Iowa City Government Demands Keys to Citizens’ Private Properties – UPDATE!

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In 1788, Thomas Jefferson sounded a warning to generations of Americans to come when he wrote these words in a letter to E. Carrington:

“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”

On May 23, 2011, democracy committed suicide in Cedar Falls, Iowa. A democratically elected government willingly voted to limit the privacy, liberty, and security of citizens.

That evening, by a majority 6 to 1 vote, the elected governing body of Cedar Falls — its City Council — passed Ordinance 2740.

Ordinance 2740 is an amendment to Chapter 11, Fire Prevention and Protection, of the Code of Ordinances relative to adoption of the 2009 Edition of the International Fire Code.

Translated from bureaucratese into ordinary English language, Ordinance 2740 allows the city government to have the keys to privately-owned properties, including commercial businesses, apartments, and some rental houses — all in the name of fire prevention and protection. The twisted reasoning is that if the government has those keys, it could gain quick entrance to properties should there be a fire. [Read the city council’s meeting minutes here.]

The amended code reads as follows:

Subsection 506.3 A fire department key box shall be installed in each commercial or industrial building in the city which is equipped with a fire detection, fire alarm, or fire suppression system that is monitored by an alarm company with direct connection to the dispatch center of the city, and in each building equipped with an unsupervised local alarm system, and where immediate access to the interior of the building by fire department personnel is necessary for life-saving or firefighting purposes. A fire department key box shall also be installed in each residential property consisting of six (6) or more residential dwelling units. Each fire department key box shall be of a type and shall be installed in a location that is approved by the fire chief or his or her designee, and shall be installed in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations. Each application for a fire department key box shall be submitted to the fire chief or his or her designee. The cost of purchase and installation of each fire department key box shall be paid by the building owner.

Each fire department key box shall contain the following keys:

a. Keys to each locked point of egress, whether on the exterior or interior of the building.

b. Keys to each locked mechanical room in the building.

c. Keys to each locked electrical room in the building.

d. Keys to other areas as determined by the fire chief or his or her designee.

A “fire department key box” means a secure box installed on the exterior of a building, containing keys to various locks on the premises of the building, to which only the fire chief or his or her designee has access.

If the building owner changes or causes to be changed any locks such that the keys located in the fire department key box will not unlock any of the locks described in this section, it shall be the responsibility of the building owner to furnish to the fire chief or his or her designee replacement keys to be placed in the fire department key box, at the owner’s expense.

Ordinance 2740 was championed by Council members Susan DeBuhr and Kamyar Enshayan. 6 out of 7 Council members voted in favor of the ordinance, all in the name of government protecting citizens. Only Councilman Nick Taiber voted against the ordinance. Here are the members of Cedar Falls’ City Council:

Tom Hagarty, 1st Ward

Susan DeBuhr. 2nd Ward

John Runchey, 3rd Ward

Kamyar Enshayan

4th Ward

Frank Darrah

5th Ward

Nick Taiber

At Large

David Wieland

At Large


Although the ordinance was undertaken by an elected city council, that doesn’t mean it’s right. Imagine if an elected body voted in favor of murder or theft. This 6-1 vote by the Cedar Falls City Council is an act of democracy committing suicide. As Americans, we should all be appalled. Here’s what you can do:

We may not live there, but we can vow to never visit this community. Call the Cedar Falls City Hall and give them a piece of your mind. They may not listen to their citizens at this point, but if they recieved thousands of phone calls in one day from people stating they will boycott Cedar Falls and/or the entire state of Iowa, maybe they will listen. Here’s the contact info:

  • City Council members (see above)
  • City Hall: phone (319) 273-8600; voice mail box 6981.
  • Mayor Jon Crews: phone (319) 268-511; e-mail

H/t loyal Fellows, May and Sunnydupree.

~Steve & Eowyn

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25 responses to “Iowa City Government Demands Keys to Citizens’ Private Properties – UPDATE!

  1. Madness.

  2. Not just no but HECK NO! I plan to move back to Iowa within the next year and if this isn’t stopped, more cities will think this is a good idea. I for one…would NEVER comply. There are major constitutional rights being overlooked.

    Why does the government think it is their job to protect us from everything and anything that could possibly happen in life? It is not their job and they need to step down, step aside and think again!

    • Government: Making higher purposes into tasks that can be done blindly by rote or evaded altogether for generous pay, job security, benefits and power at the expense or neglect of the governed since [insert date B.C. here].

  3. It’s for your own good, peons! (The current times have really brought out the left/liberal cowards and/or tyrants in the state and local levels of government.)

  4. If I lived in Cedar Falls, I would tell the city council to go fork themselves to their faces.

    Only, I wouldn’t use the word fork.

    How does one giving their business’ keys to the city government somehow make them safer?

    How long will it be before the city council demands copies of the keys to their residences?

    It will be interesting to see how many city resident sheeple comply with this clearly illegal ordinance.


  5. Cedars Falls… a good reason not to live there!

  6. And this is a good example of big government!!! And it’s scary!!! Anyone thinking of Orwel’s 1984?

  7. America’s Founding Fathers thought of government as a necessary evil because, given the universally flawed human nature, power is certain to be abused. And, as the saying goes, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    What happened in Cedar Falls, Iowa, is the inevitable result of the failure of public schools to teach about the Constitution and America’s founding philosophy. We are seeing the morphing of Nanny State (“Let us take care of you! Let us protect you from harm! Just hand me the power — and the keys to your house!) into Big Brother State.

    And to think this ordinance was passed by an overwhelming majority of 6 to 1 !

    • Remember James Clavell’s “A Children’s Story”… “each according to his age-group, each according to his need.”

  8. yep and for additional security to protect the citizens we will now be installing cameras
    in your homes this will only be for your security . and to keep you from harming yourself we will confiscate all of your weapons guns, knives, etc..


    • Someone should challenge the constitutionality of the ordinance to Iowa’s appeals court, and then to the state’s supreme court.

  10. Utter madness…no way, no how would I give them a key.

    That guy Kamyar thinks he’s the protector of all, no matter what their opinion is. Jerk.

  11. For all Americans who are appalled about by this act of government, lets do something to help. We may not live there, but we can vow to never visit this community. Call the Cedar Falls City Hall and give them a piece of your mind. They may not listen to their citizens at this point, but if they recieved thousands of phone calls in one day from people stating they will boycott this city if this is passed, maybe they will listen. CALL THEIR CITY HALL at 319-273-8600. voice mail box 6981…. I got the above statement from someone on youtube. I left my message How about you now!!!!

  12. ‘and it allows for the citizens of Cedar Falls to forcefully give the government keys to their comercial properties ‘

    This really needs to be reworded….the mandate would force citizens to turn over their keys, is what you mean, right?

  13. You have no expectation of privacy….even in private? FORCED to provide keys…
    whatever happened to just kicking in doors? I suppose those hardened/reinforced blast-proof doors that we’ve been installing to secure our personal papers and
    property are becoming a problem. This is obviously aimed at the middle-class serfs that can’t afford a government licensed security guard.

    Sigh….submit and assimilate…
    resistance is futile

  14. So, a fire is raging and the Fireman and Rescue Squads arrive…

    “Just a minute boys, let me get the keys out of the box.”

    So, instead of gaining access to a BURNING building by breaking a window or a door, our elite, trained, dedicated responders – dressed in safety gear and carrying yet more – must fumble for a key to access other keys to further fumble with.

    • Astute observation, Ted.

      And yet, the twisted excuse of “give us your keys so we can better rescue you from a fire!” succeeded in convincing 6 of 7 city council members to vote “yes.” Where is the Americans With No Abilities Act when we need it? LOL

  15. hmm i wonder if it would still be safe to hide your money under the mattress with all of these officials having a key to your abode?

  16. Douglas Harrison

    Don’t ever let the bastards tell you that political party affiliation is not germane in elections to mayor, city council, school board, police or fire chief, or even dog catcher. It matters very much. While I look at a candidate’s credentials closely, I will not ever knowingly vote for a Democrat. In cases for which I cannot determine the candidate’s party affiliation, I skip that office on the ballot.

    I looked up the Cedar Falls, Iowa, City Council’s webpage and found this motto at the bottom of the home page: “Our Citizens Are Our Business.” It seems like they got a little carried away and are making the business of the citizens their business

  17. Douglas Harrison

    What is the party affiliation of this bunch of ninnies?

  18. These people are completely loony, I’d NEVER give them my key to anything!!!!

  19. My refusal to install a Knox Box on my private property in Dayton. Ohio, Harrison Township has resulted in a Warrant for my arrest. Oh well, I am not giving the government keys to my private property. Fork them.

    • Good for you, Larry! If more Americans were like you, we wouldn’t be in the pickle we are today.

      I believe the time for Civil Disobedience is fast coming. I like your slogan: “Fork them” !!! 😀


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