May 152014
 

It seems like local Naperville officials are always thinking of ways to squeeze more money from residents. Apparently Naperville must be desperate for revenue. One of the newer members of the Naperville city council, Dave Wentz, came up with what he thinks is a brilliant idea to require pet owners to obtain a license for their pets. I’m guessing that councilman Wentz has decided not to endear himself to pet owners during the next city council election in March.

Naperville currently has an ordinance requiring a fee of $4 per year for animals that have been spayed, and $8 for those who have not been spayed. Wentz would like to see this changed to a one-time registration fee, which likely would be far more expensive. The city wins on that deal. And who loses? The pet owners lose because the city relentlessly chips away at family finances. More importantly, pets lose. Maybe it’s fewer pet treats, maybe less food, and worse yet, maybe less pets.

Police Chief Bob Marshall, who really isn’t a police officer, but likes to bounce back and forth to different departments within the city, apparently for pension purposes, said Animal Control is OK with the new revenue generator. If councilman Wentz can get enough support from other council members willing to disenfranchise pet-owner voters, all that would be necessary is to amend the current ordinance. Police Chief Marshall, who really isn’t a police officer and apparently has no desire to become ‘one of Naperville’s finest’ said this would include domesticated pets, including dogs, cats, and get this, “whatever you have”.

Wow, “whatever you have”, think about that for a moment. Are you thinking? So exactly what would that include? Turtles, fish, birds, chickens, Naperville already has an ordinance for chickens. Seems like a huge net of potential revenue, doesn’t it. If Marshall was a police officer, he would probably tell Wentz that one of the last things his police officers need add to their full plates is to stop every resident walking their dogs for proof of registration. Then what. If the resident can’t show proof at that moment, the resident gets cuffed, hauled down to the slammer, while pooch is taken to the animal control’ slammer.

Let police officers do what they do best, and that’s to protect citizens from the bad guys. The current ordinance is working just fine; revenues increased 38% from 2011 to 2012, and then increased again 27% from 2012 to 2013. If it’s working, and it is, there is no need to ‘fix’ it. Unless of course, councilman Wentz feels a need to let residents know that he is doing something, and then pet-owner voters can let Wentz know next spring that he no longer needs to be doing something on the council.

  6 Responses to “Naperville Councilman Dave Wentz Wants A ‘Piece’ Of Your Pet”

  1. Assuming they pass this latest and greatest potential ill conceived and one might say anti-pet code/law it could provide a boon for our double and triple pension dippers as they could be employed as pet Gestapo agents to establish sidewalk roadblocks (like they do with the DWI blockades) to ferret out (pun intended) offenders. Hopefully, reason will prevail and this obvious pet hater will be voted down 8 to 1 and our non-police chief, police chief can relax while being a retired police worker, worker.

  2. Your comments above miss the boat completely. The point of amending the pet registration ordinance to a one time rather than an annual fee is NOT to raise revenue but to insure greater compliance. I will also be proposing we keep the fee the same or tweak it so there is a one time standard fee for non-neutered and neutered pets within the same range that it is now. This could potentially reduce the fee for non-neutered pets and over the life of the average pet significantly reduce the total registration fee for our fully compliant pet lovers. If we go by the current year’s registration numbers there are only 700 pets in all of Naperville. We know that is not the case.

    This will also help the Animal Control officers to better identify missing pets when they are found. Since most people don’t even know about the ordinance that means that most people haven’t been registering their pets. We don’t need to register pets which don’t leave the house so the ordinance can still be limited to just dogs and cats.

    The proposal will also seek to have registrations done online thus furthering one of Naperville’s 3 main strategic initiatives – to be an e-government innovator, something we are quickly striving to become.

    I hope this better explains the purpose of my proposed ordinance change. Any other ideas are welcome.

    • How can I tell if my goldfish has been neutered? Maybe at the next council meeting, our non-police police chief can set up a booth and perform pet inspections to verify reproductive status of our pets. Do I get the discounted rate if my dog is in menopause? I’ve observed our non-police, police chief in uniform. What uniform is he wearing, if he is not a police officer? Is that a pet inspector uniform? Is it a post office uniform? Or is the new Naperville Management uniform? If so when will the rest of management be given similar issue so we can identify them properly? Wentz is on the right track on the pet registration, only he needs to go a few steps farther and eliminate the whole boondoggle. Our dogs already are registered with DuPage when they get their rabies vaccines. No need to make taxpayers duplicate the hassle and expense. Let’s just leave the goldfish and canaries alone.

      BTW when are we going to be required to register all of our appliances with the nearly bankrupt electric company? Just to make sure they can be tracked for efficiency?

  3. I have a better idea, Get the hell out of our lives! Who elected you to control what pets we have, where and when we can take them out of our houses etc. You guys always end up with a megalomania complex imposing your myopic, restrictive, anti-freedom and always costly solutions to none problems on we the TAX payers! What is it with you? Do you have a relative working for animal control? The adage when it isn’t broken don’t fix it comes to mind. If you want to do something useful cut our government spending by eliminating redundant and duplicative services between the county, township and cities like police, ambulance, fire, park services, water authorities etc., etc., etc.

  4. If you think Naperville is bad take a look at the Carol Stream Fire Protection District. They voted in February 2012 to create a “Chief Administrative Officer”. In March 2012, Deputy Chief Perry Johnson announces his retirement. By the way, he was / is also President of the Pension Board. In April 2012 he becomes Chief Administrative Officer. He also is re-elected President of the Pension Board and VOTES TO APPROVE HIS OWN Pension. Now he gets a $84,000+ a year pension and an $85,000+ salary all from the same Fire Department. Guess he is a “civilian officer” so the judge would probably rule he is not a firefighter. Only in Illinois.

  5. It just seems to me that, considering all of the problems Naperville has been having lately, council members’ time should be much better spent. Seriously…..if you list out all of the things that need to be worked on in the City, and then number them in order of importance or impact, where does “new method of pet registration” fall?

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