Live and let live

Opinion: Letters to the editor

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Two years ago I was one of several residents who worked against allowing video gaming machines in Forest Park establishments. I opposed gaming because I was concerned about the loud and abundant signage that gambling could bring and I thought that the village wasn't getting enough in return. Two years later, I can say that the legitimate concerns brought by opponents of gaming have been properly addressed by the local business owners. Businesses now pay $5,0000 a piece for the right to have gaming and estimated earnings for 2018/2019 are over $200,000 in tax revenue. That is a significant revenue boost for the village to put towards other projects. Gaming has not resulted in any unattractive advertising signs on the exterior of local businesses. At most establishments, gaming machines themselves are usually in a separate location from the main dining areas and are hardly even noticeable to customers or staff. Another concern from two years ago was that residents might start spending their money on gambling instead of in local shops and restaurants. Both from what I have seen and heard and what local business owners have told me, this fear has not materialized. I say live and let live. Vote No on prohibiting gaming in Forest Park. 

Sue Gancer

Oak Park resident

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Jordan Kuehn from Forest Park  

Posted: September 12th, 2018 11:40 PM

Michelle's description is accurate. The sheets were challenged because the current address does not match the address listed on the sheets by the circulator. This is due to her movIng after circulating and would have been easily defended. Fortunately the Appellate Court eliminated the need for a hearing regarding the signature review objections. As far as who her employer is I don't know, but if it's Mr, Watts I can imagine that would be a difficult position to be in.

Michelle Andres Fitz-Henry  

Posted: September 12th, 2018 9:35 PM

Mr. Hosty, You may be right. It may have made no difference to Ms. Gancer that her employer (I believe she works for Mr. Watts) challenged her signatures in proceeding in the courts. I know I wouldn't want to be in a situation where my employer was challenging my actions on that level but that may not be the case with Ms. Gancer. I was trying to refute your position that the fact that "she lives in Oak Park has no bearing" - as I think that Ms. Gancer moving to Oak Park was the very reason her employer challenged her signatures. I appreciate Ms Gancers work for getting this on the ballot. I think she actually worked to get signatures in both rounds as our initial petitions were rejected. Ms. Gancer is free to take any position she would like to. I just wanted to point out that her residency seemed to be an issue with those that took the issue of the residents of Forest Park getting to vote on the issue to the Supreme Court.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: September 12th, 2018 4:44 PM

Interesting that the pro-video-gambling side (which I'm not on, I just don't much care either way) just can't seem to point to any actual, documented, hard evidence to bolster their case. As Christopher Hitchens put it, "What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." Perhaps the hard evidence doesn't support their argument?

John R. Hosty Jr.  

Posted: September 12th, 2018 3:49 PM

Ms. Andres Fitz-Henry what seems more plausible is that Ms Gancer clearly stated that her concerns have been properly addressed and to such, is in favor of VG. I know MS Gancer and pretty sure she is not one to be coerced or driven by a tough position to articulate her opinion. Maybe the sky didn't fall as first promised by anti-VG proponents and people truly see no issue. That's Ms Gancers opinion and I believe many others opinion. I also do know the town is being put through more with this topic than all the original VG worries- Let it go and "live & let live".

Michelle Andres Fitz-Henry  

Posted: September 12th, 2018 1:55 PM

Mr. Hosty, It has been some time so my memory may not be 100% correct, but I believe that Ms. Gancer's residency did have bearing as I think her petition signatures to get video gambling on the ballot were challenged by Mr. Watt because she moved to Oak Park. If Ms. Gancer works for Mr. Watt that could put her in a tough position. Maybe not. Who knows? Seems plausible though. I really had no idea where Mr. Dwyer lived. I think he is actually for gambling though.

John R. Hosty Jr.  

Posted: September 12th, 2018 1:32 PM

I stand corrected, still glad you are not my neighbor!!!

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: September 12th, 2018 1:06 PM

Westmont, John. Westmont. Or, as Gus-Gus Calderone puts it, WESTMONT. Get up to speed.

John R. Hosty Jr.  

Posted: September 12th, 2018 10:10 AM

Michelle, nice job twisting the article. Sue clearly states she "was" a anti VG, thankfully "you remember". How was her most key point missed? She now after witnessing the NON-effects of VG has clearly stated this is a NON-Issue. I think this is a great testament as to the original fears that were put out and now after a period- all is safe and running well. Your last dig that she lives in Oak Park has no bearing either- especially as I know you love when Mr. Dwyer sends his many comments across from the Maywood border.

Michelle Andres Fitz-Henry  

Posted: September 11th, 2018 5:46 PM

I remember when you lived here - you were quite the worker for getting petition signatures and were anti video gambling. I believe you moved to Oak Park and weren't as involved anymore. If you still work for O'Sullivan's, whose owner took the case to prohibit Forest Park residents from voting on this all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court, it puts you in a tough spot. If you're still living in Oak Park you don't have to worry about gambling. We do. Peace to you in Oak Park.

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