Elwood nixes 2-year old fire sprinkler mandate

Source: Bigstock

It all started with a text message.

Nearly a year later, the village of Elwood killed a policy mandating costly fire sprinkler systems be installed in all new residential construction.

The move on Wednesday is significant because Elwood stood alone in Will County as having the policy, one which property rights advocates say can add $10,000 or more to the cost of building a home.

REALTOR® Matt Persicketti

In that July 2016 text message to Illinois REALTORS® Member Outreach Manager and Local Government Affairs Director Gideon Blustein, Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® president-elect, Matt Persicketti texted Gideon to see what could be done about the Village’s strict requirement for residential fire sprinklers in all new construction.

Persicketti had a homebuilder client who had run into red-tape with the Village of Elwood in the middle of a construction project. Because of the sprinkler regulation, his future homeowners would ultimately have to pay more than $10,000 in unforeseen costs. The price was especially high because they had to have a special water main installed to accommodate the required sprinkler system.

The situation prompted Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® members and Blustein to repeatedly reach out to then Village President, William Offerman.

Offerman also serves as the Fire Chief in Elwood, and efforts to discuss the policy with him were unsuccessful.

Many weeks later, when Elwood hired a new Village Manager, REALTORS® finally got a meeting with the municipality’s staff.

Gideon Blustein, Illinois REALTORS®

In preparation, Blustein pulled the number of new residential building permits for Elwood and the surrounding communities; the numbers were staggering. While surrounding communities had seen steady growth over the past few years, Elwood’s growth was basically stagnant. Armed with these numbers and the RVOICE brochure, “The Impacts of Mandating Residential Fire Sprinklers,” Blustein met with the village’s staff. While they found the arguments compelling, they relayed that the issue was unlikely to gain favor with the village’s president and board.

In April, Offerman was ousted by a challenger, Todd Matichak, who stressed in his campaign that he wanted to see the sprinkler mandate rolled back.

In advance of Matichak’s first official meeting as Village President, he worked with the village board to shore up the votes necessary to repeal the residential fire sprinkler mandate.

Blustein assisted by sharing the RVOICE brochure and a letter outlining our opposition with Board members. Among the efforts to obtain a repeal:

  • REALTOR® Jim Sim

    Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® Immediate Past President Jim Sim stepped to the podium to speak out against the residential fire sprinkler mandate.

  • Blustein provided updated residential building permit statistics for areas surrounding Elwood which showed their growth as Elwood’s recorded stagnate numbers.
  • And the board was given as evidence the quote from the property owners whose case prompted the debate.

With arguments made, the vote on whether to repeal the residential fire sprinkler mandate was the final item on the June 21 agenda. The measure repealing the sprinkler mandate was adopted with a 5-1 vote in favor of repealing the fire sprinkler mandate.

After the meeting, property owners, builders and Blustein congratulated and thanked Matichak and board members for their leadership.

Matichak urged homebuilders to get to work building in the community.

Mainstreet offers RPAC headshot incentive to REALTORS® in June


No! (Bigstock)

It’s a recurring source of humor in real estate circles: the outdated headshot photo. At some point in your career you’ve done a double take when an agent hands you a business card with a headshot that is a decade or more out of date. Perhaps you are the culprit – still using the headshot of a younger, less experienced version of yourself!

It is an easy task to put off. It takes time to find a good photographer, schedule the photo shoot and justify the expense. Now the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® has removed these barriers! Mainstreet has scheduled a professional fashion photographer to travel to the association’s regional offices on Mondays in June to provide headshots to members in exchange for a small RPAC investment.

REALTORS® can choose from the basic package which includes electronic files of two poses with color editing or the premium package which includes electronic files of two poses with facial touch-ups and color editing. To get more information, click on the image to the left, then schedule your appointment by email marisa@succeedwithmore.com or call 630-324-8436.

(The REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) solicits contributions from Illinois REALTORS® members only.)

Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® donates to local Boys and Girls Club

 Pictured from left to right: Judy Panozzo, Jim Sim, Matt Persicketti, Khalil Diab, Ken Pytlewski and David McClintock

TRAR donated $1,000 to the Boys and Girls Club of Joliet. (l to r) Judy Panozzo, Jim Sim, Matt Persicketti, Khalil Diab, Ken Pytlewski and David McClintock.

Oct. 26 was a happy day in Joliet as the Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® (TRAR) leadership team presented a donation of $1,000 to the George Werden Buck Boys and Girls Club of Joliet.

Boys and Girls Club Executive Director Khalil Diab accepted the donation for the nonprofit organization, which helps more than 1,000 children annually, ages 6 to 18. During the school year, the Joliet club provides after-school activities for about 120 children per day and serves more than 36,000 after-school snacks. During the summer, programming ramps up while kids are off school. Attendance averages 380 per day with a total of 3,800 lunches served throughout the summer.

TRAR is proud to support this local institution and REALTORS® across the United States are supporting Boys and Girls Clubs as a priority under the leadership of 2015/2016 National Association of REALTORS® President Tom Salomone. For more information about the national initiative, you can go to: http://www.realtor.org/programs/boys-and-girls-clubs-of-america.

Joliet REALTORS® celebrate Homes for Heroes ribbon cutting celebration

Gideon Joliet

Joliet REALTORS®, Joliet Chamber of Commerce members and local dignitaries celebrated the ribbon cutting of the Homes for Heroes program coming to the City of Joliet Monday.

Homes for Heroes offers savings to local community heroes when buying or selling a home. Discounts and rebates are available for buyers and sellers in the following groups: military personnel, police officers, firefighters, teachers, first responders and healthcare workers. Yvonne King (pictured center) a REALTOR® with Inspire Realty Partners organized the event and cut the ribbon signifying the start of the program. According to its website, Homes for Heroes has saved eligible heroes more than $14 million since its inception.

In addition to local REALTORS®, elected officials including Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk, Will County Executive Larry Walsh and State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant were there to celebrate and offer encouragement.

Gideon Joliet 2

REALTORS® and Congressman Bill Foster discuss FHA appraisals and the housing market

Illinois REALTORS® President Mike Drews, Congressman Bill Foster and REALTOR® Jeff Gregory

Illinois REALTORS® President Mike Drews, Congressman Bill Foster and REALTOR® Jeff Gregory

Illinois REALTORS® hosted a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) town hall meeting in partnership with Congressman Bill Foster on Thursday in Romeoville. REALTOR® Jeff Gregory, managing broker-owner of Realty Executives Success and the Federal Political Coordinator for Congressman Foster served as moderator of the event.

HUD Deputy Regional Administrator James Cunningham helped guide the lively and informative Q&A between REALTORS® from the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS®, Three Rivers Association of REALTORS®, REALTOR® Association of the Fox Valley and Carl Heckman and Malcolm Jefferson from the Processing and Underwriting Division of the Atlanta Homeownership Center.

Many REALTORS® related problems with the disconnect between what is policy and practice in the field. Congressman Foster’s office offered to keep the dialogue going to make sure that we can resolve some of the issues occurring in the market.