Markham Business Owners Voice Concerns Over Liquor Ordinance

Markham Business Owners Voice Concerns Over Liquor Ordinance
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Markham Business Owners Voice Concerns Over Liquor Ordinance (Markham, IL) — Markham Business owners came to the February 16 council meeting to voice their concerns over a proposed ordinance.

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The ordinance would decrease the number of and liquor sale and operation hours for Class A liquor licenses in the city of Markham. The proposed time to stop the sale of liquor was midnight.

The proposed ordinance was drafted in response to a recent shooting at Kick-Off’s Bar & Grill. In 2020, officers responded more than 500 times to calls at the establishment. Patrick Gill, owner of Kick-off’s, has ran the business for 27 years. He was one of the many business owners in the room.

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Aldermen weigh in on liquor ordinance

Before the meeting, the office of the Mayor and council members received various calls with opinions against the ordinance. The vote on the ordinance was tabled.

Mayor Roger Agpawa addressed the room before opening the floor for discussion on the subject. He encouraged participants not to just unify when it comes to liquor but use their collective power to advocate for change.

“I would call this the chamber of commerce, so use it. Use it to talk to one another about the behavior of one another so that we can conduct business properly,” said Agpawa.

Alderman William Barron was in favor of tabling the conversation to do more research on different options.

“I believe the city council can come back to the Mayor with a list of proposals on how we can deal with this manner without taking action proposed in this change of ordinance,” said Barron.

Alderman Rondal Jones voted no to table the conversation and was not in favor of the proposed ordinance. He was in support of bars operating as they normally do.

“I believe businesses are important for the city of Markham. I’ve seen you all live and scramble to get your businesses up and running. I feel for you and that balance. The mayor is doing a great job by bringing Amazon. I believe the club scene is also critical element,” said Jones.

Business owners address the council about liquor ordinance

Cindy and Neal Valente of Envy’s Pub have been in the community for 15 years. The ordinance makes it harder for them to operate their business and pay property taxes.

“Property taxes aren’t going to go down. Our fees seem like they are constantly going up. If our hours get cut to midnight, that’s 720 per year that we will not be making any money,” said Neal Valente.

Earnest Sutton of On The 9 Sports Bar and Grill wants to work with the city to come to a resolution.

“It would be good if we were involved in that process, uur opinions heard, and we help with some of the ideas to be able to help everybody,” said Sutton.

Pamela Mack, owner of Knotty Luxe Jazz Bistro, advocated for not punishing all the businesses because of the actions of one. For her restaurant that opens at 5 PM, the ordinance would greatly impact her business and the ability to reinvest in the city through the Knotty Luxe Arts Foundation.

“I hope that we were able to show that we’re just not business owners here. We’re a part of the community,” said Mack.

Other items on the agenda included:

  • Acknowledgement of the city’s Black History Month displays featuring national and Markham history.
  • A highlight of city administrator Derrick Champion’s efforts to recruit more Black firefighters with the Black Fire Brigade.
  • An ordinance amending ordinance no. 21-O-2305 authorizing the hiring of lateral transfer police patrol officers into the Markham Police Department.
  • Motion to approve final settlement and release and settlement agreement case no. 20 L 5494

Markham Business Owners Voice Concerns Over Liquor Ordinance

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