Apr 262011
 

That’s right, you read it here. Let’s dispense with the suspense and give you the bottom line of this posting right now; the Naperville city council has too many council members for a city of our size (eight not including the mayor). And we’ve got the numbers to support that bold statement.

But before we get into the numbers and open some eyes and hopefully some minds, let’s anticipate some misguided opposition to that statement. Some will say we need 8 city council members because we are growing in population. Well contrary to that sentiment our population has actually declined by about 2% when comparing the last two census figures. Others will say that it’s because we have 8 council members overseeing our ‘success’ that our city has been selected as the best city in the U.S. in which to live. You can lay that one to rest because in the past we were #1, but now we are now #2 within a 10 mile radius of city hall; Bolingbrook has over taken us. Others will say that we need 8 council members because “that’s the way we’ve always done it”. Now that may be the lamest excuse of all. We never had term limits and districts for our council members, however because of a few determined citizens and a massive mandate  to vote for term limits and districts we now have them. So it can be done and this is the time to make it happen.

To the happiness and giddiness of city council members and local government, they have been able to delay the will of the people until the election of 2015. That’s three years after the world is scheduled to end. The last thing the city council wants to do (well almost the last thing) is to move quickly when drawing up a map for districts. As Mayor Pradel stated, “We’ve got a while to do this.” Unfortunately the legal system is allowing the Naperville City Council to procrastinate which the city council specializes in.

But listen close folks…..the city council’s propensity for delaying decisions and actions can now work in the favor of the citizens of Naperville by starting a movement to reduce the number of council members. This could be accomplished easily in time for the next election. We will have five districts and we simply need to eliminate the three at-large ‘floating’ Naperville council member positions. As I said earlier the ‘almost’ last thing the city council wants is to do is draw a map for districts and prepare for term limits. Well the ‘real’ last thing the city council wants is to be reduced in size from 8 members to 5 or 6 maximum. If you think drawing a map is difficult for them, just imagine if city council members thought they could be ‘reduced out’ of the city council.

OK let’s take a look at the numbers and specifically compare 8 cities to Naperville.

Since each of the 8 cities plus Naperville has a mayor or president of the city council we have not included that commonality into the numbers. So we are looking at the number of council members alone for each city.

First let’s compare Naperville to cities with comparable populations which include Dayton, Ohio, Hollywood, Florida, Ft. Collins, Colorado, and Pasadena, California.

City State Population # Of Council Members Residents per Councilman
Naperville Illinois 141,000 8 18,000/1
Dayton Ohio 153,000 4
38,000/1 (+211%)
Hollywood Florida 142,000 6
24,000/1 (+33%)
Fort Collins Colorado 139,000 6
23,000/1 (+28%)
Pasadena California 144,000 7
21,000/1 (+17%)

As you can see those cities have from as few as half as many council members (4) to two-thirds as many (6), and one with one less member. The important metric to notice is the number of residents each city council member of that city represents. Each member of the Naperville city council represents 18,000 residents. Now compare that to Dayton, Ohio where each Dayton city council member represents 38,000 residents; that’s more than twice as many as Naperville. The other three cities represent from 21, 000 each in Pasadena, California to 24,000 in Hollywood, Florida. So why is it those other city councils are so much more efficient at getting the job done than Naperville is.

Now let’s compare Naperville with four other cities (Phoenix, San Diego, Detroit, and Seattle) that have a comparable number of city council members (8 or 9). Phoenix, Arizona with a population of 1,446,000 residents has 8 city council members. That equates to 181,000 residents per city council member in Phoenix; that’s ten times more residents per council member than Naperville at 18,000. Apparently the average Phoenix city council member is 10 times better at getting the job done than any of Naperville’s council members. Take a look at San Diego with 8 council members representing a population of 1,300,000 residents which equates to each San Diego council member representing 163,000 residents or 9 times more residents than Naperville’s council member represents. Detroit and Seattle have 9 council members each with populations of about 4 times as many as Naperville.

City State Population Council Members Residents/Council Member
Naperville IL 141,000 8 18,000/1
Phoenix AZ 1,446,000 8 181,000/1 (10 times)
San Diego CA 1,300,000 8 163,000/1 (9 times)
Detroit MI 714,000 9 79,000/1 (4.4 times)
Seattle WA 609,000 9 68,000/1 (3.8 times)

So no matter how you look at it, Naperville has too many city council members. Are other city councils that much more efficient or competent than Naperville is? That sounds reasonable. Is Naperville that much more wasteful than those other cities. That sounds reasonable too. Or maybe Naperville is over represented; isn’t that like being over served in an establishment with a liquor license. If four or five council members can successfully do what it takes 8 to do, then we need to reduce our 8 council members to four or five. Since we are drawing up a district map with 5 districts then 5 council members sounds ideal and in line with what other successful cities are doing throughout the country.

Fewer council members mean more efficiency, shorter meetings, less expense, and the public forum can increase from three minutes for each presenter to five or six minutes.

What better way to represent citizens than to allow them more time to express their concerns. Like we said initially, the bottom line is that the Naperville city council has too many members.

Apr 222011
 

Top 10 Observations about Naperville’s City Council Meeting:

April 19 marked the last Naperville City Council Meeting for this City Council’s members. On May 1st two new members will be added and two will depart.

May 3rd will be the first seating of the new Naperville City Council. Now granted 7 of the 9 will still be the same, however whenever you add two new ingredients to a recipe, it invariably changes the flavor the outcome. So the citizens of Naperville will soon have a chance taste-test the new flavor.

It’s fascinating sitting in the peanut gallery (general seating) at council meetings because you can see and sometimes hear so much more than if you were looking at it online.

So with that being said, and borrowing the Top-Ten List concept from David Letterman, let’s take a look at the Top-Ten observations from Tuesday’s meeting:

# 10

When it comes to the distribution of SECA funds (Special Events and Cultural Amenities tax fund), the City Council can’t give it away fast enough, unless it’s late at night at the end of a meeting and the Council members want to get out and get home. At that point the dollars start to fly out. And what’s really interesting is how the council members refer to ‘giving haircuts’ to groups asking or needing support. In other words cutting back on what the recipients need or ask for. Now I suppose using the term ‘giving haircuts’ used in open session is probably far better than the terms they may use in ‘closed’ session, but they definitely do like option of giving ‘haircuts’.

# 9

During open forum three Naperville taxpaying citizens gave their 3-minute presentations opposing the continuation of the Smart Grid Initiative without the council giving additional consideration to a more desirable wired option. The City Council gave their almost undivided attention, and then you could almost hear their collective sigh of relief when the nine minutes concluded. You get the feeling the Naperville City Council can’t wait for this group to give up their effort, however you also get a stronger feeling that these folks trying to protect our community will not let the Naperville City Council off the hook. You have to admire the perseverance of those questioning the logic of using this wireless technology, when there is no opposition to a wired solution.

# 8

City Manager Doug Krieger apparently has a very difficult time conveying his thoughts without the annoying use of “uh” punctuating what seems like every other word he utters.

I tried keeping track by using hash marks on a pad of paper, but the new pen I was using ran out of ink. I think I’ll bring a couple of pens next time and try it again.

# 7

A good number of Naperville City Council members wore a bow tie in honor of Councilman Boyajian’s last meeting on the council. Only two (Councilman Fieseler and Councilman Furstenau) were seen at the beginning of the meeting without bow ties; it makes you wonder if they thought Councilman Boyajian should not be honored, or if they just didn’t read the memo thinking it was just another unimportant concern from some Naperville taxpaying citizen.

# 6

Even Councilwoman Brodhead was seen wearing a bow tie. And one point during the meeting she had to excuse herself from the topic being discussed in order to not have a conflict of interest. Upon returning to the dais after the discussion you could hear one of the Councilmen say “she looks like a cocktail waitress”. Most companies would see that type of remark as an invitation to require the person making the remark to have a ‘sit down’ with the HR department and schedule some sensitivity training, but  this is the Naperville City Council, not a member of their staff. Now I must admit she did look like a cocktail waitress but I say that with all due respect to cocktail waitresses, and Councilwoman Brodhead.

# 5

During the Awards and Recognition portion of the meeting, Councilman Boyajian was called upon to proclaim May as Vasculitis Awareness Month which is wonderful. But if you’re going to make that proclamation, Councilman Boyajian should at least know how to pronounce the word ‘Vasculitis’.

# 4

Councilman Doug Krause was runner-up in the Mayoral election, which means he could be the front runner in the next mayoral election. He was proudly seated for most of the session with his bow tie on. If you plan on voting Krause for Mayor, you might want to take this image out of your mind when entering the voting booth.

Naperville city councilman Doug Krause wearing a bow-tie

# 3

Mayor Pradel proclaimed April 20 as Councilman Richard Furstenau Day, and April 25 as Councilman Jim Boyajian Day. Now we could say that in honor of  Furstenau Day you should strike up a conversation with someone on a topic you have absolutely no knowledge about; and in honor of Boyajian Day you could do a verbal beat down on someone but we will refrain from suggesting that in order to not appear ‘mean spirited’. So instead we will wish them both well as they move forward.

# 2

What about those name plates in front of each council person’s seat..? What happens to them? Is that considered city property? Do both departing Naperville City Councilmen get to keep them, or will an ordinance need to be approved for that to happen?

# 1

And the # 1 and final observation about this Naperville City Council is that they still can’t seem to start a meeting on time.

Apr 132011
 

Final Grades For Naperville City Council members

April 19 marks the last meeting for the current members of the Naperville City Council.

Two new members (Steve Chirico and Joe McElroy) will join the newly seated council on May 3. The outgoing council leaves a legacy that only time will tell if they will be hailed as ‘wise men’ of our community or court jesters that made extremely unwise decisions by exercising an abundance of poor judgment.

What we won’t have to wait for are final grades for each council member. Our survey resulted in a final grade for each Naperville City Council member along with a composite of one, two, or three-word descriptions of each council member from those who responded to our survey. Though we don’t necessarily agree with each comment submitted we respectfully acknowledge their right to respectfully comment.

The Final Grades at Watchdog University for each Naperville City Council member in descending order are:

Paul Hinterlong [A+] Promoted and skips a grade level.

Common sense, in-touch, plain speaking, appealing, calm, humble, respectful, amiable, good listener, demonstrates accountability, builds trust, solicits feedback, seeks new ideas, strives for collaboration, demonstrates integrity, focuses on the important, anticipates road blocks, takes charge in a crisis, demonstrates flexibility, adapts quickly, innovative.

Doug Krause     [ A- ] Promoted

Experienced balanced, knowledgeable, visionary, endurance, perseverance confident, self-assured, interested, good eye contact, fact oriented, rational decisions, communicates effectively, thinks critically, manages execution, values input, negotiates win-win solutions, stays current with information, incorporates wisdom and analysis, looks beyond the obvious, best dressed, no longer shovels snow.

Grant Wehrli     [ B+ ] Promoted with reservation

Assertive, confident, bottom-line guy, firm, responsive, impatient, driven, time disciplined, swift, opinionated, demonstrates courage, manages performance, drives change, willing to voice unpopular opinion, takes action, direct, encourages candidness, challenges assumptions, strong bias for action, effective and efficient, gets things done.

Mayor George Pradel [ B-] Tenured

Figurehead, reliable, positive spokesman, compassionate, maximizes relationships, conveys passion, approachable, considerate, gives recognition, sound judgment, loves Naperville.

Kenn  Miller [ C ]  Promoted to meet quota

Professional, opportunistic, unsure, cunning, cautious, business-like, open-minded, the second ‘n’ in ‘Kenn’ is silent.

Judy Brodhead [ D+ ]  On probation moving towards expulsion.

Inconsequential, irrelevant, non-entity, hesitant, inadequate, weak, doesn’t respond well, manages time poorly, delays decisions, gets complacent, avoids conflict,  perseverance-challenged, courteous, sense of humor, tries to help others, best non-male on council.

Bob Fieseler    [D] On probation moving backward and downward rapidly

Double talk, trust issue, lacks courage, evasive, suspicious, words don’t match actions, reacts defensively to feedback, credibility dropped faster than gravity.

Jim Boyajian   [ F+ ]  Drop out

Arrogant, insensitive, disrespectful, egotistical, cocky, defensive, analytical, aggressive, demeaning, insulting, holds others overly accountable, gives punishing feedback, creates negativity, other than that a really nice guy.

Richard Furstenau [F -] Expelled

Incompetent, clueless, unprepared, belligerent, confused, contrary, overwhelmed, demanding, delegates, blames others for mistakes and problems, talented without discipline, makes the rest of the council look like geniuses, best councilman named Richard.

This year’s Naperville City Council election resulted in two council members not retaining their council seats; Drop-out Councilman Boyajian, and expelled Councilman Richard Furstenau which were also the two lowest graded councilmen. Even though the next election is not scheduled until 2013, it’s definitely not too soon to start focusing on who needs to be replaced. Council member seats which are up for election include Judy Brodhead, Kenn Miller, Doug Krause and Paul Hinterlong.

Unseating an incumbent though not easy to do is doable; that was seen in this recent election. Furstenau’s massive and expensive direct mailing marketing campaign could not overcome the negatives he created. And Boyajian wisely decided he could not win a re-election and dropped out. Further proof on his part that Naperville taxpaying citizens deserve to be treated with respect, along with staff members deserving the same reasonable level of courtesy from a ‘seated’ councilman.

It’s a new day and a new time, and no longer can local elected official’s behavior, actions and decisions remain unseen by their constituency, or for that matter the entire world. If a council member’s grade at Watchdog College is an ‘A’ or if it’s a ‘D’ or ‘F’ it’s there for the entire world to behold. Naperville Council members who grasp that concept “get it”.

And those council members who don’t grasp that reality concept are truly candidates for replacement. Naperville does not need to settle for council members who are C’s, D’s and F’s. One question we have to ask ourselves is, “Is the best 9 we can elect?” We have over 140,000 in our fine city…..is this the best we can do for elected officials. So the real bottom line is this, if better is possible then good is not enough. 2013 means ‘better’ is our opportunity.

Apr 092011
 

During every Naperville city council meeting, there is an agenda item that allows citizens to voice their opinions about any topic of their choosing. After registering and being called up to the podium the speaker must state their name and home address. The speaker then has three minutes to convey their thoughts. This three minutes seems to start as soon as the speaker reaches the podium and mouths a single syllable. In my review of the last three Naperville city council meetings, it seems that the speakers are interrupted if what they are saying puts the council in a negative light or if the speaker is requesting something of the city (donations, review of procedures, unsafe or unwise legislation). In the below video, the speakers being cut off is highlighted and you can see that not every speaker seems pleased that they are cut off in mid-sentence or mid-thought. Imagine if the Scripts national spelling bee in Washington D.C. had a timekeeper or judge who after an incorrect letter was enunciated, in an unprofessional and disrespectful manor over-modulated the words “THE SPELLER’S TIME IS UP” or “THE SPELLER IS WRONG”. I believe a better solution to this three minute limit is to perhaps have a simple countdown clock that shows the speaker how much time they have left to speak. Naperville is facing serious budgetary concerns and it seems that the city is trying to reduce overhead (i.e. reduction of police force, reduction of city employees and replacement of city employees with electronic monitoring devices). If the Naperville city council decides they need to reduce additional staff, I believe the timekeeper could easily be replaced by a $6 digital clock which I would offer to the city as a donation. An additional idea would be for Naperville city council meetings to be like the Oscars and have an orchestra drown out the speaker.

Apr 082011
 

Two members of the current Naperville city council (Councilman Boyajian and Councilman Furstenau) will not be part of the new Naperville, Illinois city council which will be seated May 3, 2011. Furstenau was trounced in his re-election bid by coming in 6th place, and Boyajian chose not to run for re-election. Councilman Boyajian exercised wise judgment knowing that if he did run, his chances for re-election were about as good as Charlie Sheen being selected role-model of the year. The difference between Charlie Sheen and soon-to-be ex-councilman Boyajian is that Charlie welcomes a fair fight. Whereas Boyajian enjoys being the council bully and inflicting ‘verbal beat downs’ on Naperville Citizens who dare approach the podium during ‘Public Forum’ time; a time in which a citizen can voice his or her comments for a three minute time period, ironically the same time in a round of boxing.

Soon-to-be ex-Councilman Boyajian displays an ongoing aura of disdain and contempt wrapped in arrogance towards Naperville citizens who dare question the actions and decisions of the Naperville city council. He does this with an appearance of confidence knowing that he is literally and figuratively speaking in an elevated position, with a microphone that doesn’t have a 3-minute cut-off time, backed by an off stage time keeper that tells citizen speakers that “your time us up”, supported by 8 other council members, not one of which has the courage to reign in their peer and ask that he show respect to the speakers who are citizens of Naperville. With this type of support system Councilman Boyajian relishes in the opportunity for verbal ‘beat downs’. Without a support system it’s unlikely he would engage in a fair exchange of opinion (refer to posting ‘City Council Saved by the Bell’ when Naperville citizen Jim Rooney had the City Council down for the count of ‘nine’ before they were saved the time-keeper).

Take a look at this exchange between Boyajian and citizen JoAnne St. Ives during the Naperville city council meeting on April 6.  The hot topic of discussion is whether or not the City should move forward with their quest to install a wireless smart meter grid vs. a fiber optic cable wired solution.

Also, please note the comment below to the Watchdog website from a Naperville Citizen who attended that meeting.

”Yesterday evening I attended the Naperville City Council meeting.  I had a ringside seat to what I believe to be the best and worst of the City of Naperville city council.  Our City Council opened the meeting by recognizing those who have made a difference in our community.  Their involvement and passion is what makes our city great.  In the open forum, the issue of Wireless Smart Meters was discussed and the first few responses from Council members were respectful and professional.  Unfortunately these positive acts were overshadowed by what I would consider as unprofessionalism and bullying on the part of Councilman Boyajian.  Our residents have an opportunity to voice their comments in an open forum about issues that are important to them.  One of the women who spoke about the on-going concerns about the wireless smart meters was greeted with disdain and comments that were not rational or fact based.  There were merely his opinion and perception.  This would be acceptable, if Councilman Boyajian were involved in the process, had reviewed any of the information, or was respectful to one of the people that he ultimately represents.  Unfortunately he has been asleep in his chair (if he was even present) and has ignored the multiple attempts to meet on this subject with the key people from the organization.  I applaud those Council members who have gone out of their way to meet with the concerned citizens of Naperville to create a win/win scenario on this initiative.  Unfortunately, when you are outgunned, outclassed and at an intellectual disadvantage the rule of thumb for Councilman Boyajian is apparently to resort to bullying, cutting people off multiple times in mid-sentence as they are answering his questions and acting as if he didn’t have the time to spend on their issue.  What is most concerning is that his behavior and comments are on public television and make our city look bad.   He needs to remember that he represents us, not the other way around.”

Now the fact that soon-to-be ex-councilman Boyajian will no longer be part of the Naperville city council and will be riding off into the sun-set on his motorcycle with training wheels tightly affixed would seem to make him a non-entity and a moot point in the annuls of Naperville history. However, with Commandant Boyajian’s regime coming to an end,  the important lessons to be learned by the Naperville city council are that the citizens of Naperville have a right to respectfully voice their opinions about issues that are important to them during public forums;  council members need to respect the citizens of Naperville that they represent;  council members work for their constituency; and their positions as council members are not positions of ownership, but rather positions of stewardship.

The three-minute limit on Naperville citizens during the Public Forum is not a boxing match, it’s an opportunity for Naperville city council members to do their job, and that job is respectfully listening to their constituency

Apr 062011
 

Victory 2011: It’s all in the numbers.

The elections for Mayor and the Naperville City Council are over and the votes have been tallied and when all the dust settled, it was a victory for the Citizens of Naperville.

Of major importance, the two weakest and most detrimental links in the Naperville City Council (Richard Furstenau and Councilman Jim Boyajian) will no longer be part of the Naperville City Council. Councilman Richard Furstenau was soundly defeated in the field of ten candidates finishing in sixth place. Of the five candidates who finished in front of Fustenau, three were non-incumbents. In fact Furstenau came in closer to last place than he did to second place finisher non-incumbent Steve Chirico. The citizens of Naperville not only spoke loudly via the voting booth, they shouted their collective displeasure towards hypocrisy. When a councilman professes to be the voice of financial conservatism from the dais, yet in the courtroom inflicts financial discomfort to the city he represents, then those words and actions don’t match. The citizens of Naperville spoke, and their words matched their actions on Election Day.

And soon-to-be ex-councilman Furstenau still doesn’t get it; after the elections while being interviewed on Naperville’s NCTV Furstenau said, “I want to take a look at the votes and precincts and it looks to me like there were some strange things going on with the voting, but I haven’t had time to analyze all the numbers yet.” Well the good news for soon-to-be ex-councilman is that he now will have plenty of time on his hands to ‘analyze all the numbers’, and frankly there aren’t many numbers (votes he received) to analyze.

Councilman Jim Boyajian chose not to run for re-election, which is without a doubt the best decision he has made while being a member of the Naperville City Council. We anticipate one of  soon-to-be ex-councilman Boyajian first tasks will be to follow in the footsteps of the tinman in the Wizard of Oz by looking for a ‘heart’. No longer will the Naperville staff at City Hall have to be subjected to verbal ‘beat downs’ during council meetings.

Two of our four endorsements for Naperville City Council were successful; first place finisher incumbent Grant Wehrli, and second place finisher Steve Chirico. Our top choice for Naperville City Council was Patty Gustin who finished fifth just a few hundred votes behind non-incumbent Joe McElroy who finished fourth. The top four vote getters will join the ‘new’ Naperville City Council.

Fortunately for Councilman Bob Fieseler, Naperville has yet to establish districts or wards, because if Naperville did have ‘the will of the people’ in place by having districts for this election he would also be an ex-councilman if he went one-on-one with newly elected Steve Chirico. So the fact that Bob Fieseler was trounced by a non-incumbent doesn’t speak well for Councilman Fieseler’s election results.

Though we did not endorse Mayor George Pradel, it was absolutely no surprise that he was re-elected for a fifth term over our endorsement and second-place finisher Doug Krause. What is interesting is that Mayor Pradel did not win with 70% of the vote as he did in the last election; this time he clocked in with 65% of the vote which is still a mandate, but he was less successful in this election. This may be due to a number or reasons including, 1) Naperville’s decline in the rankings of most favorable cities to live in, 2) Naperville’s decrease in population (this is never a good thing), 3) major budget problems, 4) citizen-voter dissatisfaction with the liquor commission decisions which is headed by Mayor Pradel, and 5) support of the Smart Grid.

It’s all in the numbers, and by any measure Naperville Election 2011 was a victory for the Citizens of Naperville.

Apr 012011
 

The Watchdog’s Choice for City Council is…..

The upcoming election for the Naperville City Council next Tuesday April 5th is an absolutely wonderful opportunity to inject some energy, clear vision, and common sense into the Naperville City Council. Three current members of the council are running for re-election; they include Grant Wehrli, Bob Fieseler and Richard Fustenau. Of those three only Grant Wehrli was selected as one of the top four vote-getters in the Watchdog pre-election vote, coming in third (71%) behind a fair and balanced candidate Patty Gustin (91%), clear-vision candidate Steve Chirico (71%) and ahead of fourth-place finisher common-sense candidate Charlie Schneider.

We support the results of the pre-election vote and enthusiastically endorse Patty Gustin and Steve Chirico, along with an optimistic endorsement of Charlie Schneider, and a guardedly optimistic endorsement for Grant Wehrli.

Patty Gustin can bring a wealth of knowledge about the inner workings of government to the council along with a high level of intellectual energy. She appears to be fair and balanced and has the ability to take a step ‘back’ for a more clear view and understanding of issues. Her openness and responsiveness is inviting and overall would bring an abundance of fresh air to the council chambers with regard to accountability and trust.

Steve Chirico presents a clear perspective and ability to grasp the complexity of challenges facing the city of Naperville as it grows. This was clearly seen during the recently held forums. His strong communication skills and strategic thinking ability along with his bias to drive change would help fuel the Naperville City Council to move in a positive direction.

Charlie Schneider comes across as a man of few words and a strong partiality towards common sense. Both of these traits are sorely lacking in the current Naperville City Council. He’s going to make his point straight, without getting involved in circular dialogues. Having Charlie Schneider on the Naperville City Council would most assuredly make the meetings shorter and most likely more understandable. He was also instrumental in placing the City Council term limits and districting referendums on the November 2010 ballot.

Grant Wehrli, the lone incumbent to be endorsed by Watchdog, is a no-nonsense Councilman. He has no tolerance for silliness and keeps things moving along. He is typically the only Councilman ready to start meetings on time and is often seen seated ready to rock’n’roll while his fellow council members come sauntering in ‘glad-handing’ towards their seat. He exhibits one characteristic richly lacking in his counterparts on the council and that’s his courage to voice unpopular positions on issues. His ability to manage performance and execution is also evident at Naperville Council meetings.

Occasionally he has filled in for the Mayor, and his propensity to pound the gavel appears to give him great satisfaction.

It should be noted that two incumbent councilmen did not receive Watchdog endorsement; Bob Fieseler (30% approval) and Richard Furstenau (11% approval).

The absolute simple bottom-line with regard to Councilman Richard Furstenau is that he must go. He presents himself as the shining light of fiscal conservatism, however he burdened Naperville taxpayers with court actions that completely drown out his words of being expense and budget conscious. When actions don’t match words, that’s a Watchdog endorsement deal-breaker.

Councilman Bob Fieseler brings many good characteristics to the Naperville City Council; however it only takes a few major mis-steps to negate whatever good has been accomplished.

There is a saying that goes like this, “I am 10% of what happens to me, and 90% how I respond to it.” I dare say that those receiving endorsements from the Watchdog are familiar with this saying, while incumbents not receiving Watchdog endorsements have no clue what it means.