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Vehicle Impoundment - where else?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Vehicle Impoundment - where else?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
April 2, 2012


Has anyone seen anything in the paper about Woodstock's new vehicle impoundment law. It's not so new; it was passed on January 17.

On August 13, 2010, the Northwest Herald covered Johnsburg's vehicle impoundment law. If you have a Woodstock Public Library, you can read that article without having to cough up the Herald's fee to pull it from archives.

From the article, "Chief Keith VonAllmen said he was the architect behind a new nuisance ordinance that could force some convicted offenders to pay $500 if the village impounds their car during an arrest.

“We’re taking a more firm stance and saying, ‘We don’t want this happening here.’ ” VonAllmen said. “Hopefully, it acts as a deterrent.”

Where did Woodstock's law come from? There is probably a letter from the City Manager to the City Council in the packet prepared for the January 17 City Council meeting. Presumably, the members of the City Council read it and understood it. They passed the new ordinance unanimously, without a single word of discussion or dissent. The packet is on file at the Library. You might drop by to read it.

A law only acts as a deterrent if you know about it ahead of time. Grabbing someone's car and hanging a $500 price tag on it (plus court costs, plus towing, plus storage fees) is not a deterrent.

Is Woodstock going to post signs on every road leading into the city? They think enough of the 30-minute parking restriction between 2AM-6AM to put up signs. Disregard that one and it used to cost you $5-10. Might be a little more now, but not $500. How about

WARNING
OBEY LAWS OR ELSE
WE IMPOUND VEHICLES
$500 + TOW + STORAGE
The Mayor


Will ignorance and apathy prevail in Woodstock, as usual? Will residents decide to "take back our city"? Will residents insist on fair disclosure of punitive ordinances ahead of time with public comment invited and considered?

"All that's necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing." ~ Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

OK, good men and women. It's time to do something!



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