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City Approves More Video Gaming Despite Upcoming Ordinance

Despite concerns over gambling parlors cutting into the bottom line of local bars and restaurants, the Springfield City Council last night approved zoning changes to allow more of the establishments to open shop.  Aldermen Cory Jobe voted in favor, even though he's pushing an ordinance to require video gambling only at places that earn 60 percent or more of revenue from food and beverage sales. 

Jobe says the city is skirting the spirit of the law.  But he says there’s no conflict in his vote.

“I’m not opposed to video gaming.  What I’m opposed to is the effect that it’s having on our local businesses.  Our businesses and restaurant owners—what I think the intent of the law was really for was to help those business owners who had suffered from the smoking ban,” Jobe said.

Jobe says it’s about time there are parameters on the spread of video gambling. His ordinance could be debated in committee next week.  

Aldermen also approved a nearly four -million dollar contract with Napa Auto Parts to be the city's sole supplier for its vehicle fleet.  The move is expected to save the city money as part of a consolidation of city garages.

In other news,  a Springfield alderman has announced he will run for the office of city treasurer in the upcoming municipal election.

Ward One Alderman Frank Edwards says he’s always been interested in where the city’s money comes and goes.  

“And I’ve always been kind interested in the money angle and that’s what I do at my company—kinda the head accountant where I do all the taxes and do all the payroll.  And some people get bored with numbers… Actually it is kinda boring but I like it,” Edwards said.

Edwards served as mayor for several months after Tim Davlin's death.   He says he’s not going to endorse any mayoral candidates. If he wins, he says he'll have to work with the mayor and says giving endorsements wouldn’t be prudent.

Current Springfield Treasurer Jim Langfelder has indicated he will run for mayor.

Lee Strubinger completed the University of Illinois Springfield's Public Affairs Reporting graduate program and is currently in Colorado.
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