At the recent Geneva Council commitee of the whole meeting, the issue of whether or not a liquor license holder has the right to hold an alderman position was on the agenda. At a time in our country when our governments are slowly taking away and limiting our rights as citizens, I was pleased to see that the Council, by an 8 to 2 vote, reaffirmed that government should be "by the people." As a member of the Geneva community, I applaud community and civic engagement and involvement.
To be a government "by the people," we need more involvement from diverse interest groups such as residents, property owners and business owners. Career politicians cannot represent Geneva with the best interests of Geneva residents in mind -- only a diverse set of Geneva residents can do that. Already four people have indicated an interest in running for 1st Ward alderman. This is great news as more choices give residents an opportunity to decide who they want to represent them.
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Michael Olesen, owner of Geneva Investments Group and Stockholm's -- both in the 1st Ward, has the ability to advise on issues and lend his expertise while abstaining his vote on liquor ordinance issues to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest is the fair and just way of handling the issues. Kudos to the committee of the whole.