Illinois Public Media News

AP - Illinois Public Media News - September 02, 2009

Doorhangers and Windshield Handbills Now Legal in Champaign

Laws banning the placement of handbills on the windshields of parked cars and on the doorknobs of people's homes have been lifted in Champaign.

The Champaign City Council voted 8 to 1 lTuesday night to repeal its ban on distributing handbills on cars and as doorhangers in residential areas. City officials say recent federal court decisions indicate that the bans are likely unconstitutional.

City Councilman and attorney Tom Bruno says he's heard from residents who want to see the bans on doorhangers and windshield handbills continue in Champaign. But he says if they did so, they would be impossible to enforce.

"We would never our city attorney or expect the (county) state's attorney to prosecute somebody for an invalid law", says Bruno, "so, as much as you might wish we left this ordinance on the books, it's already unenforceable --- legally unenforceable."

City officials say there may still be options --- such as licensing and the city's litter ordinance --- for limiting the use of doorhangers and windshield handbills. But for now, Councilman Bruno says you can legally forbid doorhangers at your home by posting "No Trespassing" or "No Soliciting" signs. He says it might be even more effective to complain to the advertisers involved. And Councilwoman Karen Foster suggests complaining to the owners of parking lots that allow windshield handbilling.

Categories: Government, Politics

AP - Illinois Public Media News - September 02, 2009

Champaign City Council Approves Additional $25 Towing Fee

It will soon cost you more in Champaign, any time your car gets towed by the city.

Starting in October, the city of Champaign will charge a 25 dollar fee whenever they initiate a tow. That's on top of the fee charged by the tow truck operators the city hires --- and that fee will be going up five dollars as well.

Police Chief R-T Finney says the new fee will cover the cost to the city of handling the paperwork on each city-initiated tow.

"Every tow that occurs in the city that's a relocation tow off of private property, or a city-initiated tow from a traffic accident, any type of initiated tow that the police department or Public Works or Parking would initiate, that all has to be processed by the police department," explains Finney.

The fee will NOT apply to private towing --- such as when your car breaks down, and you hire a tow-truck to take it to a mechanic.

The towing administrative fee is one of several new and increased fees the Champaign City Council approved last June to help balance the city budget. Council members approved the specifics of the towing fee Tuesday night.

Tow truck operators resisted the new fee, which they have to collect on behalf of the city. The five-dollar increase in their own fee came as a result of negotiations between the operators and Champaign city officials.

Categories: Government, Politics

AP - Illinois Public Media News - September 01, 2009

More Details on UIUC Senate Postponment of Vote on White, Herman

It will be two more weeks before the Academic Senate at the University of Illinois's Urbana campus votes on a resolution calling for changes in leadership.

The body made up of 200 faculty and 50 students met in closed session for about an hour Monday to consider an advisory resolution aimed at Urbana Chancellor Richard Herman and President Joseph White - calling for them to step down in the wake of the U of I admissions scandal. Then the panel voted 91 to 66 to postpone the vote to September 14th.

Before Senators considered the resolution... both administrators addressed the standing-room only crowd. Chancellor Herman again apologized for his role in improper admissions, saying he realized that people were in 'genuine pain' as a result of clout's involvement.

"I still believe", said Herman, "that for the hundreds of inquiries from well-connected people over many years, only a small percentage ended up being mishandled. But even one case is too many."

Herman said he considered resigning... but believes his accomplishments should outweigh the mistakes.

Meanwhile, White told the faculty-student body that said he was unaware of the Category I list of politically connected applicants until news reports of about the list first surfaced:

"I assure you that had I known about these practices, I would have challenged them", White said.

Both White and Herman say they want to stay in their jobs to help guide reforms of the admissions process.

Senate Executive Committee Chair Joyce Tolliver says now the Senators can take their time to discuss the resolution with fellow faculty and students, most of whom have just returned to campus. But Tolliver points out a new U of I Board of Trustees could take action on the administrators ---- before the Senate meets again. Governor Pat Quinn still has to fill five vacancies on the Board prior to a September 10th trustees meeting in Urbana.

Categories: Education

AP - Illinois Public Media News - September 01, 2009

UIUC Senate Wants Bigger Role for Faculty in Choosing U of I Trustees

The faculty-student Senate at the University of Illinois Urbana campus is calling on Governor Pat Quinn to create a task force to advise him on selecting new members of the U of I Board of Trustees. A resolution passed by the Academic Senate Monday also recommends that chairs of the Senates at each campus be among the members of the panel. It also calls for the eventual appointment of faculty to the U of I Board itself.

Business professor and Academic Senator Mark Roszkowski says having faculty representation at the top level of university governance would ensure real shared governance between the university's administration and its faculty. "So I think this vaults the (Academic) Senate into its proper position as the protectors of the academic mission of the university", he added.

Roszkowski says if faculty serve as U of I trustees, they might have to recuse themselves from voting on certain matters to avoid conflicts of interest, as student trustees now do. But he says that even in those cases, a faculty voice during board discussions would be good for the university.

Roszkowski says a delegation from the Academic Senate is to meet with Governor Quinn on the proposal, before he appoints any additional trustees. Quinn has said he plans to appoint more trustees on Friday.

Passage of the resolution on faculty participation in choosing and serving as trustees came at the same meeting where senators agreed to postpone a vote on a resolution recommending that U of I President B. Joseph White and Urbana Chancellor Richard Herman step down.

Categories: Education, Government, Politics

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