City Council Meeting Tonight – 1st Reading of Residential Rental Ordinance- Citizens Beware!

6:00 pm at City Council Chambers at 524 West Stephenson Street, 3rd Floor
If you have Comcast Cable, go to channel 17 to watch live.
See complete agenda at http://www.ci.freeport.il.us/citygovernment/Agendas/A20131104.pdf

Some items of interest at meeting:

Presentations on following: rental property registration process in other municipalities, housing demolitions to date and estimated costs, and City Hall alternatives.
These presentations should all be interesting and worth watching!

Reappointments of Jon C. Staben (appointed first time on September 16, 2013) and Stephen Lafferty to Planning Commission
1st Reading of Ordinance dealing with regulation of residential rental property – All residents of Freeport should read this ordinance. To read it go to http://www.cityoffreeport.org/OrdRes/COUNCIL%20ITEM7%2020131104.pdf

Issues that should be addressed:
Will the benefits of this ordinance justify its cost?
Will this ordinance solve or reduce the crime issues facing Freeport?
Will the registration fees pay for the enforcement of this ordinance? The answer to this one is simple – NO. It will create another level of bureaucracy in the City of Freeport and in the end just more taxes will be paid by the law abiding residents of Freeport and small business owners.

The Crime Free Housing Lease Provision required in each lease will not solve the crime or housing issues facing this community. Perhaps, in the past if laws had been enforced with existing police personel and resources properly allocated, the City would not be facing these issues today.

As has been pointed out before, the Gitz Adminstration has many of the same people as in the previous administration. The result – the same failed polices as in the past. More bureucratic regulations will not help if there are not people capable of implementing them.

Example of law abiding citizen penalized by this ordinance:

John Hightaxpayer has a duplex which he has rented for 20 years with no problem. In fact he has never really needed written leases since his tenants tend to stay for many years with no problems, and at the present time his wife’s mother is renting one of the units. Now under GitzCare he must do the following:

1. He must register his rental unit by April 1, 2014 or pay a fine. An annual registration fee of $35.00 must be paid.
2. All of his rental agreements must be in writing.
3. Rental agreement must include 2 pages of Crime Free Housing Provision.
4. His wife’s mother has another daughter who usually visits mother for week or more each year. Surprise – mother must notify John Hightaxpayer in writing of the first and last names of the guest (the daughter) who will be residing in the unit for 7 days or more. Roger Policeman sees that there is a visitor at the John Hightaxpayer duplex. Since Roger Policeman was assigned to seat belt violation duty, he was not that busy. In fact Roger Policeman lives in the same neighborhood. Roger Policeman in a contemptuous mannor contacts John Hightaxpayer, and asks him (oral or written request can be made by police) to furnish the name of the visitor. John Hightaxpayer says it is none of his business and makes some offensive remark to Roger Policeman. The policeman arrests John Hightaxpayer for disorderly conduct. Meanwhile a few blocks away a store is robbed and clerk murdered, but Roger Policeman misses the call since has just cuffed John Hightaxpayer.

Unfortunately, good intentions do not always equal good laws.

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2 thoughts on “City Council Meeting Tonight – 1st Reading of Residential Rental Ordinance- Citizens Beware!

  1. Pingback: Freeport City Council Meeting Tonight November 18, Vote on Rental Ordinance Scheduled – And Mr. Gitz – Read My Lips! | Good Day Illinois - Happenings in Northwest Illinois

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