Targets business license, alarm monitoring; neither is on agenda
By Ted Schnell • BocaJump | Jan. 10, 2012
Leaders of a special interest group trying to pressure the city to rescind the Elgin’s business license is rallying the troops for Wednesday’s City Council meeting, where they intend to renew their call for its repeal and join with a second group to target a second, pending issue they believe is anti-business.
Neither item is on the agenda for Wednesday’s meeting. Assistant City Manager Rick Kozal said Monday that the City Council is scheduled to review the business license on Jan. 25.
Elgin OCTAVE issued a rallying cry last week, urging local business representatives to turn out en masse for Wednesday’s council meeting. A similar rally of sorts drew as many as 150 people in support of OCTAVE’s attempt to end the business license. Mayor David Kaptain rebuffed the group’s demand to repeal the license that evening, noting that the City Council already had decided publicly over the summer that it would not re-evaluate the issue until January.
OCTAVE spokesman Chuck Keysor, in an email Monday, said the group did not know at which January meeting the City Council would take up the business license issue, so it chose this Wednesday’s meeting to demonstrate the group’s continued dissatisfaction with the license.
“Since it takes time to work up plans, and because we have been working with the Fire Alarm Coalition, we had to pick a date and go for it,” Keysor wrote. “In mid-December, the Fire Alarm Coalition actually sent out letters to every business in Elgin, and invited them to come to the council on Jan. 11.”
Keysor said the groups felt it best to rally the troops for the first January meeting, when they hoped the council would address both issues. But, they reasoned, if the council does not consider the items until the second meeting, the groups still would be heard before any action would be taken. If the groups had planned to rally at the Jan. 25 meeting and the items were considered this week, Keysor said, they’d have missed an opportunity to speak out.
The Fire Alarm Coalition formed last year to oppose a proposal by the city to take on monitoring fire alarms using a citywide wireless network, as has been done by other municipalities across the region. But there are businesses that provide that service in Elgin now, and they fear the city proposal would put them out of business — or put them in direct competition against the city to provide that service.
Keysor said OCTAVE representatives will speak out against both the business license and the fire-alarm monitoring proposal during the regular meeting of the City Council, which begins at 7 p.m. in City Hall.
The email OCTAVE issued calls both the business license and the alarm-monitoring idea “anti-business.”