Dec 272011
 

How many errors does a shortstop have to make before you consider moving him to a different position or moving him out of the organization? Maybe the team is better if they move him to third base (less fielding chances) or moving him the end of the bench (even less fielding chances). The main purpose of a shortstop is to cleanly field the ball and accurately throw it. If it is not happening, then it is time for a change. So wouldn’t the same hold true for a city manager. The purpose of a city manager is to manage the city by making sure what needs to done is being done. If its not being done then its time to find a new city manager who is up for the challenge and can get the job done. It’s as simple as that.

This could not be more evident than in the recent mismanagement by the city of Naperville with regard to the non-profit Naperville group Loaves and Fishes Community Pantry, when the city provided erroneous information in an untimely manner that resulted in the Department of Housing and Urban Development denying a request for grant funding to the tune of almost $150,000.

So what did the city of Naperville do to rectify the problem? Well first, the city admitted the mistake but this only came after it hit the airwaves and internet. So to admit the mistake is like the owner of the Titanic saying the ship sank a week after it hit the iceberg. Then the city apparently improved payroll expense by lowering the city staff headcount by one; possibly the one that was the HR sacrifice for Naperville’s mismanagement. Rather than calling the city manager on the carpet for the needless ‘screw up’, let’s ‘take out’ an hourly or lower level salaried city employee. Then the city decided to do what government considers the answer to all problems is, they threw money at the problem by approving a payment of  $148,627 of local funds (your tax dollars) to cover the loss of that amount from federal funds because someone was not overseeing the management of city business. The city is already looking at a projected fiscal year deficit of nearly $1 million and this adds another 15% of that to the deficit. When other cities such as Zion are looking for ways to save money such as selling their holiday displays for $5,000, the city of Naperville is adding tens of thousands of dollars to their (our) deficit because of city mismanagement.

Chances are if you talk to city manager Doug Krieger, he would deflect all responsibility and accountability for the error to someone or something else. Much as he will do when Smart Meters begin to have major problems. Prior to troubles surfacing, city manager Doug Krieger enjoys using the words ‘absolutely’ and ‘guarantee’ to express how confident he is that he is in absolute total control and can guarantee it,  and nothing could possibly go wrong; however after issues surface those words are absent from his vocabulary, and instead we hear something to the effect of ‘things happen’. Why the Naperville city council allows this to continue is a conundrum. Maybe it is a ‘good old boys’ mindset, maybe somebody has “something” on somebody, or maybe they just don’t have the courage to demonstrate strong leadership. Whatever the reason, the citizens of Naperville are again asked to carry a heavier financial burden due to incompetent and blatant mismanagement. City manager Doug Krieger’s mismanagement comes in the form of trusting without verifying. It’s good to trust only if one verifies.

Maybe Naperville needs a Theo Epstein to come in and clean house. Someone who can make sure that routine ground balls are fielded properly and that fans are getting their moneys-worth.

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