This Tuesday’s Federal and State elections may give us an idea of what will happen during next spring’s municipal election when all eight Naperville city council seats are up for grabs along with the mayor’s position.
By all indications, accounts, and polls, voters are not a happy bunch, and it’s possible that many incumbents will finish the day on the outside looking in. Could this happen in Naperville? The answer is absolutely yes.
As it stands now, of the nine Naperville city council members, four will not be on the next city council. Those four include Mayor George Pradel (retiring), Bob Fieseler (not running for re-election), Grant Wehrli (running for state representative), and either Doug Krause or Steve Chirico (both running for mayor) with one likely winning, and the other, out the door.
If Tuesday’s election is a measure of contentment for incumbents, it’s possible that up to four sitting council members could be unseated from the council. Those four include: Judith Brodhead, Paul Hinterlong, Joe McElroy, and Dave Wentz. Even if only two of the four are ousted, that means two-thirds of the Naperville city council could be new.
It appears the most vulnerable of the four include council members Brodhead and Wentz. Brodhead because of her image of being ‘an empty seat’, and Wentz because of his ‘Do you know who I am’ dealings with some local businesses. Lately Brodhead has attempted to be more noticeable, creative and independent in thought, and Wentz has toned it down a bit with his ‘I can make or break you’ attitude, however it may be too late to overcome their negative images.
Both Hinterlong and McElroy appear to be more secure in their effort for retention. Hinterlong garnered the most votes of any candidate in the last election, and McElroy fills a needed role on the council by being more common sense, open-minded, and pragmatic. Plus both have the ‘likeability’ factor.
Overall, seats on the Naperville city council are for the taking, and this is an ideal time for non-incumbents to take a seat at the dais.