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Our view: Lombard trustees know when to fold on video gaming

Published: Thursday, July 3, 2014 9:26 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 25, 2014 4:38 a.m. CDT

If the art of gambling is knowing the odds and having the will power to walk away from a strong hand, then the Lombard village trustees might make excellent gamblers.

They'll just have to do it in someone else's town.

The village appeared to be on a path toward lifting its ban on video gaming in Lombard heading into last week's Village Board meeting. An outcry from residents, however, proved to shift those odds.

The trustees listened and showed they do, in fact, know when to fold 'em.

Weeks earlier, on May 1, the six trustees voted 3 to 3 on a motionto ask village staff to draft an ordinance repealing the ban. Village President Keith Giagnorio's tie-breaking vote in favor of the motion pushed the village one step closer to legalizing video gaming.

The trustees even held a special workshop to hash out details should the ban be repealed.

But before last week's board meeting, before the workshop, the overall consensus among the trustees was shifting.

Several residents showed up last week to use the public comment portion of the meeting to express their disapproval of legalized gaming. But their concerns quickly turned to gratitude after the board unexpectedly opened the meeting with a vote. A motion touphold the video gambling ban won 5 to 1.

Residents, deservedly, received credit from the trustees for making their position clear and swaying the final decision.

Giagnorio's vote was not needed to break a deadlock this time, but he had already made up his mind with help from the community. "You made it clear to your elected officials that you did not want video gambling," he said before the vote.

A few businesses showed support of legalizing gaming back in May but had since softened their voice on the issue. If the businesses had continued to push or if residents had surfaced on the side of legalizing gaming, then trustees would have been justified in keeping the debate alive beyond last week's scheduled first reading of two proposed ordinances.

The support for video gaming just wasn't there.

The trustees did their job. They listened to the people who deal the cards come election time. And it's important elected officials remember how hard it is to beat the dealer.

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