City Council Discusses Gaming on the Square And Social Media

The majority of Tuesday night’s Greenville City Council meeting was spent discussing the possible use of social media, like Facebook, by the city and on the future of gaming and alcohol on the Greenville Square.

City Manager Dave Willey gave the council an overview about the pitfalls and positives of maintaining an official city Facebook page. Willey said the city would have to capture posts for possible FOIA requests and to maintain the page in a professional way would take a good amount of staff time. It’s unclear how the council will proceed, but the topic could come back for more discussion.

The council also had another lengthy discussion concerning gaming and alcohol on the square. When gaming was originally approved by the city council a few years ago there was a geographic restriction on where gaming could take place in Greenville. Last year the council voted to remove that restriction. Then some council members decided they wanted to revisit geographical restrictions. During the meeting, Willey shared that the leading municipal law firm in Illinois, Ancel Glink, had said in their opinion that geographical restrictions on gaming are not allowed for a non-home rule city like Greenville. Regardless of the legal advice Councilman John Gillard said he believed the city should put the geographical restrictions back in place and see if they are challenged in court or sued.

Gillard told WGEL that he did not want the city to spend funds defending the restrictions but wondered if anyone would actually challenge the restrictions since there is no legal precedent or case law, just legal opinion.

Councilmen views concerning gaming seem to vary with Kenny Hampton saying he does not think gaming café’s should be allowed in Greenville and Mike Heath saying that he hasn’t had anyone tell him they wanted to see gaming on the square. However, Roger Sanders said many people have told him the council is making a big issue out of nothing and Mayor Alan Gaffner said he had also heard many express the opinion that the council has spent too much time on gaming and there are other more pressing issues to deal with.

After the meeting it was not clear whether the council supports gaming on the square or not, but it was clear that the discussion is not over and will continue at a future meeting.

Willey said he will look into the process needed to use zoning to restrict gaming cafés from opening in Greenville.