Category Archives: Theft through “Occupancy and Safety”.

Part II of the Collinsville Attempt at Crime Free – But You Don't Need to Know

I received an email from someone regarding the previous discussion on the Collinsville Crime Free/Occupancy Ordinance.

Draft of revised, and equally sophomoric, ordinance.

The City is not replying to emails from some concerned landlords who merely want an opportunity to partake in the discussion on this issue. It appears the City has made up its mind that this is going through despite what public sentiment may be. The wording has been changed to presumably appease some of the landlords, but it is still ambiguous, poorly-written, and vague. This is by design.

The City can no more prevent crime by way of such an ordinance any more than they can with law enforcement tools presently at their disposal. Laws exist to protect the rights of the individual, not to perpetuate or supplement the power of the State or city council. In essence, the city is saying that landlords attract criminals and people who rent are the cause of the City’s crime problems.

Regarding “Nuisances”, the language has been changed to specify “felony crimes”, but read carefully:

“…or the commission of any two or more other felony crimes under the laws of the State of Illinois or United States, not otherwise listed above.” They also list, “pandering, sale of obscene publication, criminal housing management, gambling, any violation of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, any violation of the Cannabis Control Act…” Now, they do not mention “conviction”, they mention commission. This can mean if the police charge that you have committed, even though you have not been tried or convicted, you can be in violation of this ordinance. How do they also define the rest of the list, “pandering…”?  More ambiguity and vagueness.

The City is working on a sophisticated method of ethnic cleansing and creating an administrative end-run around constitutional protections. Should you ever find yourself in an administrative venue just try bringing the constitution into the argument. The judge will tell you the Constitution does not apply in his court. He is telling the truth, because when you are being processed “administratively”, you have signed something and now possess a license or permit which they control.

The best approach is to disobey en masse and prepare for a prosecution which will fall apart upon proper challenges.

As corporate counsel, Steve Giacoletto told me, (paraphrasing), “They pass bad law all the time, but it is still law until someone challenges it.” There you go. Straight from the horses mouth.

A true “Crime Free” ordinance would include disbanding the fools sitting in judgment over you “renters” and “landlords”…. and people in general.

There is a good article on about how arrest record screenings fail to fight crime while impeding fair housing.

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The real slumlords – Government leading by example

The City of Collinsville, Illinois recently abandoned an ordinance which would have forced landlords to open their tenants doors and private lives to government intervention and inspection; requiring tenants to apply for and receive a occupancy permit to inhabit an apartment. It would also have forced private home owners to procure the same permit by bringing their aging homes up to a 2009 building code, thereby forcing people to spend money for improvements they may not otherwise have, nor can afford; and all for perceived threats to safety or health. The pejorative leveled against the landlords has been that of slumlord, as well as seeking to profit at the expense of others (unwitting tenants).

Let us look at the true slumlord, government. Who is it that provides salaries for malfeasing nincompoops, otherwise known as councilperson, mayor, legislator, judge, police officer…, at the expense of tax payers? Who is it that by the actions of their “government actors”, people are defrauded of their earnings, livelihoods, investments, liberty, and consent? Who is it that takes more and more, yet the fruits of their labor, infrastructure, safety, accountability, responsibility, efficiency… are either crumbling, insufficient, or non-existent? Who creates a presumably “safe society” which provides the necessities of those consenting and voting, yet creates a political slum within which we are held hostage by more and more oppressive rules and taxes which benefit non other than the oligarchs themselves? It would appear that within the realm of slumlords, government has written the rulebook and excelled in its application.

Are government actors not the true slumlords? Do they  not create an unsafe environment for many? Sure, some people may be happy, getting the “show case” apartment, but the rest of the people live in political squalor. For government to identify a deficiency with society and attempt to speak on behalf of those who need their assistance, while at the same time failing to live up to the expectations of the consenting governed, is disingenuous and deceitful. They always ask for a “little more” of our liberty in order to make the world an almost perfect place, while at the same time we end up toiling tirelessly to support their failed endeavors and dividing ourselves ever more. Shame on us.

The Aim to Repeal Home Rule for Collinsville

Petitions (St. Clair County Version and Madison County Version) – See relevant part of Illinois Election Code at bottom of this post. (10 ILCS 5/28‑7)

Petition for Referendum to Repeal Home Rule for Collinsville Madison County Version

Petition for Referendum to Repeal Home Rule for Collinsville St. Clair County Version

The people of Collinsville just recently avoided a draconian Occupancy Permit Ordinance and Crime Free Ordinance thanks to the combined efforts of local activists and concerned citizens. This issue is not over by any stretchy of the imagination. The proponents of this ordinance are regrouping and crafting a new ordinance as I type. They are taking all of the input from the dissenters and massaging the legalese to work on fears and prejudices of the masses. Related Story Here.

The timing of this move is no accident. Collinsville achieved home rule status pursuant to the Illinois Constitution by way of a special census just within the past few years. One of the speakers at the City Council Meeting, Dennis Hillege, even admitted that he has been striving for this objective for some 15 years. Mr. Hillege serves on the planning board. What has kept them at bay for this time has been the lack of authority to pass such an ordinance. Thanks to the still fresh home rule powers, the impetus to push this agenda has been realized.

I have to wonder if the people of Collinsville want to relive the stress and effort of waging a war consisting of deceit, misinformation, and propaganda when they are out-manned and out-spent at the outset? This was but one victory in a potentially long war. Taking the lessons of recent events to heart, I believe it is time to strike at the root and repeal the home rule status of Collinsville.

The City functioned just fine with powers bestowed by the Illinois Legislature. There are no special urban needs or circumstances peculiar to Collinsville as with other municipalities. Collinsville is surrounded by other home rule municipalities who are none the better for their expanded powers. Belleville has a crime problem and much blight. Business has moved out and the area looks tired. Home rule does little to enhance the life of the inhabitants but does much for the taxing and regulatory powers. Any increase in governmental power usually results in an increased benefit to the oligarchs and not to the people.

This article will be modified regularly over the coming days so check back regularly. More information on how to put a referendum to the voters for repealing home rule will be posted as well as unbiased information on the pros and cons of home rule. I am not anti-home rule, but I am anti-unresponsive and prejudicial government. This occupancy and crime free ordinance was but a taste of what kind of irresponsible power would possibly await the people should the City retain a great amount of power. Collinsville is not suffering, crime ridden, blighted, or otherwise hobbled. With citizen-driven civic pride and responsibility, the power can be kept out of the hands of the oligarchs and the money in the pockets of the people.

I also wonder if it may not be time to reconsider the organization of the City’s government, or should I say the citizen’s government. I am including information relating to such below. Collinsville presently functions under a managerial form of government.

More to come………….

(65 ILCS 5/1‑1‑8) (from Ch. 24, par. 1‑1‑8)
Sec. 1‑1‑8. Whenever this Code requires or authorizes the submission of a proposition or question to referendum, whether initiated by action of the corporate authorities or by petition, upon such initiation, the proposition or question shall be certified, in accordance with the general election law, to the proper county clerks and boards of election commissioners. Those election authorities shall submit the proposition or question to the voters of the municipality, or to the voters of such other territory as are entitled to vote thereon, at an election in accordance with the general election law. Whenever this Code requires referendum approval by the voters of any ordinance adopted by a municipality, and no specific procedure is provided for initiating the referendum, the referendum shall be initiated by the passage of such ordinance and shall be certified for the next regular election in accordance with the general election law.
Whenever this Code requires or authorizes a special election to be held for the purpose of filling a vacancy in office, the office and the candidates therefor shall be similarly certified, in accordance with the general election law.
Municipal clerks and clerks of the circuit court shall perform all election duties, including certifications and publication of notices, in connection with the conduct of elections of officers and referenda on the submission of questions or propositions to referendum as provided in the general election law.
(Source: P.A. 81‑1489.)
(65 ILCS 5/1‑1‑9) (from Ch. 24, par. 1‑1‑9)
Sec. 1‑1‑9. If a municipality which is a home rule unit under Section 6 of Article VII of the Constitution by reason of having a population of more than 25,000 suffers a loss in population so that its population determined as provided in Section 1‑7‑2 is 25,000 or less, such municipality shall continue to have the powers of a home rule unit until it elects by referendum not to be a home rule unit.
Unless such a referendum is held sooner, or such a referendum has been held within the 2 calendar years preceding the year in which the population is determined to be 25,000 or less, the municipal clerk shall certify for submission to the voters of the municipality at the next general election following such determination of population, in the manner provided by the general election law, the proposition of whether the municipality shall elect not to be a home rule unit.
(Source: P.A. 82‑94.)\

Information on various forms of government in Illinois

Aldermanic-City Form
Under the aldermanic-city form, the legislative body ordinarily consists of two aldermen from each ward elected for a four-year term. Their terms are staggered so that half are elected every two years. The number of aldermen elected depends upon the population of the city. The mayor is the chief executive officer of the municipality. The mayor, city clerk, and city treasurer are elected at large (Village or citywide) to a four-year term. Other offices and vacancies are filled by appointment by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council, although it may be provided by ordinance that these offices be filled by election.

Trustee-Village Form
Under the trustee-village form, the legislative body consists of six trustees, generally elected from the village at large. The number of trustees does not vary with the size of the municipality. Villages of over 25,000 population may have each of the six trustees elected by district instead of from the village.

The village president and clerk are elected at large, but the village treasurer is appointed. The term of the president, trustees, and clerk is four years, unless reduced to two years by referendum. As with the mayor in the aldermanic-city form, the appointments to all nonelective offices are made by the president with the advice and consent of the board of trustees. If the village collector is appointed, the village board may provide by ordinance that the elected village clerk also hold the office of village collector.

Commission Form
The commission form of government is limited to cities or villages under 200,000 population. Under this form, the voters elect at large a mayor and four commissioners who serve as the council. At the first regular meeting after an election, the council designates each member to be either the commissioner of accounts and finances, public health and safety, streets and public improvements, or public property. The mayor serves as commissioner of public affairs. The council may elect the clerk and treasurer, as well as all the other officers whose appointment is not delegated, as it may be, to one commissioner. Each commissioner is given executive control over such administrative departments as may be assigned to him. By referendum, the electors may provide for the election of commissioners to specific departments.

Manager Form
The manager form of government is available to all municipalities under 500,000 in population. The municipality may retain its governmental structure as an aldermanic-city form, trustee-village form, or commission form while adopting the features of the manager form.

Under this form, the power of the council or board is purely legislative, except that it is empowered to approve all expenses and liabilities of the municipality. The manager is the administrative and executive head of the government for some purposes. The manager appoints and removes all officers not required to be elected. The appointment to most boards, commissions, and other municipal agencies resides in the mayor or president subject to council or board confirmation.

Strong Mayor Form
This form of government has an elected mayor, clerk, and treasurer and, depending upon the size of the community, from eight to twenty aldermen elected from wards. The terms of elected officials are four years. The functions of an ordinary mayor are generally merged with the powers accorded a municipal manager. The mayor is given the power, without council approval, to appoint and remove his administrative assistants, budget and finance director, heads of all departments, and all other officers of the municipality, and members of commissions, boards, and agencies, except those covered by civil service. The powers of the council are purely legislative.

Administrative Form
This “form” of government is not specifically sanctioned by statute but is in use in a number of municipalities. It may be used in all but the manager form of government. It is not really a “form” of government but rather a legislative device adopted by municipalities which seek a full-time administrator without the permanency of the manager form of government. Under this system, a municipality creates by ordinance the office or employment of “administrator” and endows such an office or employment with certain administrative powers. The administrator may be made the administrative head of all departments and may be given any power not specifically granted to another person by statute. The administrator may be appointed for a term or hired by contract, or his employment may be for an unspecified period. In any case, he may be removed like any other officer or employee subject to the payment of any valid remaining portion of his contract. This system of government allows for a full-time administrator to conduct the day-to-day operations of a community armed with as much or as little power as the corporate authorities may from time to time provide by ordinance.

A good resource and discussion on Home Rule is Illinois Local Government – A Handbook (Read the section on Illinois Home Rule: Page 225)

Brochure: Home Rule and You

(10 ILCS 5/28‑7) (from Ch. 46, par. 28‑7)
Sec. 28‑7. In any case in which Article VII or paragraph (a) of Section 5 of the Transition Schedule of the Constitution authorizes any action to be taken by or with respect to any unit of local government, as defined in Section 1 of Article VII of the Constitution, by or subject to approval by referendum, any such public question shall be initiated in accordance with this Section.
Any such public question may be initiated by the governing body of the unit of local government by resolution or by the filing with the clerk or secretary of the governmental unit of a petition signed by a number of qualified electors equal to or greater than 10% of the number of registered voters in the governmental unit, requesting the submission of the proposal for such action to the voters of the governmental unit at a regular election.
If the action to be taken requires a referendum involving 2 or more units of local government, the proposal shall be submitted to the voters of such governmental units by the election authorities with jurisdiction over the territory of the governmental units. Such multi‑unit proposals may be initiated by appropriate resolutions by the respective governing bodies or by petitions of the voters of the several governmental units filed with the respective clerks or secretaries.
This Section is intended to provide a method of submission to referendum in all cases of proposals for actions which are authorized by Article VII of the Constitution by or subject to approval by referendum and supersedes any conflicting statutory provisions except those contained in the “County Executive Act”.
Referenda provided for in this Section may not be held more than once in any 23‑month period on the same proposition, provided that in any municipality a referendum to elect not to be a home rule unit may be held only once within any 47‑month period.
(Source: P.A. 82‑750.)

The People of Collinsville avoid the Occupancy Permit Ordiance, but Landlords Still in the Crosshairs – Next Step…..

Collinsville, Illinois Regular Meeting Where Occupancy Ordinance is Defeated

Related story here

This is video from the Collinsville City Council Meeting where the Occupancy and Crime Free Ordinance was abandoned. Many people worked diligently on this issue and much credit to them.

I found this video to be particularly interesting. Some speakers attempt to portray the speakers as being mainly landlords, but if there are so many concerned residents as the proponents of the ordinance suggest then why are they absent from the proceedings, save for a few sycophants?

The “Input from Residents” begins at 27:56

The other speakers appeared in the following order and appeared at the designated times.

Galen Patterson 33:04

Lynne Condellone 37:18

Glenn Roundtree 55:32

Dennis Hellige 56:52

Mr. Hellige is quite the little fascist. He serves on the board and has been trying to get this ordinance passed for some 15 years or so. He accused the landlords of “…trying to make a dime off the residents….” It sounds like Mr. Hellige is describing the methodology of government with its taxes and fees; trying to make a dime off the residents. More information on Mr. Hellige follows:

Tami Springer 1:05:33

Ms. Springer is probably the most hilarious one of the bunch. She is obviously a doting council idolater and in need of attention. She is almost, well, childlike. When I say childlike I imply immature. She runs a counter-top shop. Ms. Springer likes the idea of the mayor being the “parent of us”. I’m sorry, but that is a weird and idiotic statement.

All-in-all, an impressive win for the ordinary people who put up a fight to be able to live in their homes and apartments without permission from the City.

Next step…. repeal Collinsville’s home rule status by referendum.

There is a good article on about how arrest record screenings fail to fight crime while impeding fair housing.

Collinsville Health & Safety/Crime Free Ordinance – An Analysis of Theft by Fear

This piece will focus on the “wording” of the Collinsville Health & Safety/Crime Free Ordinance. SEE RELATED ARTICLE HERE

Ordinance Flyer for redistribution – PDF Format

Microsoft Word Document for Redistribution


John Miller, Mayor (618) 345-6514

Nancy Moss (618) 345-5329

Liz Dalton (618) 345-4660

Lisa Ciampoli (618) 345-7607

Jeff Kypta 618-345-0996

You must first ask yourself, why “now”? Collinsville, like most municipalities, has been taxing the “residents” (please avoid using that word if you do not k now the legal meaning) for as long as many can remember, yet, virtually all municipalities are resorting to deceit and quiet-theft to support bloated salaries, benefits, paybacks, political favoritism, corporate benefactors, and a host of other fraudulent endeavors that benefit anyone but the “citizen”. It is a protectionist racket and you, the taxpayers, are the serfs paying tribute to your rulers. Isn’t the system supposed to be created and controlled by the so-called “People”? Then why have the tables turned to where you now look over your shoulder for the next code violation to sap your time, energy, and money?

When you read a piece of legislation, ordinance, statute…. do NOT pretend to understand what it is saying in the language you read. You cannot use a dictionary to interpret such things. Have you noticed that section 8.02.020 of the code is titled “Definitions”? If you are a reasonably educated individual, why would the City need to define such words as “City”, “Person”, “Tenant”….? Do most people not understand what such words mean? Yet, the Code takes deliberate measure to “define” them, not as words, but as “legal terms”. There is a significant difference. The City puts this piece before you knowing you will not dig any deeper to inquire why they define words you presumably already know.

Likewise, they also fail to define words that carry significant relevance to the application and enforcement of the Code. For instance, Section 8.02.050 titled “Fees” states, “All application, inspection, or other fees relating to this Chapter shall be provided for in the Municipal Code, as may be amended.” What “other fees” are they referring to? What does “relating to this Chapter” mean? How many other ordinances “relate” to this Chapter where there is an associated fee that may be impacted? Basically, they have Carte blanche to assess any fees they deem appropriate and you will foot the bill because this was passed.

These are just a few of the concerns you should have over this proposed Ordinance. I will touch on the more significant issues, but I strongly urge you to contact your City Council members and tell them to not vote for the passage of this oppressive Code. They will likely scare you with statistics and reports, but let’s be reasonable; if society is crumbling as they like to purport, do you want to be a captive in your “Code Compliant” home fearful of every person walking the street? This Ordinance is nothing more than a revenue generating measure designed to exploit your fear and ignorance. It is no coincidence that at a time when cities are broke, infrastructure crumbling, and crime rampant (if you believe such things) that this is offered as a panacea to sooth your anxiety. Ask them, what have they done with all the monies confiscated through taxation and fees to-date; and why do we have such problems if they were remotely responsible from the beginning. Governments create circumstances to support statistics with which to frighten you into giving up more liberty for more control and money to line the pockets of the “rulers”.

There is a good article on about how arrest record screenings fail to fight crime while impeding fair housing.


Page 1:

Number of issues involving WHEREAS –

“…lacked an effective health and safety code enforcement program to provide for periodic inspection of commercial and residential buildings throughout the City.” – If it has lacked an effective one to this point what makes us believe that this one will be any more effective? What do they mean by “lacking an effective” code? Does that mean it has not been effective in taking more of your money? There is essentially no difference because they refuse to enforce the Codes on the books, but they need a justification for your dollars. This implies that the City, with all the money and resources over the years, has failed to do its job and NOW require this Code to keep you safe. Did they intentionally let things get so bad (which I posit they are not) in order to plea to your insecurities in getting this passed? Honestly, the less power the City has the better.

“…the lack of such a health and safety enforcement program has permitted portions of the City’s commercial and residential housing inventory to become substandard….” – First of all, it is NOT the “City’s” inventory. It belongs to the owners. When did the City assume ownership of this property? Was it the lack of “such a health and safety enforcement…” policy, or was it the lack of enforcement of current Codes that caused the problem? Again, it is the lack of money provided by way of the current Code that is the problem.

“…improving the commercial and residential housing environment throughout the City requires inspection of buildings…” – I say it involves enforcing the Code on the books. Inspection is not necessary. They are making a case that the people are incapable of correcting their own issues and therefore required to spend money on things that are not necessarily a safety issue, but which the City will benefit from by charging for inspections and enforcement. Why now is there a need for this? I’ll tell you, because now they need the pretext to charge the fees.

“…the goal of the Health and Safety Inspection Program is to increase the health, safety, and general welfare of the public while strengthening neighborhoods…” – Excuse me, but the “goal” is to create a pretext for unwarranted searches of people’s homes in order to “cleanse” the City of what it deems “undesirables” and make a tidy sum in the process. How does this Code contribute to the health, safety, or general welfare? Isn’t that the job of the people to determine what is in their best interests? What does a building code have to do in the grand scheme of things in improving such things when it will COST the majority of people more money than they may deem worth their “health, safety, or general welfare”. I can tell you that there will be an incentive to refinance homes at lower rates to pay for code violations. As the values go up so do the property taxes. If you have been holding off on improvements because you are just trying to live, guess what? You will now be needing to come up with money you already to not have in order to satisfy the City. Likewise, if  they can create a “blight” situation by refusing occupancy in areas so as to cause property to decrease in value they will be moving forward with confiscation and resale to one of their most favored “developers”. Debt, taxes, and fees. The blood of government.

“…make housing safe and indirectly reduce crime by preventing the “broken window” syndrome…” – What is a “broken window” syndrome? Where is that defined in the Code and how does it directly relate to safety or crime? Maybe they are hoping to push the burden of enforcement on landlords instead of the police doing the enforcement. Again, added costs to the people. There is NO correlation between such Codes and crime reduction. Belleville has has such a Code for years and look at the crime rate in Belleville. How many gunshots are silenced by their “Code”? I actually Googled “Broken Window Syndrome” and found this information. I think Collinsville is really blowing this our of proportion. Broken Window Syndrome is a theory regarding urban disorder and vandalism. Pretty tall aspirations for little ‘ol Collinsville. Read more here.

Page 2

8.02.030 Definitions

Building – Means virtually ANYTHING with walls and a roof. That is correct. They claim jurisdiction over your storage shed, garage, outhouse….

Page 3


Dwelling – Anyplace a human being may stay seeking shelter or comfort. Nowhere you go is safe from their inspection.

Immediate family member – They now need to define what type of private association you can have with others. Look for live-ins and distant relative being removed from your “dwelling”.

Page 4


Person – “Means any natural person; firm; joint venture, including all participants; partnership, including all partners; association, social club, or fraternal organization, including all officers and directors; corporation, including all officers, directors and significant stockholders; estate; trust; business trust; receiver; or any other group or combination acting as a unit.” – Wow! Where do you fall into that list? Are you a “natural person”? Did you know that corporations are also considered “natural persons” in some instances? Think very hard about what they are saying. Do not assume anything. Generally, when used in legislation, a “natural person” is a flesh-and-blood individual, but one who is charged by law with a duty or obligation. Usually one of a fiduciary nature. It does NOT, in the normal parlance of the word, define the common man.

Page 7

8.02.060 Applications for Health and Safety Permit

C. Any Health and Safety Permit issued by the City shall not be deemed a release or waiver by the City of any requirement for compliance with all applicable sections of this Code, nor shall it constitute a guarantee that no Code violations exist. Issuance of any Health and Safety Permit shall not restrain or prohibit the City from making further inspection of the dwelling unit and giving notice of any violation of this Code at anytime, notwithstanding the validity of a Health and Safety Permit. – In other words, do not believe for a moment that because a “dwelling” has a permit it is safe. The City does not guarantee it has caught all possible violations and therefore you could still be at risk. They are too  incompetent to guarantee they are keeping you safe, even though they want the power and money to make you believe you are. If they do fail to catch some violations, whether intentionally or not, they claim the power to keep coming back again, and again, and again… until they get it right, which they cannot guarantee they will. Just pay the fee and cherish your false sense of security.

Page 9

8.02.100 Inspections Authorized; Right of Entry

This will take quite a bit of time, but in essence, you are guaranteed a minimal 4th Amendment protection. Possessing the Permit gives them additional authority to violate many aspects of the 4th Amendment because you have essentially given them permission when you applied for and received the permit. The best advice is, if you cherish your privacy and 4th Amendment protection, is to not apply for the permit and stand your ground in court.

Page 12

8.02.210 Crime Free Housing Program

A. and B. – The City is now in the business of registering landlords. What relation to health, safety, and welfare do landlords possess differently from other people? They are saying that landlords pose an increased crime risk. If this is the case, why don’t they just outlaw landlords altogether?

Page 14

8.02.230 Certificate Duration

D. All persons applying… shall submit an affidavit stating that for all leases, commencing after the effective date…they will utilize a Crime Free Lease Addendum or have clauses in all leases substantially the same as a Crime Free Lease Addendum, as further related in this Code. – They are imposing a legal duty upon the landlords which carries pains of perjury (affidavit) for failing to use the City’s language (Crime Free Lease Addendum) which has not been disclosed or made public. They are attempting to write lease agreements for landlords. If they had the power to do this it would be done through statute or law, but they don’t So, they are forcing the landlords to sign affidavits stating they will use the City’s Lease Addendum language in their leases. I say that the landlords should arrest any tenants they see breaking the law rather than calling the police if they want to control crime. How do you arrest someone if  you are a private individual? Read this. I think it would be more responsible if the landlords knew how to effect a citizens arrest and police their own properties. Since the police can’t guarantee, nor be responsible, for anyone’s safety the landlords have just as much right to arrest for crimes directly witnessed by themselves. People have a common law right to make an arrest if they personally witness a crime. However, this is not for things like vehicle or traffic offenses or ordinance violations. Real crimes are those which involve violence or harm to another or their property. Most “offenses” are NOT crimes.

Page 15

8.02.270 Crime Free Lease Addendum

A. Any owner or property agent entering into leases…shall utilize a Crime Free Lease Addendum or have a clause in the lease substantially the same as the Crime Free Lease Addendum… The Crime Free Lease Addendum shall make criminal activity a lease violation and shall specify that criminal activity shall include, but is not limited to violent criminal activity or drug related criminal activity engaged in by, facilitated by, or permitted by the tenant, a member of the household, guest or other party under the control of the tenant. – This is essentially imposing a penalty upon landlords to adopt language promulgated by the City, of which there is no mention of in the Code as far as verbiage, and creating lease violations out of undefined acts. This section is so ambiguous and arbitrary so as to be almost laughable if it weren’t so serious. First of all, how can the City dictate to the landlords what they will put into private contracts between themselves and their tenants and then to impose an enforcement duty upon the landlords to interpret what “criminal activity” is? Does it mention whether or not the activity is supported by a finding of guilt in a court of law (there’s a joke) or if it is merely the accusation of criminal activity? Who is empowered to determine what “criminal activity” is? Can anyone make an accusation that criminal activity is being engaged in by a tenant and therefore impose eviction proceedings upon that tenant at the landlord’s expense? It states that it “shall include, but is not limited to”. No limits? So the City can add criminal activities to this list as it sees fit to fabricate out of thin air? Also, what is “engaged in by, facilitated by, or permitted by the tenant…. or other party under the control of the tenant”? Where are the limits on this? How are landlords supposed to control tenants who are then to control “other parties”? This language is insane and essentially creates a prison out of rental property with the landlord becoming the warden and tenants as inmates.

8.02.280 Crime Free Housing Seminar

A. As scheduled from time to time by the City, any owner of residential rental…shall attend and complete a City of Collinsville Crime Free Housing Program Seminar… – So now, the City will schedule training for landlords and if that landlord is out of town, on a job… they will have to avail themselves to training by the City. Who is going to pay for this training and the facilities? How many classes will they offer and what if every landlord is unable to attend when they offer the schedule? Since when were people subject to any scheduling requirements for attending training by the City? Is this where the landlords are “deputized” or just brainwashed and intimidated into doing the City’s bidding? Will the City impose unreasonable duties upon them and under such training, if the landlords acts in good-faith but is then subjected to a lawsuit by a tenant he believed he was taking lawful action against, will the City hold harmless and indemnify the landlord? Will the City hold harmless and indemnify the landlords for possible violations of contracts and rights by using the Lease Addendum? Is the City not deflecting some of the liability for possible unlawful acts upon the landlords for which they will be personally liable?


What the City is intending to do is create an inroad to surveillance and control of the people by way of these permits. Do not think for a moment that when your home is “inspected” they are not looking for other violations for which to punish you. Maybe they will determine  your children look underfed or inadequately dressed. Maybe you will have something lying about which they will observe and infer criminal activity from. Maybe they will take note of your demeanor and keep an eye on you. This is big brother, no doubt about it. There were stories a few years ago about people in Belleville waking up in their beds to find inspectors in their homes. How can this happen? Because once you have the City’s permit your protections drop dramatically. This is Police State.

People have to work together or government will deem you all incompetent and stand in for you. The statistics they use are not facts, they are scientific opinions which are skewed. People who live near rental property should approach the landlords with their concerns and the landlords should be responsive. People should be reasonable. If this is a pretext to ethnic cleansing then let them come with guns and tanks and clean house like they would prefer, but do not force the people under threat of harm and punishment to open their doors and lives to the City. This Code will protect no one, but it will bestow the City with much more power at the cost of your constitutional protections.

Also, do not engage them in a debate over your Constitutional Rights. There are no such things. Constitutions do not give you any rights. Rights belong to you by way of you being a flesh-and-blood human being and your Creator, God…whatever you believe. As long as you harm no one there is no crime. The City or the State cannot fabricate crimes out of thin air. Disobeying an unjust command from a tyrant is not a crime, it is a duty.

I suggest people deluge the City with phone calls and pack the council chambers. If this passes, I recommend the landlords and everyone else to not comply. It will be scary at first, but the last line of defense is people sticking together. I also suggest you familiarize yourself with the concept of jury nullification. If called to sit on a jury over someone who merely disobeyed the City, regardless of the evidence, vote not guilty if there was no victim.

This Code is just a stepping stone to more oppressive controls and fear mongering. They can guarantee NO greater safety as they make no guarantee for the permits they issue. It is all mind control and perception. The reality is, more control for them and less freedom for you.

Furthermore, since this is all about forcing the landlords act as a law enforcement arm of government, under the pretense of you feeling safer, remember this; the police have NO duty to protect anyone and there is no recourse if they fail to do so. Here are a few cases where the courts have held that the police are not for your protection:


“Protect and to serve”, is as binding as “Good to the Last Drop”: IT IS ONLY A SLOGAN as the following court rulings clearly indicate:

Bowers v. DeVito, 686 F.2d 616 (7th Cir. 1982) (no federal constitutional requirement that police provide protection)

Calogrides v. Mobile, 475 So. 2d 560 (Ala. 1985); Cal Govt. Code 845 (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Davidson v. Westminster, 32 Cal.3d 197, 185, Cal. Rep. 252; 649 P.2d 894 (1982) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Stone v. State 106 Cal.App.3d 924, 165 Cal Rep. 339 (1980) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Morgan v. District of Columbia, 468 A.2d 1306 (D.C.App. 1983) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C.App 1981) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Sapp v. Tallahassee, 348 So.2d 363 (Fla. App. 1st Dist.), cert. denied 354 So.2d 985 (Fla. 1977); Ill. Rec. Stat. 4-102 (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Keane v. Chicago, 98 Ill. App.2d 460, 240 N.E.2d 321 (1st Dist. 1968) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Jamison v. Chicago, 48 Ill. App. 3d 567 (1st Dist. 1977) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Simpson’s Food Fair v. Evansville, 272 N.E.2d 871 (Ind. App.) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Silver v. Minneapolis, 170 N.W.2d 206 (Minn. 1969) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Wuetrich V. Delia, 155 N.J. Super. 324, 326, 382, A.2d 929, 930 cert. denied 77 N.J. 486, 391 A.2d 500 (1978) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Chapman v. Philadelphia, 290 Pa. Super. 281, 434 A.2d 753 (Penn. 1981) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Morris v. Musser, 84 Pa. Cmwth. 170, 478 A.2d 937 (1984) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)


The Illinois Constitution sets the rules for home rule municipalities. It states:

SECTION 6. POWERS OF HOME RULE UNITS (a) A County which has a chief executive officer elected by the electors of the county and any municipality which has a population of more than 25,000 are home rule units. Other municipalities may elect by referendum to become home rule units. Except as limited by this Section, a home rule unit may exercise any power and perform any function pertaining to its government and affairs including, but not limited to, the power to regulate for the protection of the public health, safety, morals and welfare; to license; to tax; and to incur debt.

(b) A home rule unit by referendum may elect not to be a home rule unit.

In my opinion, this is the first place the people of Collinsville should start. Repealing home rule. Collinsville undertook a special census for which to establish the requisite 25,000 residents needed for home rule. They claim to have 25,300. Just meeting the limit, which I posit is exaggerated. I did not participate in the census and at that time I urged others not to as well. My warnings were dismissed and hence, home rule and the power of the City to do as it pleases with only 3 votes required. Since there is a 5 member council, a majority vote consists of 3 which puts the people of Collinsville under the whim of such a small number. Not a good thing.

I suggest a petition to place on a ballot for referendum, the removal of home rule status for Collinsville. That will do a few things. It will reduce the power of the City to that which is authorized by the Legislature and the Constitution as well as protecting the people through the application of “Dillon’s Rule”, which puts the emphasis on the rights of the citizen against the City. Before anything else is done, I urge the people to repeal home rule status via referendum. This will preemptively solve many of the present and planned problems facing many of the people in Collinsville.

Second, I strongly suggest the people become familiar with Jury Nullification. As a last resort, when our fellow citizens are hauled into court for disobeying an unjust law, ordinance, or statute, it is the right of the jury and jurors to vote “not guilty” without having to explain anything to anyone, even if the evidence shows there was in-fact a violation. There are many unjust laws on the books which define no victim other than the sensibilities of the State. The people pay for courts, judges, prosecutors…etc. to prosecute these victimless crimes. People need to start refusing to convict and the State may stop prosecuting such nonsense should it turn out to be unprofitable.  Getting unjust laws overturned is almost impossible. Government does not return power once it has taken it. Juries are the last line of defense in stopping the tyranny. It takes only 1 juror to save their fellow-man.

Lastly, I suggest the more principled council-persons to propose ordinances or resolutions which recognize the sovereignty of the people and their inalienable rights. Government does not like to even discuss such matters, and having such on the books helps those who are assailed by the City by having a recognized superiority. This is probably not going to happen soon. It would take a strong, resolute individual to propose and argue for such and I can assure they would be ostracized. That said, more council-persons need to be “outsiders” to their peers and stand on basic principles of fairness, justice, and submission to the people who allegedly divest themselves of sovereignty in the name of having their rights protected as opposed to diminished.

Feel free to contact me.

Mark McCoy

An analysis of the proposed Occupancy Code for Collinsville, Illinois


Detailed Analysis of the Code Here

Related Story Here

So, what is it about a city council that makes them believe they have the right to pass an ordinance requireing anyone to procure a permit to live in their own home? Well, for one, if one claims “residency” within the corporate municipality then are then deemed to be considered to be regulated by the rules (by-laws) and ordinances which pertain only to that corporate body. Likewise, for U.S. citizens, there are no Constitutional protections since much of what regulates their behavior is codes, and regulations.

Most people do not understand what a municipality is. Here is an excerpt from a page I have which explains Municipal Law:

B. [1.2] General Concepts and Definitions

A “municipal corporation” has been defined as a public corporation created by government for political purposes and having subordinate and local powers of legislation. People ex rel.Mortell v. Bergman, 253 Ill. 469, 97 N.E. 695 (1912); BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY, p. 1042 (8th ed. 2004). As they exist today, these public corporations can be compared with private corporations. Just as private corporations have a charter under which they are organized, so, too, municipalities have a “charter” in the sense that they are organized under the general law as it exists in the Illinois Municipal Code (Code), 65 ILCS 5/1-1-1, et seq. Just as shareholders control the operations of a private corporation by ratifying a charter and electing a board of directors, the citizens comprising the electorate control the workings of the public corporation by opting to form either a city or a village under one of the forms provided in the Code and by electing officials (city council or village board), who in turn carry on the business (government) and affairs of the city or village by passing and adopting ordinances (akin to bylaws passed by the board of directors of a private corporation).

[My Commentary] So, if we look at it in these terms, we could say that Ford is a corporation (municipality) that is owned by the shareholders (Citizens/electors) who in turn elect the Officers, or Board (City Council, Mayor…) to perform the duties set forth in the Charter which were written to control the function of the “body” in achieving the ends of the shareholder/citizen. This body, in turn, passes ordinances (By-laws) that regulate the functions of that body in meeting the objectives of the shareholder/citizen. The shareholders believe that their dividends (benefits) are being wasted on providing health care coverage to workers (City employees) who smoke, and therefore want to make Ford a non-smoking company (municipality). The Board of Ford (City council) passes an ordinance (By-law) that prohibits smoking for employees of Ford (City employees). Now, does that mean that Ford can force the smoking shareholders to quit smoking as well? No. The shareholders are not subject to the regulations governing the operation of the corporate body of Ford, the same way that Citizens are not subject to the regulations (ordinances) of the corporate body (Collinsville).

So, how do we, the People, create a government that is laid out with a charter and by-laws for the purpose of securing our freedoms and liberty, as well as performing in a collective capacity that which would be otherwise inefficient or cumbersome for us to perform individually? Why, you take up “residency”, of course. Normally, Citizens retain all of their natural rights that are protected by the Constitution. However, if you want to derive any of the “corporate benefits” of the “corporation”, you must become a resident of that corporation and therefore subject to the governing by-laws of that corporation. You do not need to be a resident to walk into a public library and read a book. However, in order to take that book out of the library’s control and have it entrusted to you for safe-keeping and return, you must be a resident of that corporate body which subjects you to the ascribed penalties for violating your agreement with the library for the use and safe return of that book. That library card, that you have to sign (give your permission and therein claim the status of resident) your name and claim residency. That contract is then enforceable with fines and punishment for your violating any provision of that agreement.

Residents derive benefits or exercise privileges that Citizens do not. If your tax dollars are going to fund a function of government then you have paid your way and are asking for nothing more than a Citizen is entitled to. However. if you are deriving a benefit that cannot be traced to a service provided through your payment of taxes, then you are acting as a resident. Most of the things provided by government in its proper capacity are paid by our taxes, i.e.., water, sewer, trash, roads…etc. The City gets you to claim the status of resident in order to receive these services, which is a trap, but you are not automatically conscripted to the ordinances unless they specifically apply to a particular benefit derived.

Word trickery

If you read the proposed ordinance you will see a section called Definitions. What happens is, the drafters of the legislation use words which have common meanings, but used in a particular way which possess a “special” or “legal” meaning. They are terms, not words. The legislation imposes a duty, and penalties, upon persons. Are you a person? Look at the definition:

“Person means any natural person; firm; joint venture, including all participants; partnership, including all partners; association, social club, or fraternal organization, including all officers and directors; corporation, including all officers, directors and significant stockholders; estate; trust; business trust; receiver; or any other group or combination acting as a unit.”

Of course, most of you will see the term “natural person” and believe you are natural and therefore a natural person. A natural person is a flesh-and-blood human being, but one which is charged with a fiducary obligation or acting as a representative for an incorporeal entity. All natural persons are flesh-and-blood but not all flesh-and-blood are natural persons.

There is a canon of statutory construction called ejusdem generis which reads:

Ejusdem generis (Of the same kinds, class, or nature)
When a list of two or more specific descriptors is followed by more general descriptors, the otherwise wide meaning of the general descriptors must be restricted to the same class, if any, of the specific words that precede them. For example, where “cars, motor bikes, motor powered vehicles” are mentioned, the word “vehicles” would be interpreted in a limited sense (therefore vehicles cannot be interpreted as including airplanes).

Look at the definition of the word person above. What follows? Firm, joint venture, partnership, association… these are  not “natural” things. These are organizations of individuals, many of which are formed pursuant to an act found in statutes. Nowhere does an individual human being come into play unless they are part of a legal structure. A natural person is a flesh-and-blood human being who has taken a position or joined as a member of some other incorporeal or fictional body.

So, what does this mean? People have natural, unalienable rights. Corporations, as well as other legal fictions, do not. Constitutions are created by People to create another legal fiction called the State for the purpose of protecting their natural, unalienable rights. The State is nothing more than the People acting in a collective capacity and forming a political body. The State is not some natural manifestation which possesses some supernatural control or authority over the People. The People, being the creators of the Constitution have the power to permit artificial, incorporeal entities like corporations, partnerships, associations… to be created and therefore, make conditional their existence to the will of the people. People cannot make anybody else’s existence or exercise of rights conditional.

Looking at the definition of person in the ordinance, what is being regulated are things owing their existence to a legal construct. If there is a legal nexus between the entity and the State where a registration or permit has been issued or recognized then it is a legal fiction and thereby subject to regulation. In the case of this legislation, a landlord who is a private individual owning and renting property has an obligation to provide a safe abode for his tenants and is subject to any harm caused by his neglect. He has a duty. However, as a tenant, people have the right to rent accommodations which may appear less than desirable to outside observers. Provided the landlord honors his duty to ensure there are no hazards which endanger the health or life of a tenant he has fulfilled his obligation.

I would recommend the following approach should the ordinance pass, and I believe it will because most of the people serving on the Council are ignorant, arrogant, self-serving, Oligarchs. Most of them have probably not even read the Constitution of Illinois or of the United States. What needs to happen is massive civil disobedience. If people do not possess the temerity to assert their liberty then I say they deserve whatever they get. Otherwise, I would take a property owned by a private individual, not one acting in a corporate capacity such as an LLC or other entity, and through a Quit Claim Deed take “ownership” for valuable consideration of $1 with a promise to release the property back after 30 days for the same valuable consideration. What this would do is create a nexus where I would take ownership and thereby be “required” to procure an occupancy permit to occupy the premises. I would then take up “occupancy” and wait for the ensuing litigation. In the mean-time, I would expect an information campaign relating to this matter to be disseminated to the public, as well as promoting the people’s right to exercise jury nullification as their right. Hopefully, a jury would not convict or I would just refuse to comply, relying on legal arguments I have previously confronted various governmental bodies with. In-short, I would not comply.

I will not make myself available for such a tactic without the explicit commitment of others desiring to challenge and confront this ordinance. I will also not put myself in harm’s way for people who prefer their chains, but prefer them under their terms. I favor NO chains. That said, I will await contact……

Mark McCoy


Since the last post it seemed as though the City was going to mothball the issue. Recently it has come to light that there is another push to pass this ordinance. Not much has changed in the wording. The intent is the same, viz., to deceive the “residents” by claiming an interest in health, safety, welfare, and morals of the people (the so-called Police Power).

I will be updating this post with information as I do more research. I would first like to address the Police Power, it’s limitations, interpretations, and applications.

When a municipality has the power to tax, it may raise revenue through a license fee payable in connection with the taxable subject matter. See, e.g., Rozner v. Korshak, 55 Ill.2d 430, 303 N.E.2d 389 (1973) (sustaining Cook County’s vehicle licensing ordinance as home rule revenue measure). When authorized by statute, a municipality may also charge license fees in connection with the exercise of its regulatory police powers, but it may not use the fees to raise revenue substantially in excess of the cost of regulation. In short, a municipality may license for revenue purposes only when it has the power to tax the subject matter of the license. Under a regulatory ordinance, the license fees must bear some reasonable relationship to the costs of regulation. Quad Canteen Service Corp. v. Ruzak, 85 Ill.App.3d 256, 406 N.E.2d 616, 40 Ill.Dec. 610 (2d Dist. 1980). The mere probability that the license fees may in some degree exceed the cost of administration and inspection under a regulatory ordinance will not render the ordinance invalid. Village of Roxana v. Costanzo, 41 Ill.2d 423, 243 N.E.2d 242 (1968). The costs of printing and issuing the license tags, collecting the license fees, keeping records of the licenses issued and fees collected, and inspecting and testing the subject of regulation have been recognized as elements of the cost of administration and inspection. Larson v. City of Rockford, 371 Ill. 441, 21 N.E.2d 396 (1939).

A licensing ordinance that contains genuine regulatory provisions cannot, on its face, be condemned as a revenue device. Id. However, license fees may be so grossly excessive as to be deemed arbitrary and unreasonable as a matter of law. City of Chicago Heights v. Public Service Company of Northern Illinois, 408 Ill. 604, 97 N.E.2d 807 (1951). Generally, in the absence of proof to the contrary, it must be presumed that a reasonable relationship exists between the license fees and the costs of administration and inspection. Gibbons v. City of Chicago, 34 Ill.2d 102, 214 N.E.2d 740 (1966). The presumptive validity of a licensing ordinance must be rebutted by clear and affirmative evidence. Aladdin’s Castle, Inc. v. Village of North Riverside, 66 Ill.App.3d 542, 383 N.E.2d 1316, 23 Ill.Dec. 289 (1st Dist. 1978). When it is found that the license fees greatly exceed the costs of administration and inspection so as to render the licensing ordinance a revenue measure rather than a regulatory device, enforcement of the ordinance may be enjoined and the license fees paid under protest ordered refunded. Quad Canteen Service, supra.

Compare Quad Canteen Service, supra, with A & H Vending Service, Inc. v. Village of Schaumburg, 168 Ill.App.3d 61, 522 N.E.2d 188, 118 Ill.Dec. 733 (1st Dist. 1988), in which the court held that licensing fees imposed by home rule municipalities have a valid regulatory, as opposed to revenue-generating, purpose even though revenue generated by the fee exceeded by a five-to-one margin the municipality’s cost of inspection. See also Oak Park Trust & Savings Bank v. Village of Mount Prospect, 181 Ill.App.3d 10, 536 N.E.2d 763, 129 Ill.Dec. 713 (1st Dist. 1989), in which the court held that a landlord-tenant ordinance contained genuine regulatory provisions and the license fee assessed pursuant to the ordinance was not an improper revenue raising measure since the purpose of the licensing provision was to ensure that multiunit dwellings in the village met the requirements, rules, and regulations of the village code. Moreover, the license fees were reasonably related to costs of regulation when evidence was presented to indicate that the fees charged were insufficient to cover all necessary costs of regulation.

In Alnoa G. Corp. v. City of Houston, Texas, 563 F.2d 769 (5th Cir. 1977), the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that special assessments are taxes for which no federal court relief may be had if the state provides a plain, speedy, and efficient remedy. However, in Bung’s Bar & Grille, Inc. v. Township Council of Township of Florence, 206 N.J.Super. 432, 502 A.2d 1198 (1985), the Superior Court of New Jersey held that if an assessment exceeds the value of the benefit, is arbitrary, exceeds the limits of the police power, and deprives a person of property without due process of law, it constitutes a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment and, therefore, the plaintiffs could claim attorneys’ fees in defending the action under 42 U.S.C. §1988. In addition, see Bowman v. City of Franklin, 980 F.2d 1104 (7th Cir. 1992), relative to an attack on a special assessment proceeding in federal court.

[A] municipality’s right to regulate its streets “must find basis in the doctrine of overruling necessity, or bear some substantial relation to the public good.” . . . [A] municipality’s regulatory and police powers over its public streets are subject to a reasonableness limitation. . . . A determination of reasonableness must be made in each case by weighing the particular circumstances in light of the aim of the restriction. . . . Further, one who challenges an ordinance as failing this test of minimum rationality bears the burden of proving “by clear and affirmative evidence that the ordinance constitutes arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable municipal action, that there is no permissible interpretation which justifies its adoption, or that it will not promote the safety and general welfare of the public.” [Citations omitted.] 664 N.E.2d at 299.

The “police power” of government is its authority to enact laws, including zoning ordinances, in furtherance of the public health, safety, morals, and general welfare. County of Cook v. Priester, 62 Ill.2d 357, 342 N.E.2d 41 (1976); Sternaman v. County of McHenry, 454 F.Supp. 240 (N.D.Ill. 1978). The police power is an inherent attribute of sovereignty: it is the power necessary to conduct and maintain government. Although the police power defies precise definition, it was described as follows by the court in State Public Utilities Commission ex rel. Quincy Ry. v. City of Quincy, 290 Ill. 360, 125 N.E. 374, 375 – 376 (1919): The police power of the state has never been exactly defined or circumscribed by fixed limits. It is considered as being capable of development and modification within certain limits, so that the powers of governmental control may be adequate to meet changing social, economic and political conditions. In a general way it may be defined “as comprehending the making and enforcement of all such laws, ordinances and regulations as pertain to the comfort, safety, health, convenience, good order and welfare of the public.” Wice v. Chicago and Northwestern Railway Co., 193 Ill. 351; 6 R. C. L. 189. Since the police power is reserved to the states by the Constitution (Hamilton v. Kentucky Distilleries & Warehouse Co., 251 U.S. 146, 64 L.Ed. 194, 40 S.Ct. 106 (1919)), local government has no inherent police power. It has only those powers delegated to it by the state constitution or statute. Tuftee v. County of Kane, 76 Ill.App.3d 128, 394 N.E.2d 896, 31 Ill.Dec. 694 (2d Dist. 1979); Cederberg v. City of Rockford, 8 Ill.App.3d 984, 291 N.E.2d 249 (2d Dist. 1972); Park Ridge Fuel & Material Co. v. City of Park Ridge, 335 Ill. 509, 167 N.E. 119 (1929).

In Illinois, the statutory provisions described in §§2.6, 2.8, and 2.9 below constitute the state delegation of zoning powers to non-home rule units of local government (municipalities, counties, and townships respectively). The Illinois Constitution vests home rule units of local government with police power. The Supreme Court in Kanellos v. County of Cook, 53 Ill.2d 161, 290 N.E.2d 240, 243 (1972), explained: The concept of home rule adopted under the provisions of the 1970 constitution was designed to drastically alter the relationship which previously existed between local and State government. Formerly, the actions of local governmental units were limited to those powers which were expressly authorized, implied or essential in carrying out the legislature’s grant of authority. Under the home-rule provisions of the 1970 constitution, however, the power of the General Assembly to limit the actions of home-rule units has been circumscribed and home-rule units have been constitutionally delegated greater autonomy in the determination of their government and affairs. To accomplish this independence the constitution conferred substantial powers upon home-rule units subject only to those restrictions imposed or authorized therein.

“. . . An ordinance will be presumed to be valid, and the one attacking [it] bears the burden of demonstrating its invalidity. The challenging party must establish by clear and convincing evidence that the ordinance, as applied, is arbitrary and unreasonable and bears no substantial relation to the public health, safety or welfare. [Citations.]” Tomasek v. City of Des Plaines (1976), 64 Ill.2d 172, 179 – 80. In City of Carbondale v. Brewster, 78 Ill.2d 111, 398 N.E.2d 829, 831, 34 Ill.Dec. 838 (1979), the court similarly stated: To be a valid exercise of police power, the legislation must bear a reasonable relationship to one of the . . . interests which is sought to be protected, and the means adopted must constitute a reasonable method to accomplish such objective. . . . Although the determination of reasonableness is a matter for the court, the legislature has broad discretion to determine not only what the interests of the public welfare require but what measures are necessary to secure such interest. . . . The court will not disturb a police regulation merely where there is room for a difference of opinion as to its wisdom, necessity and expediency. [Emphasis added.] [Citations omitted.]

See also Hewette v. Carbondale Zoning Board of Appeals, 261 Ill.App.3d 803, 634 N.E.2d 1223, 199 Ill.Dec. 869 (5th Dist. 1994). Accordingly, the plaintiff must do more than establish that its proposed use is reasonable in order to prevail in a challenge to the constitutionality of a zoning ordinance. Quoting Buhrinaster v. County of DuPage, 16 Ill.App.3d 212, 305 N.E.2d 722, 725 (2d Dist. 1973), the court in Coney v. County of DuPage, 51 Ill.App.3d 980, 367 N.E.2d 152, 153, 9 Ill.Dec. 718 (2d Dist. 1977), wrote: Faced with this presumptive validity of the zoning ordinance, it was incumbent upon the plaintiffs to establish that the legislative decision as to the subject property is clearly unreasonable, rather than that the property could reasonably be classified as plaintiffs wished. Kambich v. Village of Riverwoods, 308 Ill.App.3d 772, 721 N.E.2d 709, 242 Ill.Dec. 430 (2d Dist. 1999).

See also Zeitz, supra; American National Bank & Trust Company of Rockford v. City of Rockford, 55 Ill.App.3d 806, 371 N.E.2d 337, 13 Ill.Dec. 620 (2d Dist. 1977). Even if a municipality admits the invalidity of its zoning restriction, the plaintiff carries the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that prohibition of the proposed use is unreasonable. National Boulevard Bank of Chicago v. Village of Schaumburg, 83 Ill.2d 228, 415 N.E.2d 333, 47 Ill.Dec. 328 (1980).In Pioneer Trust & Savings Bank v. County of McHenry, 41 Ill.2d 77, 241 N.E.2d 454, 459 (1968), the court stated that if the gain to the public is small when compared with the hardship imposed upon the individual property owner by the restriction . . . no valid basis for an exercise of the police power exists.

The Wes Ward court relied on People ex rel. Barrett v. Thillens, 400 Ill. 224, 79 N.E.2d 609, 613 (1948): It is a fundamental and well-established rule, both in the United States courts and in the courts of this State, as a firmly settled constitutional principle, that every citizen is guaranteed the right to engage in any lawful, useful and harmless business or trade, and it is not within the constitutional authority of the State legislature, in the exercise of police power, to interfere with the rights of the individual to carry on a legitimate business, where no interest of the public safety, welfare or morals is damaged or threatened. 355 N.E.2d at 136.
The Wes Ward court went on to reason that if an ordinance tends, in some degree, to prevent an offense or preserve the public health, morals, safety, or welfare, then the ordinance is within the police power of the state. The Peoria ordinance met this low level of scrutiny. The court also found no violation of equal protection even though the ordinance contained exemptions for state licensed professions like hospital and nursing home employees, healing arts practitioners, barbers, and cosmetologists.

As noted in §5.4 above, the power of a municipality to license is strictly construed against the municipality. The principle of ejusdem generis — which holds that when general words follow an enumeration of specific things such general words are interpreted as applying only to things of the same general kind as those specifically mentioned — is implicit in any strict construction of the law. However, the courts have not always agreed on when to apply that principle. The courts have, in several instances, applied the principle in interpreting licensing powers under Illinois Municipal Code §11-42-3, which authorizes the corporate authorities of each municipality to license, tax, locate, and regulate all places of business of dealers in junk, dismantled or wrecked motor vehicles or parts thereof, rags, and any secondhand article whatsoever. 65 ILCS 5/11-42-3. In City of Chicago v. Moore, 351 Ill. 510, 184 N.E. 621 (1933), a secondhand store license ordinance was declared invalid as applied to a store selling secondhand books. The court held that this power to license extended only to those secondhand stores that carried on a business similar to junk shops. Identical reasoning in Bullman v. City of Chicago, 367 Ill. 217, 10 N.E.2d 961 (1937), removed various automobile-related businesses from municipal regulation under this section (note that Bullman was decided under a previous version of the statute, and the current statute does allow dismantled or wrecked motor vehicle dealers as a licensable subject), as did City of Chicago v. Stone, 328 Ill.App. 345, 66 N.E.2d 100 (1st Dist. 1946), regarding used musical instruments, and City of Kewanee v. Riverside Industrial Materials Co., 21 Ill.App.2d 416, 158 N.E.2d 86 (2d Dist. 1959), regarding industrial scrap.
On the other hand, Code §11-42-5 reads: The corporate authorities of each municipality may license, tax, regulate, or prohibit hawkers, peddlers, pawnbrokers, itinerant merchants, transient vendors of
merchandise, theatricals and other exhibitions, shows, and amusements and may license, tax, and regulate all places for eating or amusement.

The court in Stiska v. City of Chicago, 405 Ill. 374, 90 N.E.2d 742 (1950), refused to apply the principle of ejusdem generis. The plaintiffs argued that the term “amusements” was within the class of theatricals and other exhibitions, thereby not applying to bowling, billiards, and pool halls. The city, on the other hand, argued that the term “amusements” was not within the class of “theatricals and other exhibitions” since it was not strictly an item of that series in point of syntax. The court held that if the statute was limited to exhibitive entertainment, such an interpretation would render the term “shows, and amusements” superfluous and devoid of meaning, which the court was not willing to do. “The rule of ejusdem generis is only a rule of construction to aid in ascertaining and giving effect to the legislative intent. . . . It cannot be applied to defeat the evident purpose of the statute or to restrict the scope of subjects the legislature intended to include.” [Citation omitted.] 90 N.E.2d at 747. See also Lamere v. City of Chicago, 391 Ill. 552, 63 N.E.2d 863 (1945).

Although statutes authorizing licensing are to be strictly construed against the municipality, it should also be noted that ordinances are presumptively valid. In Aladdin’s Castle, Inc. v. Village of North Riverside, 66 Ill.App.3d 542, 383 N.E.2d 1316, 23 Ill.Dec. 289 (1st Dist. 1978), the court upheld the validity of an ordinance licensing and regulating coin-operated amusement devices. The village relied on Code §§11-42-2 (“The corporate authorities of each municipality may license, tax, regulate, or prohibit pinball, or bowling alleys, billiard, bagatelle, pigeon-hole, pool, or any other tables or implements kept for a similar purpose in any place of public resort.”) and 11-42-5 (quoted above) in passing the ordinance. Among other things, the ordinance contained an age restriction, a space restriction, and a maximum limit on the number of machines per establishment.

One of the plaintiff’s contentions was that its property and liberty rights in the premises and its business were violated. The court acknowledged the existence of the plaintiff’s private rights but stated that a valid exercise of the police power superseded those rights. In determining that the ordinance was a valid exercise of the police power, the court stated: [T]he provisions of Ordinance No. 75-0-16 in issue are clothed with presumptive validity which must be rebutted by clear and affirmative evidence that their adoption constitutes arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable municipal action; that there is no permissible interpretation which justifies their adoption; or that they will not promote the safety or general welfare of the people of the village. 383 N.E.2d at 1319.

Grants of power to corporate authorities may come from separate sources: “The authority of a municipality to adopt an ordinance may be derived from a single grant or a combination of enumerated powers.” City of Chicago v. R. & X. Restaurant, Inc., 369 Ill. 65, 15 N.E.2d 725, 726 (1938). The power to license may be inferred from several sources of statutory power, even though none of them grants explicit authority to license. The leading case for this proposition is Father Basil’s Lodge, Inc. v. City of Chicago, 393 Ill. 246, 65 N.E.2d 805 (1946). The court sustained a Chicago ordinance regulating nursing homes although it was based on no explicit grant of

In so doing, the court relied on several sections of the Code, including §§11-30-4 and 11-8-2 dealing with the construction of buildings and prevention of fire hazards (65 ILCS 5/11- 30-4, 5/11-8-2) and §11-20-5 (65 ILCS 5/11-20-5) dealing with the general maintenance of health and suppression of disease. The court ruled that under these delegations of police power from the state, a city may regulate any occupation or business that the unrestricted pursuit of might either injuriously affect the health of the citizens or subject them to danger from fire. The court went on to state: If the regulation of certain conditions affecting the public safety has been delegated to a city and the efficient regulation of such conditions requires the conduct of a business peculiarly affected by them to be controlled by the limitations of a licensing ordinance, the power of the city to adopt such an ordinance will be necessarily implied. 65 N.E.2d at 812.

On the other hand, an attempt to license an occupation unnamed in the statutes by pooling authority from a combination of powers to license related businesses was invalidated in Ives v. City of Chicago, 30 Ill.2d 582, 198 N.E.2d 518 (1964). In Ives, the city attempted to sustain an authority to license general contractors by referring to the power to license particular kinds of contractors under numerous sections of the Code, including air conditioning and refrigeration contractors (§11-32-1), electrical contractors (§11-33-1), persons in charge of steam boilers (§11- 34-1), plumbers (§11-35-1), and masonry contractors (§11-36-1). The court ruled that the existence of the enumerated statutory powers had just the opposite effect by precluding the imposition of regulation and licensing on contractors in fields other than those to which cities have expressly been given regulatory power.

If the city has the power by implication to fill the gaps between contractors enumerated by statutes for regulation and all other contractors, there was little purpose in the legislature’s selectivity in choosing certain contractors for regulation. . . . The authorization to regulate certain classes of contractors other than building contractors neither authorizes nor permits licensing of the latter. 198 N.E.2d at 520.
NOTE: Like many of the cases cited in this chapter, this case was decided prior to the enactment of the 1970 Constitution, which granted home rule authority. See §§5.21 – 5.25 below for a discussion of home rule licensing powers. The authors further note that despite the court’s holding in Ives a number of non-home rule municipalities have adopted or are considering the adoption of ordinances licensing and regulating general contractors. While passage of such an ordinance is without lawful authority, there seems to be little objection in the construction industry to date. The careful practitioner should, however, advise any municipal client of the risks involved with such action.

The grant that “[t]he corporate authorities of each municipality may pass and enforce all necessary police ordinances” (65 ILCS 5/11-1-1) may be used to effect other statutory provisions granting the power to license, but it cannot stand alone as authority for a licensing ordinance. The court has held in City of Chicago v. M. & M. Hotel Co., 248 Ill. 264, 93 N.E. 753 (1910), that Illinois Municipal Code §11-1-1 is intended to give cities and villages the power to pass and enforce all necessary police ordinances with respect to those subjects and occupations the regulation and control of which are expressly delegated to such municipalities by other specific clauses. Code §11-1-1 is not a general delegation of all police power of the state, which if given to them, would authorize cities and villages to pass and enforce all police ordinances on any and all subjects without regard to any other specific delegation of power.

Similarly, in Lowenthal v. City of Chicago, 313 Ill. 190, 144 N.E. 829 (1924), the city argued that its police powers authorized an ordinance licensing and regulating the sale of drugs and such articles as are commonly sold in drug stores. The court stated that “[i]f the business sought to be regulated has no tendency to injure the public health or public morals or interfere with the general welfare it is not a subject for the exercise of the police power.” 144 N.E. at 831. The court struck down the ordinance, noting that there was no statutory authority granting the city the right to regulate or license drug stores and that drugs and medicine were already subject to direct state regulation. The other aspects of operating a drug store were no different from other retail stores, which presented no public health hazards; therefore, the licensing ordinance could not be imposed on the plaintiff. As discussed in §5.9 below, the power to regulate also means the power to license. Conversely, the courts have held that the power to license not only implies the power to regulate,
but mandates it. In R. & X. Restaurant, supra, 15 N.E.2d at 727, the court stated: “An ordinance providing for a license, without regulatory provisions of any kind, is solely a revenue measure and not within the police power.” See also City of Chicago Heights v. Western Union Telegraph Co., 406 Ill. 428, 94 N.E.2d 306, 310 (1950) (“A licensing ordinance which does not regulate in any degree must be considered to be a revenue measure, and, unless the power to tax has been expressly conferred by the legislature, the ordinance is void.”); Lamere v. City of Chicago, 391 Ill. 552, 63 N.E.2d 863 (1945); Ward Baking Co. v. City of Chicago, 340 Ill. 212, 172 N.E. 171 (1930).

Since licensing for revenue only is not permitted, municipalities do not have unfettered discretion in fixing the amount of license fees. City of Bloomington v. Ramey, 393 Ill. 467, 66 N.E.2d 385 (1946); Ward Baking, supra. However, a license fee for regulatory purposes will be sustained as long as the license fee bears some reasonable relation to the cost of regulation. In R. & X. Restaurant, supra, the court upheld a licensing ordinance that based the annual license fees for food-dispensing establishments on seating capacity. In response to the defendant’s contention that the license fee did not bear a reasonable relation to the burdens placed on the city because of the regulatory provisions, the court stated:

When the legislative department of a city has exercised its power of regulation upon a subject within the police power, unless there is a palpably arbitrary exercise of
such power, the courts will not declare the regulatory provisions void. . . . [A] license fee which will legitimately assist in the regulation of the business may be exacted, and it is not essential that it be confined to the exact expense of issuing a license and regulating and inspecting the business. 15 N.E.2d at 728. In A & H Vending Service, Inc. v. Village of Schaumburg, 168 Ill.App.3d 61, 522 N.E.2d 188, 118 Ill.Dec. 733 (1st Dist. 1988), the court upheld a regulatory ordinance resulting in a five-to one ratio of revenue to cost of enforcement; the enforcement scheme involved administration of records and physical inspection of vending machines by licensing and health inspectors. In reaching its decision, the court stated: [I]t is clear that a license fee for regulatory purposes can be sustained as long as the license fee bears some reasonable relation to the cost of regulation. (Arends v. Police Pension Fund (1955), 7 Ill.2d 250, 253, 130 N.E.2d 517, 519.)

The burden of proof is upon those seeking to invalidate the fees to show the lack of any reasonable relation between the fee and the cost of enforcement. (Village of Roxana v. Costanzo (1968), 41 Ill.2d 423, 425, 243 N.E.2d 242, 243.) Unless that fee is arbitrary or in great excess of the cost of enforcement and as long as the ordinances contain genuine regulatory provisions, the courts have been generous in sustaining a licensing fee for regulatory purposes. See Larson v. City of Rockford (1939), 371 Ill. 441, 444, 21 N.E.2d 396. See also Village of Roxana v. Costanzo (1968), 41 Ill.2d 423, 243 N.E.2d 242; City of Chicago v. Schall (1954), 2 Ill.2d 90, 116 N.E.2d 872. 522 N.E.2d at 190. See also Oak Park Trust & Savings Bank v. Village of Mount Prospect, 181 Ill.App.3d 10, 536 N.E.2d 763, 129 Ill.Dec. 713 (1st Dist. 1989). For a case that found no reasonable relation between the fee and the cost of regulation, see Quad Canteen Service Corp. v. Ruzak, 85 Ill.App.3d 256, 406 N.E.2d 616, 40 Ill.Dec. 610 (2d Dist. 1980), in which the court found a revenue versus cost ratio of ten to one unconstitutional when no inspections were done until after the lawsuit was filed and the inspections were minimal.

Thus, although many municipalities have a licensing ordinance that merely lists business categories and respective fees, the legally proper ordinance should contain some regulatory provisions regarding health, safety, or registration for each business that the municipality desires to license. However, it is not a valid attack on such an ordinance that the actual personnel available may not be able to carry out the full regulatory scheme contained in the ordinance. In American Banking Co. v. City of Wilmington, 370 Ill. 400, 19 N.E.2d 172 (1938), the court upheld an ordinance licensing vehicles used for the storage or delivering of food. The ordinance provided for inspections to determine compliance with its provision, but the plaintiffs argued that there was only one police officer to make such inspections and that the provisions for inspection were not being enforced. The court rejected this argument and stated: “This is wholly irrelevant as to the validity of the ordinance. It relates only to its enforcement. An ordinance is not rendered void by failure of the city to enforce it.” 19 N.E.2d at 174. See §5.11 below for a discussion of how the power to tax affects the validity of the amount of license fees.

As with the power to license, the power to regulate can be implied from various sources. Father Basil’s Lodge, Inc. v. City of Chicago, 393 Ill. 246, 65 N.E.2d 805 (1946). See also Alarm Detection Systems, Inc. v. Village of Hinsdale, 326 Ill.App.3d 372, 761 N.E.2d 782, 788, 260 Ill.Dec. 599 (2d Dist. 2001). In addition, the power to regulate includes the power to license. Therefore, a licensing ordinance can be authorized by either the implied or express authority to regulate. Some examples of cases applying this rule include the following: The power to regulate the storage of flammable liquids was held to authorize the licensing of dry cleaners in Klever Shampay Karpet Kleaners v. City of Chicago, 323 Ill. 368, 154 N.E. 131 (1926). The power to prevent fire hazards and to protect the public health was construed to permit the licensing of cosmetic manufacturers using alcohol and toxic materials in Chicago Cosmetic Co. v. City of Chicago, 374 Ill. 384, 29 N.E.2d 495 (1940).

The power to regulate the storage of lumber justified an ordinance licensing furniture manufacturers who maintain over 5,000 board feet of lumber in connection with their business in City of Chicago v. Churchill Cabinet Co., 379 Ill. 351, 40 N.E.2d 518 (1942). The power to establish and improve streets and sidewalks, to regulate the use of streets, and to prescribe the strength and manner of constructing all buildings allowed building contractors and those engaged in laying streets and sidewalks to be licensed in Concrete Contractors’ Association of Greater Chicago v. Village of La Grange Park, 14 Ill.2d 65, 150 N.E.2d 783 (1958). The power to prescribe the strength and manner of constructing buildings and to prevent fire hazards, among other powers, authorized a licensing ordinance regarding carpenter contractors in Village of Maywood v. Weglarz, 24 Ill.App.2d 495, 165 N.E.2d 362 (1st Dist. 1960). However, in Chicago Coin Meter Co. v. City of Rolling Meadows, 6 Ill.App.3d 418, 286 N.E.2d 22 (1st Dist. 1972), the court held that the statutory power to locate and regulate the use and construction of laundries was insufficient to authorize a license requirement for companies that leased coin-operated washing machines and dryers to owners of apartment complexes. See §5.8 above for a discussion of other cases in which various grants of statutory authority were held insufficient to authorize licensing. As with licensing ordinances authorized by the express or implied power to license, licensing ordinances authorized by the express or implied power  to regulate must actually contain regulatory provisions. In Aberdeen-Franklin Coal Co. v. City of Chicago, 315 Ill. 99, 145 N.E.  613 (1924), the court struck down an ordinance requiring coal dealers to be licensed, noting that the ordinance contained no regulatory provisions. In doing so, the court stated: “While the power to license is an incident of the power to regulate, and a regulatory ordinance may require a license and the payment of a license fee as an incident to regulation, to sustain the power to license as an incident to regulation the ordinance must be a regulatory ordinance.” 145 N.E. at 615. Again, however, the fact that the regulatory provisions are not actually enforced will not necessarily invalidate the ordinance. See discussion in §5.8 above.