indirect interest in the business,” Anderson said Wednesday.

The previous ordinance would have prohibited a liquor license for a business in which Anderson or any village trustee had direct or indirect interest. The change approved by village trustees Monday removed the reference to indirect interest. Anderson said the language change in the village liquor code mirrors the wording in the state’s liquor code. Anderson said he does not have a direct interest in the tavern business planned for the space he said July 23 he sold to Kevin Schmidt.

Anderson sold the building Thursday, July 23 to Kevin Schmidt, attorney Bob Britz said.

Also on Monday, the Village Board approved two ordinances allowing for the establishment of three new liquor licenses in the village, but not granting them to applicants.

After the board meeting closed, Deputy Liquor Commissioner and trustee Bill Grabarek approved an application for one of the licenses, for Schmidt’s bar, Village Attorney Bob Britz said. The license will allow the bar to sell beer, wine and hard liquor.

Applicants for the other two liquor licenses are Michael Rafferty, for the Riley Boys Tavern planned for the former Emma’s Pub at 117 Main, and Rosati’s—for a new restaurant space near Jewel-Osco at Route 47 and Route 38. Rafferty is seeking a license to sell beer, wine and hard liquor, and Rosati’s is seeking a license to serve beer and wine.

Rosati’s and Rafferty still must sign the letter of understanding with the village before Liquor Commissioner Dave Anderson can grant them the other new liquor licenses, village officials said.

Kevin Schmidt’s father, trustee Jerry Schmidt, voted during the July 20 Elburn Village Board meeting for an ordinance allowing for a liquor code language change, and for an ordinance creating a second available Class A liquor license, one of which was obtained by his son after the meeting. Trustee Jerry Schmidt said Wednesday that he did not believe voting for the ordinances on July 20 was a conflict of interest. Schmidt had recused himself from voting for the creation of one of the two Class A licenses in June. Those licenses are not assigned to any business at the time they are created. The license is granted to the applicant only when the liquor commissioner approves the application and assigns the license.

“I didn’t think it was. I want to support my son in this project, but I have no interest in the business,” trustee Schmidt said.

He added that during his campaign before being elected in April, he was a proponent of bringing new businesses to the village to boost tax revenue.

About Martha Quetsch

8 Comments

  1. over and out

    July 23, 2009 at 4:56 PM

    Wow! Does this pass the SMELL TEST? Let’s see. We campaign together. The election is over. The new mayor and he is also the liquor commishioner, has a building for sale, the building that one of the trustees’s son, wants to buy, they vote to change the ordinance to allow the new liquor license and the father does not abstain, he votes for his own son, to be able to buy, the building that the new mayor owns. And a new sports bar, is born. No it does NOT pass the SMELL TEST.

  2. Elburnite

    July 24, 2009 at 6:46 AM

    I totally agree, over and out. The infamous corruption is back, thanks to an incompetant, self-serving new mayor. An additional note, the mayor is and has been very good friends with Jerry Schmidt. The mayor says he has no interest in the new business, but he’s lying as usual. Somehow I think the “request for resign” of the chief of police just may relate in this matter, since chief Jim Linane would never allow the same old game of lies and corruption that Elburn was known for prior to Jim taking office. I’ve just about had enough of Dave’s crap already and want to get the heck out of this town!

  3. gokevin

    July 24, 2009 at 9:57 AM

    Let’s think about this people. First, Kevin Schmidt would have gotten a liquor license for his business whether his father was a trustee or not, or whether he bought the building from Dave Anderson, or John Smith. There is a strict set of checks and balances that one must go through in order to obtain a liquor license. Kevin passed all of those. The city merely changed the wording in their code to reflect what is currently the wording in the State of Illinois’ code, which is what every other municipality does in this fine state. There was nothing wrong with how this license was issued and it only takes a few angry people to make too much out of too little. I myself a looking forward to a new place to eat, drink, and gather with my friends in Elburn, because face it, there is not much right now. Let’s think about the bigger picture here, more money for the city and maybe a few jobs, who is not in favor of that?

  4. informed

    July 24, 2009 at 10:26 AM

    So according to you two it would be better to leave the building empty? The mayor can sell his building to anyone he wants to sell it to. Also, anyone, whether they are related to a trustee or not, can apply for a liquor license. In your haste to spin your tale of lies and display your ignorance, you didn’t read the whole article. Two other liquor licenses where approved with the Schmidt license and I am pretty sure that those folsk aren’t related to anyone on the board. And the comments about lies and corruption? Now that is just plain slander. I suggest that before you accuse anyone of corruption you do a little investigating. You might save yourself a law suit in the long run.

  5. puzzledagain

    July 24, 2009 at 6:09 PM

    Over and out you truly nailed it. Who walks into office with such a set agenda to change liquor laws, issue new laws and cash in on the deals! If I can use Elburn that way for a failed business, sign me up now! What a shame these people use the taxpayers money for their own personal gain.

  6. puzzledagain

    July 24, 2009 at 6:13 PM

    Hey, I take that back, if you sign up my kids now and pay them under the table, I’m in.

  7. puzzledagain

    July 24, 2009 at 6:18 PM

    Mayor, lets flood Elburn with video poker too! I do miss the old mayor who operated under the premise of responsible growth for the town. Times are changing so hey mayor since travel is down, let’s create Vegas in Elburn.

  8. Kwatcher

    July 24, 2009 at 6:55 PM

    gokevin and informed – Just because something is legal doesn’t make it right. I don’t know any of the people involved, elected officials or the license applicants. IMO, if the mayor had a pending contract with the buyer that was conditioned on the license, the mayor should have abstained and if the applicant was a trustee’s son, the trustee should have abstained. There would still be enough yes votes to pass it if it was appropriate. Whether or not there were other licenses voted on at the same time is irrelevent. If the mayor really said that “Good common sense says everyone in the village has an indirect interest in the business” as a justification for his voting, I find the statement insulting. There is a clear difference between the current owner of the building and everyone else.

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