I am writing to encourage the Geneva City Council to remove an ordinance that prohibits residents who hold a liquor license from running for alderman. This is an outdated prohibition that serves only to exclude otherwise qualified candidates from serving their community.
The arguments in favor of retaining the ordinance do not hold water. Geneva Alderman Maladra reportedly has said that bar and restaurant owners need the city to grant them a liquor license in order to sell alcohol, and therefore they are dependent on the city for some of their profits. Serving on the city council would be a conflict of interest.
By that standard we would also have to exclude any contractor of any kind who bids or provides services to the city. Should we also exclude everyone employed by the city directly in any capacity? After all, who is more dependent upon the city than their own employees?
The well-being and good governance of the community is very much in the interests of every small business owner. To rule out a candidate simply because they have a license to serve liquor is ridiculous.