The city of Naperville conducted a survey of residents to find out what the city needs to do, to make Naperville more efficient and friendly. Sounds good doesn’t it. The only problem with that is the questions were ‘loaded’, meaning the results of the answers could be interpreted any way the city wants, to make city officials look better. Then city officials sat down among themselves and ‘cherry-picked’ three goals as priorities in the upcoming update of Naperville’s strategic plan.
- Better use of available government technology (sounds like that will benefit the city more than the residents.
- Alleviating congestion by improving traffic flow (they probably should have thought of that before approving the high-density Water Street Project in downtown Naperville)
- Having the city get more involved with residents (hmmm…. that doesn’t sound good)
If the past is any indicator of the future, then chances are good that the residents of Naperville don’t need more involvement with the city of Naperville. You’ve all heard the old line, “Hello, I’m here from the government, and I’m here to help you.” Based on recent government/resident interactions in Naperville, dealing with city government is no day at the beach.
Some of the more recent interactions have included:
- The city of Naperville using physical force and intimidation of residents during unwanted installations of smart meters on homes and businesses in Naperville.
- The arrest of residents who wanted to protect their families, and homes from those forced installations
- A Naperville councilman wanting a list of FOIA’s (Freedom Of Information Act)requested by a select group of Naperville residents who have the courage to question the actions of the Naperville city council.
- The Naperville city council reversing the landslide vote of residents to change council member representation to a district form of government. Basically the city council did not like the results of the 2010 vote, and had a do-over vote for the same issue in 2012, resulting in the voices/votes of 28, 236 voters going unheard.
- The three-member Naperville Electoral Board consisting of council members George Pradel, Doug Krause, and city clerk (council appointed) Pam LaFeber denied residents the opportunity to vote on a non-binding referendum regarding smart meters, though thousands of residents had signed petitions asking for the opportunity to vote on the issue.
Considering the above examples, Naperville city officials want ‘more resident involvement’ based on their terms, rather than those of the residents. The following video is a classic example of how city officials view involvement with residents. Watch and listen as councilman Joe McElroy interrupts Naperville resident Tom Glass during a city council meeting earlier this year.
If that’s what the city of Naperville calls ‘more involvement’, then the residents of Naperville could all do with much less involvement.