March, 2004
You Tell Us
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

No Excuse for Not Knowing Your Elected Officials!


My fellow home inspectors – who are the elected officials representing you?
Get to know the people who are working for you. Most citizens show their faces or come out of the woodwork only when they have a complaint or a problem. Then they go away until the next problem.

To find who your elected officials are, contact your library, your municipality, your chamber of commerce or your local real estate association – they will know, for sure. Attend a local ribbon-cutting ceremony, civic or political event, fund- raiser etc. Seek out the officials, introduce yourself. Give them your business card and tell them sincerely, “If I can ever be of help, call me.” Most political types are used to constituents who only want something for themselves. If you are asked to help, please do so – build that relationship. Just as in our business, it won’t happen overnight.

Most politicians hate to ask for money. Your periodic, regular donation to a favorite official of $50 or $100 will not be forgotten.

Elected officials are not experts on all the many issues that cross their desks – they need good, unbiased (if possible) input from staff, from the citizenry, from lobbyists and trade groups. Be a resource for your official, even on matters other than home inspections – it will be appreciated.

You would be amazed at the impact you can have on government! Try it!

Jack Fehlandt, ASHI Member
Mr. P, Inc.
Streamwood, Ill.

Note: Fehlandt currently serves on the State of Illinois Home Inspector Advisory Board. For 18 years, he served in various appointed and elected municipal positions, being elected twice as Village Trustee and once as Mayor. He has helped over a dozen people be elected to state and local offices, serving frequently as campaign chair or treasurer. He has walked every street in his community, campaigning.