A group of Maywood residents have started to have lawn signs printed that express opposition to video gambling establishments in the village. | Facebook photo
What began as an online petition to raise opposition to a proposed video gambling and liquor establishment on Lake Street in Maywood has morphed into something of a grassroots movement that could potentially affect next year’s local election.
The petition, created on June 21, has garnered 103 signatures, including that of a sitting Maywood trustee and at least one liquor commissioner. But Maywood resident Wayne Beals, who created the petition and is spearheading awareness efforts, said those signatures are only the beginning of what’s become growing opposition to the proposed video gambling establishment — at least the second such establishment that has sought a hearing before the liquor commission in less than a year.
Beals said that opponents of the video gambling establishment have started printing lawn signs and that there could be talks by some residents of trying to put the issue to a referendum vote in the April 4, 2017 consolidated election.
Lucky Brew LLC, a video gambling establishment seeking to move to 406 Lake Street, not far from a new dance studio going up for the nonprofit Maywood Fine Arts, was scheduled to appear before the village’s liquor commission at a June 28 hearing, but no representatives from the company showed up.
Another liquor commission hearing is scheduled for July 25, 6:30 p.m., inside village council chambers at 125 S. 5th Ave. in Maywood.
The establishment is seeking a Class M Liquor license, which is typically considered a necessity for opening the gambling establishments. The liquor commission, which is chaired by Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins, votes on a recommendation to give to the Maywood Board of Trustees, which is the only body whose votes on the issuance of the license is binding.
At least one liquor commissioner, Rolando Villegas, has expressed his disapproval of the measure. Villegas, along with Maywood trustee Toni Dorris, signed the petition. Both are widely rumored to be running for office in April.
According to Beals, who was in attendance at the June 28 meeting, around 10 people spoke during its public comment section — all of them in opposition to the Lucky Brew proposal. Most of the comments referenced the proposed establishment’s proximity to the new Maywood Fine Arts dance studio, which is set to open in August on a plot of land spanning 14 to 18 N. Lake St.
Other comments pointed to the possibility of a video gambling establishment generating numerous quality of life problems, such as loitering, which residents said are already rampant in that area of the village.
Lucky Brew’s proposal comes months after the village board voted 4 to 3 to approve a Class M Liquor License for Lacey’s Place, a proposed video gambling bistro seeking to locate at 611 W. Roosevelt Rd.
Mayor Perkins and Trustees Michael Rogers, Isiah Brandon and Henderson Yarbrough voted in favor of the proposal while Trustees Antoinette Dorris, Melvin Lightford and Ron Rivers voted against it.
Those who voted in favor of Lacey’s noted the tax revenue potential of the business, in addition to the appropriateness of its proposed location along one of the busiest commercial arteries in the village.
The Lacey’s Place proposal is far from a sure thing, however, since the owners are stuck in a lease dispute with the landlord of the building into which they’re seeking to move.
So far, no other village board members besides Dorris have come out either for or against the Lucky Brew proposal. VFP
U P C O M I N G E V E N T S
Operation Uplift Vendor Days
Need a place to sell your wares? Take advantage of Operation Uplift’s vendor days!
Sunday and Saturday, July 16 and 17 || 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Operation Uplift, 104 S. 5th Ave. (corner of 5th Ave. and St. Charles), Maywood, IL
For pricing and more information, call Jeri Stenson at (708) 289-4955 or Dorothy Hall at (708) 373-2862
COMMUNITY RESOURCE FAIR
20th Anniversary of Maywood Old Timers Picnic Aug. 20
This year will mark the 20th Anniversary of the annual Maywood Old Timers Picnic, one of Maywood’s most anticipated community-wide events that was started as a way to reconnect the village’s present with its past.
“I was running into people at funerals and visitations I hadn’t seen in years and we would sit and talk,” said Marilynn Jefferson, a longtime Maywoodian, now retired and living in Georgia, who helped establish the first Old Timers Picnic.
“I finally said, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice where we had time we could all be together and it would not be a sad occasion?’” Jefferson reminisced during an interview at last year’s event.
Since its founding, the event has become a source of history for those interested in mining the village’s rich past.
This year, the picnic will be held on Aug. 20 at Maywood Veterans Memorial Park, 5th Ave. and Fred Hampton Way (or Oak St.).
Bring your family and friends. There will be food, fun and entertainment. For more information, call (708) 740-0747. Please leave a voicemail if you don’t get through