Category → The Issues
Balich: County buildings won’t be ‘soft target’ if Will County Board members carry firearms
County committee to discuss concealed carry
By MIKE MALLORY – firstname.lastname@example.org
JOLIET – A Will County Board member said Tuesday that he has support from Republican and Democratic board members for his proposed resolution that would allow board members to carry concealed firearms in county buildings.
Steve Balich, R-Homer Glen, on June 14 introduced to the board’s Legislative and Policy Committee a rough draft of a resolution he wrote prior to the June 12 Orlando nightclub shooting. Board members are not allowed to carry firearms in county buildings. Balich expects a formal discussion to take place Tuesday when the committee meets.
Balich believes allowing board members who have a valid Firearm Owners Identification card to carry concealed firearms would have significant benefits.
It would keep county buildings from being viewed as a “soft target” – one where would-be offenders only have to be concerned with a handful of armed law enforcement officers. Balich said a potentially armed board, composed of 26 people, would lower or eliminate the loss of life and improve safety in the county’s public buildings.
He’s not saying each member should carry, but rather they should be able to if they so choose. He said an intruder wouldn’t know who was carrying.
“If 26 people are able to carry, that’s a big deterrent to a mass shooting,” Balich said.
Balich said the move also would save the county money, especially when a new 11-story courthouse is built and more security officers are required.
He referenced Illinois Statute 720 ILCS 5/21-6, which says anyone who carries or stores weapons in buildings or on land supported by public funds commits a Class A misdemeanor if they do so without prior written permission from the property’s chief security officer.
Balich said he interprets this to mean that a resolution is not necessary, and a chief security officer would have a “hard time” trying to give a reasonable denial to a properly licensed gun owner.
Balich said he sent the statute and similar laws from other governmental bodies to Will County Assistant State’s Attorney Mary Tatroe for review. A message left Tuesday with Tatroe was not immediately returned.
Balich said he’s received support when talking to board members from both political parties. He said opinions on the Second Amendment are personal choices.
“National TV likes to blow it up, but it’s not a Republican-Democrat thing,” Balich said. “It’s more of a personal thing. It’s about whether you believe people should have a right to defend themselves.”
He expects a vote on the matter will not be tied to party allegiances.
This is the Resolution Presented June 16th 2016 at the Legislative Committee
Where as: There are terrorist attacks happening by the week, County Board/Forest Preserve elected officials are taking votes on issues;
Where as: Some armed security should be present, but it’s unfair to the taxpayer, to pay for sufficient armed security officers at meetings while numerous Will County Board Members/Commissioners have the proper license to carry concealed;
Where as: It’s not the licensed, law-abiding, trusted elected County Board Member/Commissioner we need to worry about;
Where as: An exception to Illinois’ weapons ban was carved out for elected or appointed municipal officials in 1872, enabling elected officials to carry firearms, make arrests, interview suspects, and even hold them in custody.
Where as: Public Act 90-0540 and (65 ILCS 5/3.1-15-25) (from Ch. 24, par. 3.1-15-25)
Sec. 3.1-15-25 allow for An Conservator of Peace Designation;
Where as: (60 ILCS 1/100-10) allows for a Township Enforcement Officer appointed by the Township;
Where as: Allowing Elected Will County Board Members/ Forest Preserve Commissioners with current concealed carry permits the ability to help in securing the safety of everyone at no cost to the taxpayer;
Therefore: We Do Resolve: Properly licensed Will County Board Members/Forest Preserve Commissioners should be allowed to exercise their right to carry concealed firearms in the County /Froest Preserve properties either by Resolution or Ordinance.
The following are statutes used in the Resolution
‘Conservator of the peace’
The Conservator of the Peace title is still used in the USA. For example, in Virginia, Special Conservators of the Peace have all the powers of a peace officer or law enforcement and are authorized to perform arrests, carry firearms as part of their duties, direct traffic, use a police logo on their uniform and utilize police style lights on their vehicles. They operate on public property such as court houses, parks and open spaces, housing developments, etc
The Illinois’ weapons ban was carved out for elected or appointed municipal officials in 1872, enabling them to carry firearms, make arrests and interview suspects, and even hold them in custody.
While state law does not offer an exact definition of the term, it generally refers to an official whose primary employment is not as a police officer.
(65 ILCS 5/3.1-15-25) (from Ch. 24, par. 3.1-15-25)
Sec. 3.1-15-25. Conservators of the peace; service of
(a) After receiving a certificate attesting to the
successful completion of a training course administered by
the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board, the
mayor, aldermen, president, trustees, marshal, deputy
marshals, and policemen in municipalities shall be
conservators of the peace. Those persons and others
authorized by ordinance shall have power (i) to arrest or
cause to be arrested, with or without process, all persons
who break the peace or are found violating any municipal
ordinance or any criminal law of the State, (ii) to commit
arrested persons for examination, (iii) if necessary, to
detain arrested persons in custody over night or Sunday in
any safe place or until they can be brought before the proper
court, and (iv) to exercise all other powers as conservators
of the peace prescribed by the corporate authorities.
(b) All warrants for the violation of municipal
ordinances or the State criminal law, directed to any person,
may be served and executed within the limits of a
municipality by any policeman or marshal of the municipality.
For that purpose, policemen and marshals have all the common
law and statutory powers of sheriffs.
(Source: P.A. 87-1119.)
Public Act 90-0540
(70 ILCS 1205/4-7) (from Ch. 105, par. 4-7)
Sec. 4-7. Employees; police force. The board of any
park district may employ engineers, attorneys, clerks and
other employees, including a police force, as may be
required, and may define and prescribe their respective
duties and compensation. After receiving a certificate
attesting to the successful completion of a training course
administered by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training
Standards Board, the members of the board and all police
officers appointed by the board shall be conservators of the
peace within and upon the parks, boulevards, driveways, and
property controlled by that park district, and shall have
power to make arrests subject to the provisions of the Park
District Police Act. The exercise of such authority shall not
permit the possession or use of firearms by members of the
board. (Members of the Board must have the certificate to Carry)
(Source: P.A. 89-458, eff. 5-24-96.)
Township constable/Enforcement Officer is an appointed position
(60 ILCS 1/100-10)
Sec. 100-10. Township enforcement officer.
(a) The township board may appoint one or more township enforcement officers to serve for a term of one year and may remove an officer with or without cause. Every person appointed to the office of township enforcement officer, before entering on the duties of the office and within 10 days after being notified of the appointment, shall cause to be filed in the office of the township clerk a notice signifying his or her acceptance of the office. A neglect to cause the notice to be filed shall be deemed a refusal to serve.
(b) The sheriff of the county in which the township is situated may disapprove any such appointment within 30 days after the notice is filed. The disapproval precludes that person from serving as a township enforcement officer, and the township board may appoint another person to that position subject to approval by the sheriff.
(c) Every person appointed to the office of township enforcement officer, before entering upon the duties of the office, shall execute, with sufficient sureties to be approved by the supervisor or clerk of the township, an instrument in writing by which the township enforcement officer and his or her sureties shall jointly and severally agree to pay to each and every person who may be entitled thereto all sums of money as the township enforcement officer may become liable to pay on account of any neglect or default of the township enforcement officer or on account of any misfeasance of the township enforcement officer in the discharge of, or failure to faithfully perform, any of the duties of the office.
(d) The township enforcement officers shall have the same power and authority within the township as a deputy sheriff but only for the purpose of enforcing township ordinances. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Section, township enforcement officers are authorized to enforce county ordinances within areas of a county located within the township pursuant to intergovernmental agreements between the respective county and township to the extent authorized by the agreement. The township enforcement officer shall not carry firearms and will not be required to comply with the Peace Officer and Probation Officer Firearm Training Act. The officer shall attend law enforcement training classes conducted by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board. The township board shall appropriate all necessary monies for the training.
(d-5) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, in all actions for the violation of any township ordinance, township enforcement officers shall be authorized to issue and to serve upon any person who the township enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe is guilty of a violation of a township ordinance a notice of violation that shall constitute a summons and complaint. A copy of such notice of violation shall be forwarded to the circuit court having jurisdiction over the township where the violation is alleged to have been committed. Every person who has been issued a summons shall appear for trial, and the action shall be prosecuted in the corporate name of the township. Enforcement of county ordinances shall be in accordance with procedures adopted by the county and any applicable State law.
(2) In all actions for violation of any township ordinance when the fine would not be in excess of $500 and no jail term could be imposed, service of summons may be made by the township clerk by certified mail, return receipt requested, whether service is to be within or without the State.
(e) The township enforcement officers shall carry identification documents provided by the township board identifying him or her as a township enforcement officer. The officers shall notify the township clerk of any violations of township ordinances.
(f) Nothing in this Code precludes a county auxiliary deputy or deputy sheriff, or a municipal policeman or auxiliary police officer from serving as a township enforcement officer during off-duty hours.
(g) The township board may provide compensation for the township enforcement officer on either a per diem or a salary basis.
Balich: Will County Board members should be allowed to carry guns
Susan DeMar LaffertyContact ReporterDaily Southtown
A week before the Orlando massacre, Will County Board member Steve Balich, R-Homer Township, crafted a proposed resolution that would allow him and his fellow licensed board members to carry concealed weapons into county buildings, where they are currently prohibited from doing so.
From an economic standpoint, it would save the county money, he said, and from a safety perspective, it might deter incidents like what happened in Orlando from happening in Will County, he said.
Balich brought up his proposed resolution at the end of Tuesday’s legislative committee meeting, and he hopes it will be discussed at next month’s committee meeting. His resolution said that it would be “unfair to the taxpayer to pay for sufficient armed security officers at meetings” when a number of board members are licensed to carry guns.
Those elected officials who are properly licensed should be allowed to carry concealed firearms into county and forest preserve properties, the proposed resolution said.
“People trusted me enough to vote for me,” Balich said.
While a potential shooter could easily spot a uniformed officer, he would not know which board members were packing a gun, he said.
Offenders usually seek out places like the Orlando nightclub, where “no one has a weapon to fire back,” Balich said.
His idea goes back several months, when county officials first discussed how to enhance security measures, he said.
Balich also cited state laws that allow a mayor, aldermen, trustees and police to act as “conservators of the peace,” with powers to arrest people who violate municipal ordinances after completing a law enforcement training course. However, they do not specifically mention allowing those officials to carry weapons.
Assistant State’s Attorney Mary Tatroe said that, as of now, the state prohibits firearms in county buildings, but said she would research the proposal.
Balich’s suggestion did not sit well with all committee members.
Democratic leader Herbert Brooks Jr., D-Joliet, said, “This was not the time nor the place” to discuss such a proposal.
“We need a time of mourning,” he said. “We need a time of healing.
“These 49 victims have not even been buried yet,” he said, referring to the shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla. Sunday morning. “After what just happened (in Orlando), I did not want to hear about guns. I was not prepared for that. We can talk about politics later on.”
Brooks added that he did not believe county board members should be allowed to carry guns into county buildings.
Balich Fund Raiser 6 2 2016
Homer area referendums seek voter approval, term limits, tax increase
Published: Saturday, March 12, 2016 10:36 p.m. CDT
By FELIX SARVER – email@example.com
HOMER TOWNSHIP – A referendum in Homer Township is seeking to require all taxing bodies in the area to receive voter approval by referendum before increasing taxes.
The referendum is being proposed by Will County Board member Steve Balich, R-Homer Glen, who said the proposal would be nonbinding.
However, one way he would “make it binding” is to publicize the names of elected officials who vote to raise taxes without going to referendum.
Balich said he would make it known those officials “defied the express will of the people.”
“It’s very important for the taxpayers – that includes businesses and the renters – to make their voice heard and vote yes to this referendum,” he said.
Balich’s referendum is one of three being proposed in the Homer area. The village of Homer Glen and the Northwest Homer Fire Protection District have also proposed their own referendums. Homer Glen Mayor George Yukich wants to limit the terms of his office and the Northwest Homer fire officials want to increase taxes to replace aging equipment and parts.
Balich said every year he visits local government boards and tells them not to raise taxes to no avail.
The Homer Township Property Tax Referendum Has enough signatures to get on the March 15, 2016 Ballot, and stand up to a challenge.
September 19 Getting enough petitions to get on the Ballot
This Referendum is the strongest statement the citizens can make to their elected officials. There is no wiggle room to spin things to make it seem like the people feel it is alright to raise the Property Levy every year because they can. Although this is an Advisory Referendum, it will be hard for an elected official to defy the direct will of the citizens by voting for a tax increase without going to Referendum. Any elected official ignoring the directive of the voters should be voted out of office.
We believe people in Homer Township should have a say in their Taxes. ( The Question on the Ballot: Shall each taxing body located partially or wholly within Homer Township be required to seek voter approval by referendum prior to increasing its annual total property tax Levy? Yes or No). This is not a Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian issue. It is a citizen and Business issue. Please remember to vote yes on the March 15, 2016 Ballot.taxpayer sign
I want to Thank Walsh Freedom, Americans for Prosperity, Kristen Cross Candidate for Will County Recorder of Deeds, Laurie Mc Philips Candidate for Will County Executive, & Marlene Carlson Candidate for Will County circuit Clerk, who have been at every walk we did in the process of getting the necessary signatures.
The most important people to thank are the 97 plus volunteers from Will, Cook, Dupage, Kendal and Lake Counties. Everyone that helped in getting this on the Ballot should be proud of this accomplishment. This is the first Referendum of its kind in the State of Illinois, and maybe in the United States.
Once this passes in March, citizens in other Townships, Cities, and Counties will do the same thing. They will want to take back control of their Property Taxes.
Steve Balich 815 557-7196
Tax Referendum Sept 19th
Letters to the Editor: Wanting to make a difference in taxpayers lives
3:10 pm CDT September 1, 2015 Homer Horizon
Radio host and former Congressman Joe Walsh is coming to Homer Township Saturday, Sept. 19 to make a difference in the lives of the people of Homer Township, getting signatures in support of the property tax referendum initiated by Steve Balich (meeting at Mullets Sports Bar & Restaurant to go get signatures at 1 p.m. and returning at 4 p.m. for pizza). Currently there is enough signatures to get on the ballot. The goal is 2,000 signatures, but 3,000 would be better, to stand up to any challenges. Former Congressman Joe Walsh will help to finish the job making sure it is on the ballot.100_1477
Once this passes March 15, 2016, the people will be one step closer to taking back control of their government. The issue is not about political parties. It is a people issue benefiting every citizen. Raising property tax takes money from every family. If you rent, taxes go up, then so will your rent. When taxes go up, so do prices you pay when buying things, since business has more expense which will pass on to the consumer. Raising taxes increases the cost of doing business and our cost of living, taking more of our hard-earned cash.
In a representative democracy, citizens allow others — usually elected officials — to represent them in government processes, including property tax increases. Although this is an advisory referendum, meaning the taxing bodies can ignore the will of the people, it is the strongest statement citizens can make to these officials, clearly stating the will of the citizens. This is our opportunity to make a difference and make our voice heard. If a person on a board goes contrary to the will of the people, that person needs to be voted out.
The petition for the March 15 ballot reads: “Shall each taxing body located partially or wholly within Homer Township be required to seek voter approval by referendum prior to increasing its annual total property tax Levy? Yes or No”
Steve Balich, Will County Board and Homer Glen resident 815 557-7196 firstname.lastname@example.org
– See more at: http://www.homerhorizon.com/letters-editor/letters-editor-wanting-make-difference-taxpayers-lives#sthash.XwT3x7st.dpuf
Walsh Freedom & Steve Balich, want to make a difference in taxpayers lives
Radio Host & Former Congressman Joe Walsh is coming to Homer Township Saturday September 19th to make a difference in the lives of the people of Homer Township, getting signatures in support of the Property Tax Referendum initiated by Steve Balich (meeting at Mullets to go get signatures at 1pm and returning at 4pm for Pizza). Currently there is enough signatures to get on the ballot. The goal is 2000 signatures but 3000 would be better, to stand up to any challenges. Former Congressman Joe Walsh will help to finish the job making sure it is on the ballot.
Once this passes March 15, 2016, the people will be one step closer to taking back control of their government. The issue is not about Political Parties. It is a people issue benefiting every citizen. Raising Property Tax takes money from every family. If you rent, taxes go up, then so will your rent. When taxes go up so do prices you pay when buying things since business has more expense which will pass on to the consumer . Raising taxes increases the cost of doing business and our cost of living taking more of our hard earned cash.
In a Representative Democracy citizens allow others, usually elected officials, to represent them in government processes including property tax increases. Although this is an Advisory Referendum, meaning the taxing Bodies can ignore the will of the people, it is the strongest statement citizens can make to these officials, clearly stating the will of the citizens. This is our opportunity to make a difference and make our voice heard. If a person on a Board goes contrary to the will of the people that person needs to be voted out.
The Petition for the march 15th Ballot reads Shall each taxing body located partially or wholly within Homer Township be required to seek voter approval by referendum prior to increasing its annual total property tax Levy? Yes or No
I want to thank all the Local Volunteers, Walsh Freedom, Americans for Prosperity, and Joe Walsh for all their help. We are getting close to the goal and will achieve it. God Bless everyone!
Steve Balich 815 557-7196 email@example.com
Will County Forest Preserve District budget proposal includes pay raises
Published: Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015 5:03 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015 10:53 p.m. CDT
By LAUREN LEONE–CROSS – firstname.lastname@example.org
JOLIET — Amid staff cutbacks and added responsibilities, certain Forest Preserve District of Will County employees would receive two pay raises in less than a year under a draft budget proposal presented Wednesday to the district’s Finance Committee.
The $16.2 million operating budget presented Wednesday was balanced, but would use $600,000 in cash reserves. That balanced status is due to the district’s creation of an early retirement program. The district faced a $400,000 shortfall last year.
The proposed raises received pushback from some committee members, including Steve Balich, R-Homer Glen. He questioned whether pay increases are a good idea in light of last year’s shortfall and the state budget crisis.
“Everyone is trying to cut, and we’re saying, ‘What the hell, we’ll just give them a little more money?’” Balich said.
Balich and committee member Judy Ogalla, R-Monee, said they would like to see a cost analysis comparing the district’s expected savings from the early retirement program and proposed pay increases.
While additional job duties warrant raises, Ogalla said staff should keep in mind taxpayers are footing the bill.
“You hear it all the time. People complain all the time about how government grows and that government employees have great benefits. There’s nobody in this who’s going to deny that,” Ogalla said. “[Taxpayers] are the ones paying the bill and the majority of those people don’t get the benefits that everyone in this room does have.”
The first set of pay raises amounts to $199,720 — or 1.84 percent of the district’s $10.84 million personnel budget. John Gerl, the district’s finance director, said the district’s personnel costs total 67 percent of the overall operating budget. The increase applies only to those who have taken on additional job duties due to the district’s restructuring of departments and the early retirement program, Gerl said.
Some of the district’s 120 employees have retired, or will retire in the near future, and there are no plans to replace them. Over the next five years, the program is expected to save the district just over $2 million.
Union employees also are set to receive a contractual 2.75 percent wage increase in July 2016, totaling just over $30,000 for the district, including benefits. Staff recommended Wednesday to grant the same increase to non-union employees, totaling about $74,400.