Before getting down to business during the ’s regular meeting Tuesday night, Mayor A. George Pradel asked those in attendance to pause for a moment of silence , who was killed over the weekend in a .
The stabbing at was brought up by a few residents during the public comment period and also by Council Member Doug Krause.
An official from spoke first during the council’s public comment period and thanked the for its quick response.
Rick Spencer, vice president for institutional advancement at North Central, said he was at the meeting to represent the college. He thanked police for taking quick action, the council for its outreach, and staff for doing everything they could to help Wild and for .
Spencer told the council or its owner, adding that many alumni, students and faculty have enjoyed spending time in the bar.
“This was an aberration,” Spencer said. “A senseless act.”
Speaking on behalf of the students and the college Spencer said, “We love Naperville and this incident isn’t going to change that.”
During public comment period, Resident Rick Strawbridge asked the council to take another look at its late night liquor permit ordinance, which would allow establishments that serve food to stay open and operate as taverns, only serving alcohol from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. during the week and 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday.
The liquor subcommittee found only a few “egregious outliers,” Strawbridge said, but he asked that someone take another look at the ordinance and attempt to come up with something that is “practical and fair.”
Former school principal Chuck Seidel said he knew many of the council members and knew the council would act reasonably and not overreact.
“Reason will prevail,” he said. “Act cautiously and use good judgment.”
City Council member Doug Krause asked the council to reconsider the late night permits, before they are issued. He said this was the last opportunity for the council to address the matter, otherwise it would have to wait more than 60 days and by then the permits would be issued to businesses.
Krause said he was concerned about the number of calls for police in downtown and also that if another 56 businesses are added to the current 30 that are allowed to operate after 11 p.m. that the Police Department would be stretched. He also raised concerns about the cost to taxpayers.
“I ask my fellow council members to discuss this and consider how we will pay for the extra police,” Krause said. “If we have 56 other possibilities out there, we will be stretching our department thin.”
Council member Kenn Miller said that as the citizens had said in public comment, the council should not have a knee-jerk reaction.
“We don’t have all the facts,” Miller said. “… We need to take a step back and get all the facts because we don’t know all the facts of the incident that happened last weekend.”
Miller also said Krause was talking about permits that would have kitchens closed, yet the last two incidents downtown—the stabbing last weekend and a —took place while kitchens were open.
said there are about 85,000 to 90,000 calls for service every year throughout the city of Naperville. In the downtown area, there are about 6,000 calls annually with 4,000 being officer-initiated, whether traffic stops or bar checks. The number of calls specifically related to bars downtown numbered around 1,100, while the number of calls to bars outside of downtown amounted to about 1,200. Some of those calls were bar checks or police-initiated.