Have you ever noticed that whenever a new idea, concept, or business venture surfaces in Naperville, city officials are quick to try and figure out a way to regulate or tax it. Rather than rejoicing in the entrepreneurial spirit and being thankful that Naperville has been a destination of choice for creative business ventures and investors, city officials eye with suspicion, almost anyone trying to make an honest buck, unless the city can get a piece of that buck. Landlords are now in the cross-hairs of the Naperville city council. What’s interesting is that a number of council members, are landlords themselves.
The city council is floating the idea of an ordinance, requiring a ‘landlord license’, which of course would encompass some type of fee for the license, and would allow the city to become a not-so-silent partner in the landlord-tenant agreement.
Naperville council member Joe McElroy implied the ordinance, if voted upon and approved, would include “carrots and sticks”. City officials enjoy the idea of sticks over carrots any day, considering ‘carrots’ cost money, while ‘sticks’ bring in money; and really big sticks bring in really big money.
There’s no doubt that occasionally renters or landlords need some encouragement to ‘do the right thing’, however the city already has the friendly means to make that happen as does the free market system. Typically things seem to work better the less government interferes.
Whether it’s federal, state, or local government, they all work within the three pillars of intimidation; money, muscle, and neutralizing the opposition. Money through taxes and fines, muscle through laws or ordinances, and neutralizing the opposition by demonizing or portraying them as blights on society. It’s part of their ‘Mission Statement’.
I’m sure when Joe verbalized this idea, he had good intentions, and he really thought it was a great idea. That’s the really good part of Joe; he’s willing to say, what others won’t. It’s called courage. However it also entails more local government intrusion. Let the free market system do what it does best which is to determine the best course of action.
If it ever did come up for a council vote, there may not be enough non-landlord-council-members to form a quorum, and life would go on, uninterrupted by city officials.