WHAT WE KNOW: Two weeks ago, Geneseo’s committee of the whole voted 5-4 to recommend ordinances for video gaming be forwarded to the March 9 meeting with the city’s law firm reviewing signage regulations and the percentage of business sales that must be devoted to food and beverage.
WHAT’S NEW: On Tuesday, Mayor Sean Johnson again cast the tie-breaking vote in favor of permitting video gaming in the city of Geneseo. Aldermen voting in support of video gaming were Paula Simosky, Craig Arnold, Martin Rothschild and Brett Barnhart. Aldermen voting no were Keith Kennett, Doug Crow, Robert Wachtel and Bob James. Nine people spoke against video gaming citing concerns over addiction, mental health issues, financial ruin and the cost to society of individual gambling excesses, losing a special family atmosphere and this form of gaming offering a relatively low revenue stream.
Twelve emails, all opposed to video gaming, were read. Pastor Steve Palm presented a petition signed by 233 people as well as a letter from the Geneseo Ministerial Association.
Five people spoke in favor of the issue, including Bill Smith of Beck Oil and businessmen Mike Bellovics and Chris Leamen. Casting his vote, Johnson said the past two weeks had been difficult for him, and morality as a topic has been a difficult one for ages. He said the aldermen who supported gaming would protect the things that made Geneseo special along the way.