Huntley Reverses Fire Sprinkler Requirment in Single Family Dwellings

Wow. I’ve been watching this for several weeks now and the vote was held tonight in Huntley, Illinois to keep, or not to keep, a requirement for sprinklers in single family dwellings. I read the news on the Huntley Neighbors forum. I would have loved to have been there watching this unfold, but alas, I am in Kansas City and have responsibilities here that prevented me from traveling.

A couple of thoughts . . .

There was a builder on the board of trustees. Even though his vote was not the deciding factor (the vote was 4 to 2) he should have taken himself out of not only the vote but all debate on this issue. His title is Trustee for crying out loud. By definition he should be looking out for the interests of the citizens of his community not his own. I don’t know the man personally, nor do I intend to bash his character I just think that his profession as a builder and his duty to vote in the best interest of the people is a huge conflict of interest. In his defense, the man I’m sure truly believes he voted for the best interest of those who have put their trust in him. We are on polar sides of this issue. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

CORRECTION: My apologies. Turns out that the trustee in question did remove himself from the vote. And, this article indicates he will install sprinklers in his houses no matter how the vote ended up. [Daily Herald]

‘There’s no conflict of interest for me,’ Kanakaris said. ‘I will spend the $60,000 to put the sprinklers in the six homes regardless of the decision tonight.'”

Huntley ran. Pardon the pun, but when the fire got too hot the board of trustees (not all, but collectively) ran on this issue. Sure there are going to be growing pains with such a requirement. But Huntley, like many other progressive communities across the country could have worked all the kinks out of this before a requirement is mandated in the IRC. Think about it. What Huntley has been through most others will go through also at some time in the future. Some cities and towns will go through their growing pains before a mandatory requirement in the code, some will have to catch up after. It’s the difference between being proactive and reactive.

Anything to add? Hit the comments or e-mail me. I’ll continue to keep my eye on this very hot issue not only in Huntley but across the nation.

UPDATE: I defer to the Huntley Blog for commentary from someone directly affected by the reversal. Check it out. There’s a great pic of the supporters and a nice post of the proceedings.

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