The year 2015 will see a revamped Naperville city council. Of the current nine members on the council, it’s possible that there will be nine new faces at the dais. Is it likely? Absolutely not. However, what we do know is that four members are not returning including, Mayor George Pradel, councilmen Bob Fieseler and Grant Wehrli and either Steve Chirico or Doug Krause who are both running for mayor. The four council members running for re-election include Paul Hinterlong, Joe McElroy, Judith Brodhead, and Dave Wentz.
Chances are that either Chirico or Krause will be elected mayor, just about guaranteeing that a sitting member of the council will be back at the dais. It’s more than a challenge for an “outsider” to get elected mayor, and thus far neither of the two ‘new-face’ mayoral candidates (Jim Haselhorst and Marty Walker) have come out of the gate sprinting, implying that either or both are O.K. with a third or fourth place finish.
The current Naperville city council will leave unfinished business and unresolved problems for the new council. Isn’t that how it usually works; someone causes problems and leaves it for others to remedy.
Three such issues resulting from ill-advised decisions by city officials include:
- Liquor-fueled mayhem in downtown Naperville
- High density congestion from the Water Street Project
- City-owned electric utility rates out of control
The current city council has six meetings remaining to resolve those issues, which is another way of saying, it’s not going to happen. The proverbial cans have been kicked down the road, for the new council to trip over or side-step upon arriving in council chambers this spring.
One question that will get answered Tuesday night, is whether or not councilman Grant Wehrli will decide to show-up for a council meeting, “to do the peoples’ business” prior to departing to the State legislature. It’s interesting how quickly a city official wants to ‘leave town’ when he no longer can gain personal benefit, or when problems he helped cause continue to fester.