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Ellsworth village board deals with license issues

The Ellsworth Village Board dealt with an appeal to grant an operator's license at its monthly meeting Monday evening at the Village Hall.

The meeting, which was chaired by pro tem Kenny Manfred due to the absence of Village President Gerald DeWolfe, heard an appeal by Caitlyn Speirs to the denial of her operator's license application by the Health, License and Welfare Committee back on Aug. 16. Village Police Chief Greg Place to the board that he recommended the denial of the license due her absence at the committee meeting and to the fact four underage drinking citations were not listed on the application.

"The application is clear, it asks you to list any and all violations you've been cited for within a five-year period," Place said. "The fact it was filled out incorrectly means by village ordinance, I am compelled to reject it."

Place there are several circumstances in which village ordinances require the Chief of Police to reject operator's licenses, including having two citations within a two-year period although that was not the situation in Speirs' case.

Speirs made an impassioned plea to the board to grant her appeal saying she stayed out of trouble and had a job at the Freedom Value Center store which requires her to have an operator's license to handle alcohol sales.

"I don't have the same friends. I don't hang out with the same people since then," Speirs said. "My tickets were citations and not criminal offenses so I misread the application and that's why I didn't list them, not because I was being devious. I need this job and I need the license to have it."

Others spoke on Speirs' behalf testifying to her making an honest mistake on the application and her needs for employment.

While the board didn't grant an appeal, they did assist her by voting for a committee recommendation to change the ordinance that allows for re-application after 60 days from applying instead of 90 days which it was previously. Speirs says she plans to file for re-application at that which is in mid-October.

The board did unanimously approve granting an operator's license Amanda Cheney-Franzen. The license application had been turned down by Place for a similar reason, not listing previous citations which she said forgot about from four years previous. She said she worked the closing shift at Holiday gas station and store and needs the license to work.