Slot Machine Win for Rural Bar Owners, Electronic Billboards Delayed Again

Jim Bishop, speaking as an individual, not an attorney, was first up for the proponents.

Jim Bishop, speaking as an individual, not an attorney, was first up for the proponents.

Two issues were considered for the second time at Tuesday night’s:

  • slot machines at bars and restaurants in unincorporated McHenry County
  • electronic billboards outside of municipalities

Also called video poker machines, the electronic devices will be allowed after a 15-9 vote.

The argument that the unincorporated bars were playing on an uneven playing field seemed to carry the day over arguments that gambling can lead to addiction that can destroy lives.

In 2009 the McHenry County Board voted 13-10-1 to prohibit the devices.

At that time rules had not been promulgated and no municipality had voted to allow them.

As Ken Koehler, maker of Tuesday’s motion put it, “It probably made sense to send a message to the rest of the County.  Now twenty [cities and villages] have [approved video gaming."

Fred Hoffman, who owns the Snuggery just south of McHenry on the Fox River, told the competitive disadvantage his establishment has because no electronic gaming devices are available.

Fred Hoffman, who owns the Snuggery just south of McHenry on the Fox River, told the competitive disadvantage his establishment has because no electronic gaming devices are available.

Names of the fifteen who voted in favor follow:

  • Michele Aavang
  • Nick Chirokos
  • Sue Drafkorn
  • Joe Gottemoller
  • Jim Heisler
  • Tina Hill
  • John Jung
  • Ken Koehler
  • Bob Martens
  • Mary McCann
  • Mary McClellan
  • Anna May Miller
  • Robert Nowak
  • Sandy Salgado
  • Mike Skala
Joe Edwards spoke against legalization.

Joe Edwards spoke against legalization, calling video gaming the “crack cocaine of gambling.”

Those voting “No” were

  • Yvonne Barnes
  • Bethany Lutheran Church Pastor Carrie Smith, not speaking for her church, told of how gambling had devastated her brother's life.

    Bethany Lutheran Church Pastor Carrie Smith, not speaking for her church, told of how gambling had devastated her brother’s life.

  • Diane Evertsen
  • John Hammerand
  • Donna Kurtz
  • Nick Provenzano
  • Carolyn Schofield
  • Ersel Schuster
  • Mike Walkup
  • Paula Yensen

The second issue was prompted by villages not wanting electronic billboard near their municipalities.

A moratorium enacted at their request was about to expire and, according to one village’s representative, “the word on the street” was that lobbying to let the moratorium run out was heavy.

Algonquin Village President John Schmitt explained his Board's opposition to electronic billboards.

Algonquin Village President John Schmitt explained his Board’s opposition to electronic billboards.

Appearing were those wishing to keep the ban on electronic billboards in unincorporated areas.

Algonquin Village President John Schmitt. He pointed out that the issue was so important to him that he was missing only is fifth meeting in twenty years of having served on his Board.

Catherine Peterson, Lakewood’s Village Manager, also weighed in asking for a continuance of the billboards’ prohibition through the summer months until the new zoning ordinance could be approved.

Also present was Lake in the Hills’ Community Development Director Dan Olson.

Despite the apprehension of village officials, the County Board approved the requested extension by voice vote. I heard no dissension.


Comments

Slot Machine Win for Rural Bar Owners, Electronic Billboards Delayed Again — 4 Comments

  1. Unfortunately not enough people seem to care about the degradation of McHenry County.

  2. I find it sad that neither Sue Draftkorn nor Sandra Salgado nor Bob Martens had the dignity to respond to my e-mail addressing this issue.

    As a precinct committeeman I will have to explain this to my district.

    Many are already skeptical of these board members.

    John Hammerand on the other hand will not just respond but will actually call concerned citizens over county issues.

    Guess he has nothing to be ashamed of.

  3. Another group of lemmings jumps off the cliff.

    When local families become financially devastated (and, they WILL), who will step up then to take responsibility?

  4. Really, anti? Really … local families will be devasted by slot machines in bars?

    What will devastate them the evil alcohol or the satanic slot macines?

    I thought church was all about personal responsibility.

    If it’s not, does that make it a cult?

    Margie thinks this will degrade McHenry County. How could you tell, Margie?

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