City Council Meeting recognizes firefighters, strikes down panhandling ordinance

By Jacob Lorenz, Staff Reporter

At the Aug. 27 city council meeting, one of the agenda items was the repealing of the current Carbondale panhandling ordinance by the American Civil Liberties Union. 

Gary Williams, City Manager, said the ACLU sent Carbondale a letter saying the Carbondale ordinance prohibiting panhandling and aggressive panhandling is unconstitutional based on recent court rulings. 

Carbondale, along with all other cities in the state of Illinois, were sent the same correspondence. The first letter from ACLU was sent in August 2018 and the second letter was sent in July 2019. 


The ACLU deemed it unconstitutional for the city of Carbondale to have a city ordinance on panhandling and aggressive panhandling. From Jan. 1, 2019, to July 24, 2019, there were 103 calls per service involving panhandling, resulting in one citation. 

The City Council approved repealing the city ordinance.

City Council recognized three new members of the Carbondale Fire Department and the retirement of two at the meeting. 

Jacob Garza, David Myers and Jordan Jones were sworn into the Department in front of family and friends. Shortly after, Fire Chief Carl Sisk and Assistant Fire Chief Aaron Hine were recognized for their service. 

Another issue brought to the attention of city council, was presented by councilperson Jessica Bradshaw. A new 180-foot communication tower, proposed by Illinois Central Railroad, is to be placed in the middle of downtown Makanda. 

“I feel like that would be a big mistake for that quaint, little downtown area,” Bradshaw said.

Councilperson Brandshaw said people can address their concerns to project manager Angela Kappen at Golder Associates. Her email is [email protected]


The majority of the meeting was spent discussing a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) proposal.

The TIF presentation given by Steven Mitchell, City of Carbondale Government Economic Development Director, described how certain areas in Carbondale can be designated as a TIF district to be redeveloped while also turing renter occupied homes into owner occupied homes. 

Some of the streets listed in the presentation that would be a part of the TIF are Poplar St. and James St. 

Jane Adams, president of the Friends of Carbondale Dog Parks, addressed to city council that  there is a raffle to raise money for a Carbondale dog park. 

The raffle is called the Lucky Dog Raffle and tickets are for at Cristaudo’s, Carbondale Main Street Office and Life Community Center. Name drawings will be on Saturday, Oct. 26. 

See more: Carbondale City Council agenda

Staff reporter Jacob Lorenz can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @jtlorenz6.

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