Some Springfield aldermen say they’re tired of one of their colleagues perpetually holding liquor license requests in committee.
Ward 2 Alderman Gail Simpson this week wanted to hold a request from Scandals, which wants to open a bar and grill on south 11th street, in committee. She didn’t say why. Ward 7 Alderman Joe McMenamin says there’s an unwritten rule that the council defer judgement to the home-alderman, but it’s getting old.
“I don’t believe in [the rule] myself,” says McMenamin. “I think you should give deference to the home alderman, but I don’t think they have a veto power in effect. I think we owe our vote to our voters.”
Simpson decried attempts to vote the request out of committee, claiming she’s “sick and tired” of people telling her they know what’s best for her ward. But it’s not the first liquor license slated for Ward 2 that she’s held in committee. Simpson claims she has an inordinate amount of liquor licenses in her ward, when in fact she has the 7th most in the city.
That’s 7 out of 10.
It looked as though Simpson would be overruled this week, but after her angry outburst her colleagues deferred.
“Hopefully Alderman Simpson will reach out to the business and try to reach an accomodation,” says McMenamin. “But if she fails to reach out, I think we should overrule her.”