Well, dear readers, when we left our story last time we were pondering some of the financial facts surrounding the Moretti family- restaurateurs and friends of mayor DiMaria- being given the opportunity to lease the property from the village for a ridiculously paltry sum for an extended period. Morton Grovers will have yet another pizzaria to enjoy, but they might want to consider when they pay the check that they not only have paid for their pizza, but also for the land under the restaurant… the alleged contamination of that land… and who knows what else.
Today we ask the question; “Does the change in the massage parlor ordinance mean an announcement of exciting new businesses by the Mayor?”
Morton Grove. because of it’s Home Rule status, can license the parlors and make them subject to spot inspection. (Home Rule allows a municipality with more than 25,000 residents or one whose citizens have voted to become a Home Rule unit to do pretty much anything not forbidden by state law.)
According to The Morton Grove Champion,
Village board members voted unanimously at their Dec. 12, 2016 meeting to adopt the new regulations which officials said are intended to give the village better oversight of massage therapy establishments.
(The main thrust of these new regulations increases the fee for a license to provide revenue for the village)
“The regulation of massage establishments is a matter of growing importance to public health safety and the welfare of residents,” said Trustee Bill Grear. “And is intended to prevent the spread of diseases through unsanitary practices and…abate nuisances and unlawful activity.”
Village administrator Ralph Czerwinski said there are currently four massage therapy establishments in the village and that another application is pending. He explained that none of the current ones are suspected of anything inappropriate, but the village just wants to proactively have measures in place.
“There should be rules because it protects the community and provides a healthy and appropriate environment,” Czerwinski said.
He said Morton Grove started partnering with Glenview earlier this year to have Glenview health inspectors inspect Morton Grove food and restaurant facilities and said the same practice will be extended to massage therapy establishments. So on top of everything else, Morton Grove taxpayers are paying Glenview for inspection services. Where is the oversight by the Morton Grove administration?
Here’s a thought, why doesn’t Morton Grove require the licenses of the massage therapists to be posted (state law, already), add the requirement that photos with names, addresses and phone numbers of the therapists would have to be posted as well… as well as, photos, names, addresses and phone numbers of supervisors.
You might wonder why this would even be an issue until you look back over the past few years and find that there have been a number of prostitution arrests associated with massage establishments in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago.
A few years ago, prior to the current administration, Morton Grove was winning national acclaim for being a great place to raise a family. Since then, we have seen an explosive increase in liquor licenses and gambling establishments with little, if any benefit for the quality of life for Morton Grovers.
Village officials claim that there is no suspicion of anything inappropriate, yet a website called RUB MAPS
whose motto is “Where Fantasy Meets Realty”, where people literally suggest who to request & other “personal services” info on all kinds of massage parlors, lists three “questionable establishments, one on Waukegan and two on Dempster… one of which on Dempster was shut down by the Morton Grove Police.
The frightening thing is that these establishments could be involved in human trafficking, meaning under aged women or women from foreign countries could be brought into Morton Grove and once here, forced to work in these places. It wouldn’t be surprising if drugs are involved in some. The working gals could be drugged up and become addicted, resulting in a dependency and vicious circle. There is also the possibility of gang activity and drug trafficking. All sorts of bad stuff is possible.
What is happening in our once family-friendly suburb? Follow the politicians; follow the legal folks, but most of all, follow the money.
This all begs the question; “Why isn’t the press or somebody investigating and reporting on this?”