EDWARDSVILLE — Amid all of the candidates in next month’s election, there are two referendums for Edwardsville voters, too, one binding and one not.

A proposition about video gaming is non-binding while a second proposition about whether to fold the city treasurer position into the finance director position will require at least 50.1 percent of the vote to pass. City Treasurer Rich Hampton is retiring this spring.

City Attorney Jeff Berkbigler said the council wants to poll city residents to find out what they think before the council would possibly consider expanding video gaming to class B and class C liquor licensees with more than 50 percent of revenue from on-premises alcoholic liquor consumption. There are at least 54 businesses in town with those types of liquor licenses.

“They passed the resolution to try to get a verdict from the public,” Berkbigler told an Intelligencer reporter Wednesday. “If there’s an overwhelming number of people who approve of it, the council will take action to expand video gaming to restaurants and bars.”

The ballot idea came from Mayor Hal Patton, who requested it after the city council voted 4-3 in September to uphold the city’s long-standing video gaming ban. City aldermen agreed to put video gaming on the ballot last October.

After a 5-2 vote in favor last November, only class D liquor license holders, the American Legion Post #199 and the Loyal Order of the Moose Lodge, are currently permitted to allow video gambling.

The proposition will read: “Shall the City of Edwardsville allow video gambling in bars (Class B and C liquor licensees with over 50% of revenue from on premises alcoholic liquor consumption) in the City?”

One thing that may work against the referendum is that April elections tend to have low turnouts.

Reach reporter Charles Bolinger at 618-659-5735

via The Edwardsville Intelligencer

March 17, 2021 at 09:36PM