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Newspaper Page Text
ETTELSON DECISION BIG BIZ VICTORY-
FENDER ORDINANCE JOLTED
More funny business came off in
this fender matter yesterday.
When the judiciary committee of
the council met in-the afternoon it
had before it the letterof the Illinois
Manufacturers' ass'n asking for a re
peal of the fender ordinance.
Alderman Kemer sailed into this,
and the proposition of the L M. A.
was killed by the committee.
No sooner was this done, however,
than down from the corporation
counsel's office came an opinion that
the fender law is invalid.
After being on the books for two
and one-half years, being passed
upon by the corporation counsel's
office several times, voted on by the
city council three separate times, the
law, just when it looks as though it
must be enforced, is declared illegal
The opinion, signed by Corpora
tion Counsel Sam Ettelson and W. H.
Devenish, assistant, says that the
fender law is "clearly invalid because
it contains a delegation of power that
could not be sustained in court"
Also "because no type or types of fen
der could be definitely described for
use, the only course left is to pro
vide by ordinance for a standard type
arrived at by uniform tests."
Aid. Kerner who fostered the fen
der ordinance and kept the matter
alive for three years had some strong
things to say about the trick.
"It's the funniest way of doing
business that I have seen for a long
time. Instead of putting the ordi
nance into effect in its present form
to see whether the courts will sustain
it we have the city law department
declaring again it
"Instead of taking a trial case
through the courts as they have in
the past, now we have the corpora
tion counsel's office rendering deci
sions which leave the chief of police
a loophole to crawl out of.
"The law department says that the
ordinance .gives the chief of aliceXpo.
too much power in the matter and
that the council will have to pass
another ordinance describing the
kind of fenders that it wants on auto
"The queer thing is that the same
department has already said several
tims that the law is a good one.
Now when time comes for enforce
ment, something is the matter
The fender law has an interesting -past
Voted through by the council
two and one-half years ago, it has
been blocked since by amendments,
technicalities and opinions.
After the law which required fen
ders on all commercial autos was
passed, big biz asked for several
amendments. These were granted
by the council. Then one fault after
another was found with the law and
on March 1 it was re-passed.
A board of engineers to examine
the fenders was provi'ded. The chief
of police was given the final power
of passing upon them.
Hitches in the law gave the State
street department stores time to send
their managers to see the mayor.
They asked his ajd in repealing the
law. They pay insurance releasing
them from indemnity in auto truck
The express companies sent a big
bunch over to the city hall. They
were against the fender proposition
because if it succeeded the move
ment might spread over the country
and would cost them a lot of money.
Their interest again, was a financial
The last one to rap the fender law
was the Illinois Manufacturers' ass'n.
In a letter to each member of the as
sociation, a big business man, he was
asked to see his alderman and get
him to vote against the fender law.
An ordinance from the L M. A., re
pealing the law, was sent to the city
Htncil ajutxefecred to the judiciary