Every day, hundreds of businesses in Mount Pleasant follow the rules and ordinances of the village. They file for permits, have regular inspections and zoned to be located in the correct place to do business. They do it to protect the safety of their customers, employees and the interest of property owners around them.
They know if they don't follow the rules, the village can fine them or shut them down.
It is deeply unfair to legal businesses in our community that village officials would allow any business to ignore those same rules and responsibilities. Ordinances aren't supposed to be optional.
Ron Primuth operates a business located in a residential neighborhood and was told to close or move by the village in 1992. They gave him a 13-year extension to operate there until 2005 and then close or move. He did neither.
At the time, business owners testified before the zoning board and said the village was encouraging illegal behavior. They said it was unfair they had to relocate their businesses, and a man whose wife was the village clerk and close friends with many officials, did not.
Primuth's business has started on fire twice since it was ordered to close. Although it's a place of employment and required by law to have regular fire inspections, no record of any could be found when an open records request was filed. More special treatment.
There aren't supposed to be two sets of rules — one for the friends of village trustees and another for everyone else. Fairness is long overdue on this issue.