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updated: 2/17/2014 10:05 PM

Palatine sign rejection leads to confrontation

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A shouting match erupted outside the council chambers after a plan to install a sign for a local flower shop was rejected by the Palatine village council Monday night.

Ken Kinsch, owner of Kinsch Village Florist and Garden Center, was held back by a Palatine police officer while he yelled at Jerry Galvin, a resident who had come to speak against the proposed sign.

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"We're trying to put up a flower shop sign," Kinsch yelled at one point. "Not a sign for a tattoo parlor,"

Galvin yelled back to Kinsch that he was just exercising his rights in a democracy.

The Palatine police officer holding Kinsch back said the business owner cooled off before he left the village hall. He was not arrested.

"I understand how he feels. I have a small business myself but I don't take it personally," Galvin said after Kinsch left.

Minutes before the outburst in the hallway, Galvin spoke out against Kinsch's proposal to install a sign for his business on residential property near Palatine Road that would point passers-by to the out-of-the-way, 76-year-old flower shop.

Galvin, who lives at 7 N. Rose St., across the street from where the proposed sign would have been, called the sign a "billboard" and said he didn't want to have to see it every day.

The council rejected Kinsch's plan with four members out of seven voting "no."

Mayor Jim Schwantz voted against the plan, saying that he didn't want to make an exemption for the Kinsches and then have to reject a different business in a similar situation.

"It concerns me the ripple effect that this could go," Schwantz said. "Is it a 76-year-old business gets it and a new business that has just come to town trying to succeed doesn't?"

Council member Brad Helms said he supported the plan because there comes a time when the village should "help out the little guy."

"Every once in a while we need to make an exemption," Helms said.

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