Mar 092012
 

If you are ever interested in going on a roller coaster ride without going to a theme park, or dabbling in virtual reality, all you have to do is venture into the world of local government bureaucracy. It is like being a pinball in a pinball machine where you are bounced and paddled around. When you enter the world of ordinances, codes, forms, phone calls, discussions, mixed messages, approvals, disapprovals, re-approvals, reversed decisions, ambiguities, uncertainty, haziness, and vagueness, you know you are dealing in the twilight zone otherwise known as the Naperville city government.

One of the more recent examples of this was showcased during the February 21 city council meeting when one of the items on the Consent Agenda portion of the meeting involved Naperville citizen Lisa Groskopf who had been issued a permit to build a fence, but later the permit was placed on hold, and she was required to go back to square one and start over. At this point, she had incurred considerable expense. Naperville city staff was leaning in one direction, while the Naperville Planning and Zoning Commission was leaning in a different direction. In the mean time Lisa and her family were left leaning.

Watch and listen as Lisa Groskopf addresses the city council.

Now watch and listen as Naperville council member Doug Krause showcases the issue and again is the lone voice of reason supporting a citizen of Naperville.

It seems like some issues, including this one, should never get to the point of being presented ‘on stage’ in front of the council. Granted, it’s difficult to create a policy of one-size fits all, so there are situations where alterations, adjustments, and variances need to apply. However, to make citizens run through the gauntlet is not citizen friendly, especially in a city whose mayor was Officer Friendly,

What is of even more concern is the perception that if someone is in the favor of the city, they get preferential treatment on issues versus someone who might be considered a ‘fly in the city’s ointment’. It is unfortunate that view exists, but that is how government can work; Case in point is Naperville citizen Tom Glass who is now considered a ‘frequent FOIAer’ because he had so many FOIAs denied. Since his questions went unanswered, it necessitated him to ask for more information. He is an outstanding citizen of Naperville who is actively involved in Naperville, yet because he is considered ‘too’ interested in his city, he is now being punished because the city can take 21 business days to respond to his requests rather than five. In essence, he has become a fly in the city’s ointment, and the Naperville city council makes him run through the city gauntlet.

So what is a Naperville citizen to do? Do as Lisa Groskopf did and that is to persevere. And do as Tom Glass does and keep asking questions.

  4 Responses to “What is a Naperville citizen to do?”

  1. There have been several articles on the City Budget Gap recently and
    I feel the gap could be closed dramatically if the taxpayers did not
    have to pay health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, and/or
    pension funds for elected officials.

    I feel it is a conflict of interest for the elected officials to
    receive these benefits as they vote on these expenses, which make up a
    huge part of the City Budget, and I do not feel they are being as
    fiscally responsible as they would be if they were not receiving the
    benefits.

    Most of the elected official’s positions are part-time, at best,
    and should not merit benefits in the first place!

    I was disturbed to find out that City Councilman Steve Chirico, on
    his first day in office, signed up himself, his wife, and his four
    adult children to the City’s health insurance plan. Especially after
    reading the full-page article in the Naperville Sun on him
    http://napervillesun.suntimes.com/news/donahue/10253181-418/where-are-they-now-steve-chirico-great-western-flooring.html
    where he was bragging about his successful businesses and how his two
    adult daughters work for him. Does he not supply health insurance for
    his employees? Shouldn’t he and his daughters be on THAT insurance
    policy and not the taxpayer funded health plan? Not to mention that he
    lives in a million+ dollar mansion and enjoys a lifestyle most
    Naperville residents could only dream of.

    It’s time the elected officials start offering PUBLIC SERVICE and
    not SELF SERVICE to taxpayer dollars!

    I wish to remain anonymous in fear of retaliation from the elected
    officials

  2. The Naperville Sun just published a puff piece on Chirico to which I respond with:

    Too bad his entrepreneurial spirit of freedom and self- reliance has been corrupted into political cronyism and fascist government techniques and policies.

    How easy it seems for our leaders to be corrupted by a little power and a lack of understanding of what made this country great in the first place. When their kids and grandkids look back on what they did and left them (massive debt and no liberty) they will curse them for their selfishness and narcissism!

  3. To Anonymous: Conservative author, Mark Steyn replied to a C-Span caller asking, “Where should we move our family to get away from the corruption and escalating oppression in America?” Mr. Steyn said,”This is the hill worth dying for. If America goes, so will the rest of the world.”. Naperville is worth fighting for, also. I have experienced the personal retaliation from some Council members, particularly Mr. Chrico for speaking out. I have spoken out against the Naperville Council’s draconian and oppressive mandate that every family have a data collection and monitoring device, called a smart meter, placed on our homes. The Council has authorized police force and exhorbitant fines to turn our private homes into wireless transmitting stations without our consent and against our will. They have stolen our 4th Amendment Right to be secure in our homes, free from unreasonable search, allowing “authorized” persons to view, in real time, families minute to minute energy use. The Naperville police have stated that these monitoring devices will help them with law enforcement activities. Our Constitution was written, specifically to protect Americans from such intrusion into our homes. Don’t be afraid to speak out, your children and grandchildren are depending on you to keep America free.

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