It’s a good thing that the Naperville city council meets only twice monthly because any more than that, Naperville residents might be broke. During the last meeting on April Fool’s Day, the Naperville city council jacked up electric rates by a double-digit percentage over the next two years. This comes after city officials assured residents over and over again that the smart grid and so-called smart meters would save residents and businesses bundles of money. Oh how wrong city officials were on that one. It seems to be a trend.
During last night’s meeting, city officials dealt with the issue of city council member compensation, including salary and health insurance. It’s the type of topic for public consumption, that most council members would rather have been meeting with their proctologists for an exam.
But something different happened last night, and it was spear-headed by councilman Steve Chirico. He suggested the city council basically double their salaries to $24,000 per year inclusive of all fringe benefits, and here’s the kicker, it would provide a savings to tax payers. Watch and listen as councilman Chirico presents a well-articulated plan to address the issue.
This is not the first time that Chirico has voted in favor of reducing council compensation; in fact he has done it five times, as have councilmen Joe McElroy and Dave Wentz (all in their first terms).
He concluded his presentation last night, by prognosticating two possible media ‘headlines’.
When the council was done pontificating, the vote was taken, whether or not to consider an ordinance to do-away with more expensive benefits in favor of a higher salary.
The vote was 6 in favor of supporting Chirico’s idea of higher salary without benefits (Brodhead, Chirico, Fieseler, McElroy, Pradel, and Wentz), and 3 preferring to keep a lower salary with benefits (Hinterlong, Krause, and Wehrli).
Cherico’s ability to think critically and communicate effectively, while driving change helped him create a plan that achieved his goals of: 1) making the position of council person affordable for anyone, 2) keeping city policies consistent with part-time employees, 3) promoting transparency so residents can easily understand council member compensation, 4) council compensation equity, and 5) tax payer savings. Looks like doubling the salary to reduce total compensation also makes Naperville councilman a mathematical wizard.