From one viewpoint, it was like two rams butting heads with the intent of knocking the other out. It didn’t go that way, but Mayor Bob Russell and party promoter Marlon Eilts exchanged differing views in regard to a decision made to limit the number of alcoholic beverages one is allowed at a proposed party coming up this summer.
    This discussion was held at the Pontiac City Council meeting Monday and was brewing for a couple of weeks after Eilts learned his Summer Shindig was going to have a drink limit.
    Eilts, who arrived late to the meeting, came out firing with a prepared statement.
    “Everything on the food and music has been running smoothly, the only exception to the positive progress has been the thorn in my side, to say the least, is receiving details on the rules for distribution of alcohol for my vendors, which I finally received from the mayor by email on April 7,” Eilts said in addressing the council.
    His complaint is the drink limit, which has been set at four for the eight-hour event. Eilts’ complaint includes his belief after the Jan. 22 city council meeting that there was not going to be a drink limit.
    “Nevertheless, the mayor, as the liquor commissioner, took it upon himself with the unilateral authority to impose a drink maximum because of his strong conviction against the use of alcohol at the event in the first place,” Eilts stated. “This is just plain wrong.”
    Eilts continued to rant about how there was a lack of communication between the city and his group, adding that he feels he has been misled. He added that he considered cancelling the event.
    Later during the non-discussion discussion of the matter (once Eilts finished reading his statement, he expected discussion and Russell was looking to move on to the next topic on the agenda.
    In an effort to try to draw others into the fray and continue the discussion, Eilts pointed out that the mayor needs to set aside “prejudices and listen to the council and residents.”
    “Why is it when every time I approach the council, the majority, supermajority, outside of maybe one or two voters, have been approving the way towards it (but) we’re going let one person deny the whole premise of the event?” Eilts asked.
    In response, Russell, who had been taking this in with a calm and stoic demeanor, stated, “You started with zero alcohol in the parks. We’re at four, I would think that you be turning a cartwheel. You’ve gone a long way.”
    Aldermen Bill Kallas and Kelly Eckhoff also asked about discussion and the mayor said it had been discussed behind closed doors, presumably with the parties involved.
    City Attorney Alan Schrock pointed out that, ultimately, it is the mayor’s decision as liquor commissioner; that it is the right of the mayor to use his discretion with the right amount of control rather than total prohibition.
    The city had to pass a new ordinance to allow alcohol in the park.
    Alderman Brian Gabor, who is also an attorney, pointed out that the new ordinance was created for this event.
    Adding to the problem for the mayor is the apparent lack of plan that has been presented to him in regard to logistics of the Summer Shindig site at Humiston-Riverside Park.
    Later, in public comment, Eilts noted that there is a website and Facebook page for the event.
    Before Eilts took the podium, GLCEDC CEO Adam Dontz addressed the council regarding a tax abatement for Anthony Liftgates.
    “I think the spirit of that agreement was to include the parking lot,” Dontz said. “There was discussion about (a) setback and the paving of the parking lot. The way it was written, the parking lot wasn’t included, so this is an amendment to that initial agreement that was passed by the city, the county, 429 school district and Dist. 90.”
    The council approved the amendment to the abatement to include the parking lot.
    In other business, the council approved a facade grant for Steve Mueller-State Farm in the amount of $2,850.
    Building and Zoning Director Dave Wilson offered Eric Rients as the new plumbing inspector for the city. The council approved this.
    WWTP Superintendent Jacob Kinkade proposed the purchase of a John Deere Z950M mower through the Illinois State Bid Program at a cost of $7,687.58, which is $1,012.42 less expensive that the next lowest bid for a similar mower.
    Among the items approved on the consent agenda was the Dan Trost Scoreboard for Jaycee Park.