I was surprised to discover last Thursday, thanks to a report on a Chicago news channel, that my home town of Crystal Lake was selected to host the rowing event for the Chicago Gay Games--I heard nothing about this local until then. Crystal Lake has a history of hosting small international events like the CABA world series, a baseball event for teens and preteens, and America's Cardboard Cup Regatta.
Crystal Lake has strong history of looking at the bottom line before anything else. If there's money to be made we want it, but when the event was put to the vote it wasn't approved because of a 2-2 vote. The reason this occurred because the park district president, Jerry Sullivan, was on vacation in Mexico. He just returned Friday. The board members that voted no said it was because it would inconvenience the residents who wished to use the lake the day of the event.
My reaction is WTF. I live one block from the lake and have my life inconvenienced every year during the Fourth of July because they close of my street in order to control traffic during the annual parade and fireworks.
Anyway, now that the board president back, he wants to put it to vote again. He was quoted as say, "I think that's something we'd be able to manage without any real inconvenience" and "my gut reaction would be that I most likely would be in favor of it."
The debate has gotten weird. One of the park commissioner said, "What surprised is how far the conversation strayed from the topic at hand." "There were people discussing AIDS and disease and health issues, and that was so distant from the true issue, which is a unique athletic event on our lake.
I think the best quote out of the whole thing is from our mayor, Aaron Shepley. he's a true politician and businessman. "I am certainly surprised. The one thing I've always believed is that when we make decisions, we make them on on the merits of the proposal, not personal preference or anything else."
LOL There seems to be a lot of surprised people. There shouldn't be McHenry county is a fairly conservative area dominated by Republicans.
The opinion column of the local paper has been just as weird the last couple days.
Then mayor followed up with, "It's not the controversy we want that puts Crystal Lake on the map." "Crystal Lake is not a community that discriminates. We're not a community of people that are closed-minded."
I've discussed this with my family. Remember what I said about the bottom line? My father said that nobody should fight this because the would set up precedent and make Crystal Lake a candidate, if Chicago hosts the summer Olympics. I pointed out the immediate benefit of the influx of gay money.
The board will be voting again Tuesday. I'm going to try and attend.