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posted: 10/5/2011 5:00 AM

Could all new Carpentersville ordinances die after three years?

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Should new laws in Carpentersville carry an expiration date or remain in effect until the board says so?

That's the debate trustees took up Tuesday night and intend to revisit at the next board meeting.

Tuesday, Trustee Doug Marks proposed that the board pass a three-year sunset clause that would apply to all new laws the board approves after the clause.

As part of his proposal, trustees would review new laws and recommended changes to them after three years. Laws that are not reviewed would simply disappear from the books. This was one of the issues Marks raised during his campaign in the spring.

"A lot of the rules and regulations we make are a reaction to something going on in the community," Marks said. "I think (the clause is) a good idea, and it'll keep things fresh."

Trustee Brad McFeggan and Village President Ed Ritter supported "sunsetting" new ordinances on a case-by-case basis, rather than all at once.

But other trustees pointed out that the clause, as Marks proposed it, may cause other issues.

For one thing, the cash-strapped village would incur legal fees for every ordinance the village attorney reviews.

"Not that it's a horrible idea ... but there's a cost that goes on with that review process," Trustee Kay Teeter said.

The review process could also overburden an already thin staff. It would likely involve the village clerk and assistant village manager setting up a review process and a computerized system that would alert the clerk to laws that are about to expire. If that system was to fail, the village would find itself in quite the predicament.

"It could be problematic because human error is human error," Village Manager J. Mark Rooney said.