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Contacting Code Enforcement

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Contacting Code Enforcement

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
July 11, 2008


Camaro on Lawn


A reader contacted me about a car stored in a backyard here in town, and today I drove by to check it out. He had the house number and the house color right, but I didn't see any car. At least, not from the street.

So I headed down a side street, and there it was - plain as day! Sitting in the backyard, on the grass, no driveway in sight, and parked up close to the back of the garage so that it could not be seen from the front of the house.

Woodstock's Code Enforcement Officer Donovan Day will be checking it out next week.

I was happy to do this, and I'd also like to share how easy it is to contact Donovan. You can call him at 815.338.4305 or email him at CodeEnforcement@woodstockil.gov

Donovan is great about protecting the confidentiality of anyone who contacts him. You don't even have to give him your name or contact information. Or you can give it to him, and he won't give it out.

It didn't use to be this way. I was surprised about three years ago, when two people contacted me and wanted to know why I had ratted them out. In my case, I did not mind the contacts. I can handle calls of that type, but I knew that a little, old lady in Woodstock whose identity was revealed could quite properly be upset and might even find herself the target of retaliation.

When I griped to the City about releasing my name, Community Development got a legal opinion from the City Attorney's office. That opinion was that they could release my name. I did not agree! I let the sleeping dog lie for a while (quite unusual for me to do) and then re-opened the issue. The second time, a different attorney in the City Attorney's office told the City that it should NOT release the name of someone who complained about a code violation that could easily be confirmed from the street.

So far as I know, this is still the policy.

© 2008 GUS PHILPOTT



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