Like Bob Seger, who celebrated a birthday this month, state Sen. Terry Link, D-Waukegan, is a gamblin' and ramblin' man, tumbling the dice one more time to get a casino in Lake County. This time, his target is Park City. Is he serious?
Park City home to a gambling den? Will city fathers bring back those late night tavern hours? Wait, Park City only has one bar, the Park Lounge. That would be a real draw for area gamblers --- not!
What's behind Sen. Link's latest scheme? He has the backing of Senate President Jon Cullerton, D-Chicago, and we all know Chicago lawmakers don't do anything unless they have the blessing of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. Link's latest plan is to expand the number of state gaming licenses to include Park City, Chicago and Rockford.
He apparently has given up on Waukegan. Is this punishment for Waukegan voters electing rogue Democrat Robert Sabonjian the city's new mayor? Sabonjian the Younger doesn't seem too concerned about this snub, maintaining he has other plans (such as?) to raise millions of gambling revenue which under Link's scheme would go to Park City --- if a license is granted.
Link may have a good idea here. Park City gets the revenue, but the bulk of jobs would go to Waukeganites, undoubtedly. Park City's labor pool is, shall we say, slightly lacking.
But beyond that, where is there room for a casino is Park CIty? Waukegan offered up 32 acres at Fountain Square. The only locale for that in Park CIty would be the former Waukegan Speedway property at Washington Street and Teske Boulevard.
Wouldn't that make for a lovely gaming site, surrounded as it is with tire stores, a state salt dome, and a few junkyards, not to mention trailer parks --- oops, mobile home vistas. Besides, exactly what's underneath that land which serves as an entryway into Waukegan.
What's Link thinking? Perhaps he isn't considering he and his Democratic troops couldn't get Dick Hyde re-elected Waukegan's mayor. Link is vulnerable and a strong Democratic primary challenge the next time around could bring down this one-time powerful pol. Unless, of course, he gambles he can bring a casino to little old Park City. Ka-ching!