Aerial Photos Executive Order/The people win


Aerial Photos Executive Order/The people win
Now that the ink is dry on the Executive Order preventing aerial photos to initiate building code violations in Will County here is some reflection on how the people finally won. I started this process April 2013. It was 4 months into my first term, right before the concealed carry Resolution I initiated January 2013 passed. I still was learning how the County Board works, making new friends, and learning how other Board members felt on various issues. As part of the Republican Caucus I felt my views of Less taxes, Government, and Regulations fit right in with everyone else. Jim Moustis is always there for advise if you ask, and everyone wants to and will help with anything if they agree with the position.

A resident called me with a problem he was having with the County Land Use Dept. concerning building code violations which involved aerial photography. The initial complaint was for a farm tractor on the side of his house (there is a farm at the end of his block and behind his property). The tractor was removed before the code officer arrived, yet numerous other violations were found. This to me was a violation of his rights, and just felt wrong on a human level.

As the actions I would take to remedy the situation began and I felt like I was alone in a row boat with people on the ship behind me, just waiting to see if I sink. Soon I realized Jim Moustis, Mike Fricilone, Ragan Freitag, Margo Mc Dermed, & Judy Ogala were doing their part to support this issue. Suzanne Hart, Chuck Maher, and Don Gould began speaking out. As time went on the rest of the Republican Caucus except for Tom Weigel were involved in the effort. When the issue was heard by a joint meeting of the Judicial and Land Use Committee it passed to go to Public Hearing. Democrats seemed to have no problem at this point. The only No Vote, Beth Rice, said she would have been a yes but the language at this point affected all Departments and she felt it should have just said Land Use. I don’t know what made Reed Bible change his opinion, leading the Democrats and Weigel to kill the entire issue at the Judicial Committee May 13th.

Thank God for the experience Jim Moustis brings to the Board. After 4 people killing the initiative in a Committee he brought it back to life forcing a vote at the Executive Committee May 15th, which upon its passing moved the vote to the full Board. It now seemed to be a Republican vs. Democrat issue with Reed Bible leading the Democrat charge. Again, Reed did not appear to have any concerns as it passed through committee, God only knows what changed his mind. I view this issue as a people issue protecting from an overreaching Government. My Caucus except for Tom Weigel agreed. Next the County Executive wrote an Executive Order to not allow aerial photos to initiate code violations. We Republicans in Caucus felt the best action was to thank the Executive, and consider this a victory for the people. I have no clue as to how the vote would have gone, but if it failed I would have taken this issue to a referendum for the voters to decide.

I learned plenty about how the County Board works, and like the fact that despite the Democrats having the controlling votes, the Republican minority that stood together for what is in the best interest of the people did prevail. Everyone in the County benefited by this Executive Order, and I personally want to thank the County Board members who supported this issue, Executive Walsh, and especially Jim Moustis who was responsible for moving the Ordinance to a vote of the full Board, which probably influenced the Executive Order.

Steve Balich

Source: Will County News

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