Support, questions needed for officials

To the editor:

I would like to start this letter with a word of thanks to the many people of Vermillion and Clay County who serve on all of the different boards, committees and councils that make our community a great place to live. These people choose to serve because of a desire to make a difference. The financial compensation they receive is minimal and many times nonexistent.

We as a community should support our elected officials. We should also question their decisions when we feel an explanation is in order.

Monday night I watched the televised city council meeting. The decision I question is the denial of the beer and malt license for Munchies, located at 6 West Main Street. I listened carefully as one of the owners of the business explained how they had gone to court to make sure they had a proper lease. The owner of the building was allowed to voice her concerns in regards to how Munchies affected her property.

When the motion to vote on the renewal was made and seconded there was much discussion. The question was asked if there were any formal complaints against Munchies. There were none. The only concern that was brought up was the amount of garbage left behind the building. Councilman Adams stated that it was brought to his attention and he checked on this situation. The owners of Munchies stated that they would remedy this situation.

Prior to voting, one of the council members asked to be recused from the voting due to the fact he had a business arrangement with Munchies. The vote was tied causing the renewal to be denied. After much discussion about a revote, a motion was made to allow the recused member to vote. The motion passed and a revote was cast. It too failed 5-4 due to the fact one of council members changed his vote from yes to no. A reason to deny had to be given. There were two choices � location and the moral character of the owners. Since the latter was not in question, location was given as the reason to deny.

This is interesting since there are bars and restaurants up and down main street. The decision made Monday night has caused quite a stir. Many of the young adults from Vermillion have an interest in these procedures because the gentlemen that own Munchies are life-long members of the Vermillion community. There has been much speculation and comments about the motives behind the denial. I won't repeat them here because many of them are rather unflattering and hopefully unfounded.

One of the interesting comments I have heard was that the council's decision took away from Munchies' young owners the ability to succeed or fail as businessmen.

We as a community must honor the decisions the elected council makes, but we can question them. I do believe a better explanation than garbage in the alley should be given to make sure that we all understand how this decision was made. This may also help restore faith the decision-making process and our elected officials.

David A. Smidt


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