Fighting City Hall

Today I began working for a new client who is battling the Chicago-area municipality where he moved his family two years ago. After tearing down the existing house, then building a new one, he began work on a new garage.

At first, the structure gained multiple approvals along the way. But then the village, in effect, said, “Oops, your garage is too big. You need to tear it down and start over.”

Taking that route would cost about $100,000, between gutting what’s been done and re-building. Obviously, my client doesn’t want to take that route, nor should he be forced to do so.

I’ve reported numerous times on variations on this “Fighting City Hall” theme, and that experience is integral to my strategy in helping the client. My goal is to shine a light on the situation, through the media and other means, and help my client prevail in being able to simply finish building his garage.

I am mindful, too, that the definition of “winning” in this situation includes behaving in a respectful, classy manner. After all, my client and his family will be residing in this village for years to come and have already proven to be good neighbors (more on that later).

So aggressive tactfulness, or maybe it’ll be tactful aggressiveness, will mark my PR efforts. Stay tuned on updates and more specifics along the way—the next four weeks should prove most interesting!

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