More and more Illinois communities are adopting “Emergency” powers ordinances. And yes, many of those ordinances include giving Podunk town mayors the powers to ban the sale of gasoline, firearms and ammo and to “reallocate” critical goods.
Normal, Illinois passed theirs Monday night. Their meeting proved a trainwreck in that it violated the Illinois Open Meetings Act and had technical difficulties.
Mayor Koos and Pam Reece want broad powers to respond however they see fit when no emergency exists locally. See this story from earlier today: https://blnnews.com/2020/03/23/just-the-facts-china-corona-virus/
Worse, the Town of Normal doesn’t want citizens present. Public comment has been declared email only – that violates the Open Meetings Act.
Koos is the same guy who conducted a Town meeting last Monday without practicing “social distancing”.
The media made a big deal about the council also voting to strike some inconsequential language that the media claimed gave the mayor power to stop the sales of guns, ammo, liquor and gasoline. However, another section the survived intact, in existing Normal city code, provides the same powers.
Yeah, try to enforce that and see what happens, Mr. Mayor.
Bloomington passed more or less the same emergency declaration last night as well. Other cities across Illinois are doing much the same, even though this crisis isn’t spiraling out of control as some would have you believe.
Meanwhile, things could be worse.
Elgin, Illinois went with the old, “Hold my beer and watch this” when it came to their emergency ordinance.
City of Elgin claims mayor can suspend the Second Amendment in public
(GSL) – Elgin Mayor David Kaptain signed a “Proclamation of Emergency” Friday, March 13th. While it looks fairly innocuous on the surface, a quick look at the city ordinances reveals that the City of Elgin claims the power to deny the Second Amendment in its entirety in public during emergencies.
2.76.040: MAYOR’S POWER DURING EMERGENCY
L. The power to prohibit the sale, carrying or possession of any weapons or explosives of any kind on public streets or public places.
Nevermind how Illinois law expressly preempts local municipalities from such regulations. Specifically:
430 ILCS 66/90
Sec. 90. Preemption. The regulation, licensing, possession, registration, and transportation of handguns and ammunition for handguns by licensees are exclusive powers and functions of the State. Any ordinance or regulation, or portion thereof, enacted on or before the effective date of this Act that purports to impose regulations or restrictions on licensees or handguns and ammunition for handguns in a manner inconsistent with this Act shall be invalid in its application to licensees under this Act on the effective date of this Act.
Again, for Mr. Mayor in Elgin: try it and watch support for your position and your town’s police department evaporate faster than a Freon spill.
Do you have surplus N95 masks gathering dust in your basement or storage closet? Consider putting them into the hands of front-line medical professionals like doctors and nurses to help them stay healthy. Obviously, having your doc or your kid’s doc (or grandkids’ pediatrician) stay healthy is in your better interests.
One guy on Arfcom related his experience giving away 500 masks. His local fire department didn’t want them because they weren’t branded “3M.” The local hospital, on the other hand, enthusiastically accepted the non-3M masks. Especially 500. That was like hitting the lottery for them.
In ordinary times, obviously facilities are reluctant to accept donated materials. However, when many health care workers in parts of the nation are forced to “recycle” personal protective gear by reusing instead of disposing, plenty of facilities or the staff therein will welcome new, unopened boxes of masks and other stuff gleefully.
Personally, I donated most of my remaining stock to my local pediatrician’s office. They didn’t want any foot traffic inside their lobby so I called the phone number listed on the front door. I told the nice woman my name and said Dr. XXX XXXXX was the pediatrician for my boys. From there, I asked if they were desperate for N95 masks for docs and staff.
“We’re not desperate yet, but we could sure use some,” the nurse replied.
So I said I had some and she came out to the parking lot before I could hang up the phone. I don’t think I could have gotten a better reception bringing donuts to a police station in normal times. (LOL.)
Do you have extra that you don’t anticipate needing? Consider donating them in your local community, especially if you personally know any health care providers.
Additionally, look after your friends and neighbors. Do they have what they need or are they critically short of food or medicine. If you can assist them, with either food, medicine or information, please share and help them. It’s the righteous and noble thing to do!
The Local Scene
While every part of Illinois seems to be a little different, I know here in Bloomington-Normal, the vast majority of people are staying close to home. Roughly half of businesses are closed. Compliance with “shelter in place” has grown dramatically since Saturday.
Even some “medium” box stores are closed (Shoe Carnival, Bed, Bath & Beyond, for instance), along with more than a few restaurants as well. And while a few restaurants remain open for carry-outs and delivery, carry-out customers seem few and far between. The only lines I saw were at places like McDonalds and even those weren’t that long. Frankly, if it wasn’t for the sign out front of Biaggi’s, you would think that restaurant was closed.
I had to make an emergency trip to the office supply store last night. Yes, it was an emergency. The wife is working from home and sitting on a kitchen chair wasn’t getting it for her. Happy wife, happy life and all that.
And the opposite holds true, of course.
My first choice of Amazon failed. They aren’t delivering “non-essentials” until April 21st and I knew that one of us wouldn’t live that long without a chair for my lovely bride.
At Office Depot, I found a chair without touching anything or getting too close to anyone. A total of three customers there… two coeds and me. One of the coeds was filling her pocket sanitizer bottle from the store’s big “customer use” bottle in the middle of the aisle – while the other served as a look-out. I suspect that’s the only reason they came in.
When the store staffer brought out the boxed chair for me, I asked if things were slow. “Extremely. We sold a fair number of these [office chairs] over the weekend,” he said. “But today’s been super slow. Hardly anyone has come in.”
Guess they didn’t have to worry about limiting the store to 25 occupants… Three store staff and three “customers” including me doesn’t sound like a money-maker for Office Depot in Normal. It does sound like nearly ideal “social distancing.”
With a lot of businesses including State Farm HQ sending tens of thousands to work from home, to say nothing of colleges doing the same with their students who would normally live on campus, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that office chairs would be selling briskly for a couple of days.
One thing: it looked like a lot of businesses turned off their parking lot lights. Not sure if they are saving money or wanting to look “closed” but it makes for criminal-friendly environments.
Looking ahead: From the talk coming out of Washington, it looks like America will be restarting our economy, possibly starting as soon as next Monday.
And in the past hours, Trump announced that he planned to cancel Nancy Pelosi’s extortion list of goodies ($15 min. wage/bailout for Post Office/more windmills/public funded retirements for newspaper retirees… and the list goes on and on) and that he wanted America back up and running by April 12th (Easter Sunday).
I think this will be welcome news for the recently unemployed and those who are not liking this “shelter in place” order.
In the meantime, don’t let yourself become depressed.
We’ll be posting a list of things you can do to keep yourself mentally and physically active in the coming few minutes.