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.

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