Carpentersville Protest

The Village of Carpentersville

In 1975 Orville Brettman formed citizen tax protest in the Village of Carpentersville Illinois, known as the CCC (concerned citizens of Carpentersville)

They filed suit against the village for the implementation of an onerous 300% tax increase of sewer and water rates.

Law suit lost but declared the CCC would fight on in the political arena.

Formed CEBG (Citizens to elect better government) and ran successfully for Village President against the sitting village president and senior trustee getting 59.6% of the vote.


Led the fight to mitigate the sewer tax increase

Passed the second ‘Land / Cash ordinance in the United States to force development to pay its own way.

Originated negotiations leading to the creation of ‘Quad-Comm’ a four village cooperative venture to combine resources for police, fire, and emergency services. Quad-Comm is still going strong in 2017.

Called out the Illinois National Guard (without first consulting the Governor James R. Thompson was governor) when the only water supply line to the western 20% of the village was severed. When challenged by the office of the Governor’s office he told them they could take credit with him for the move or explain to the press and the 20% of the village why they should do without water when water tankers were sitting in a lot 15 miles away. The office of the Governor cooperated fully.

Brettman took his entire village board and the village manager to Federal prison with him when he confronted a Federal judge over the issuance of building permits which would have polluted the Fox river.

The property in question had been tied up in bankruptcy court for years having been shut down due to bribes being payed to HUD officials. The Sewer system to the development had been installed in such a fashion that the effluent would flow directly into the Fox River. The judge being interested only in discharging the case from his course when a new developer / buyer appeared ordered the village to issue permits for the sewer system. The board refused and Brettman speaking for the board as President asked the judge where he wanted the check for the money which the judge had threatened to fine the village sent.

The judge remanded the case to a full fledge Federal judge, who threatened Brettman and the board with incarceration for contempt. In open Federal court just prior to Christmas of 1978 Brettman reminded his honor of the motto of the late Congressman David Crockett who was remembered for saying “Make sure you’re right; then go ahead”. Further he told the court that he had discussed the issue fully with the board and that they were of one mind and knew they were morally right, and were prepared to go ahead to jail if necessary.

The court ordered them to return before the bench on January 4, 1979 and prepare to be incarcerated until such time as they relented and issued the permits.

On January 4, 1979 they were found in contempt and remanded to the custody of United States marshals to be incarcerated in a Federal Penitentiary.

Four days later all of the board members capitulated save Brettman who refused to affix his signature to any of the agreements for the issuing of permits.

Within two weeks of release Brettman had gained access to the appellate court library in Elgin Illinois and had drafted and filed ‘pro se’ a complaint and brief to the Illinois Pollution control board which had the effect of blocking the issuance of the permits. His complaint was heard by the board and in the interim the second developer had withdrawn do to financial misfortune.

Brettman later testified in Washington DC and help Congressman Robert McClory change the law so as to protect municipalities from such heavy handed treatment at the hands of the judiciary.