May 282015
 

Things weren’t looking so good during the second meeting of Naperville’s new city council on May 19 when the majority of council members wanted to find something to regulate as fast as they could. The ‘something’ this time turned out to be e-cigs. It’s never good when the ‘perfect storm’ surfaces at council meetings. The perfect storm being, 1) over-regulation, 2) about an issue that the some of the decision makers admit to “knowing nothing about”, and 3) wanting to rush the decision through without having more information or giving it more thought.

But things are looking better at the Municipal Center (City Hall); there is some light in the inky shadows. That’s the beauty of a new administration, and specifically the leadership of new Mayor Steve Chirico. The city needed a mayor with a strong business background; someone who could see changes that needed to be made, and then making those changes.

Just a few of those changes include:

  •  re-configuring the layout of offices and departments for more streamlined communication including all council member offices.
  •  uncluttering cluttered rooms and using them as offices as intended.
  •  having a team of trusted ‘eyes’ look at candidate resumes for open commission positions, and passing recommendations to the mayor for review to send the the council for final approval.
  •  moving liquor commission meetings from a small room to council chambers.

Previously they would cram 10 to 15 people into a room that would comfortably accommodate six to eight, and residents were left with standing room only if any room even remained. The next liquor commission meeting will be Thursday June 4 at 3:00pm in council chambers located at 400 S. Eagle Street in Naperville.

The leader of any group sets the pace and the tone for what is to be expected, which might be why both city council meetings started on time and fewer inky shadows exist in city hall. There is hope that things will continue to improve.

It’s also encouraging that some city council members admit that they don’t have all the answers. Now if they would only take the time needed to gather more information, listen more to residents, and not have the need to rush decisions. Just because they have a new hammer, doesn’t mean everything is a nail. Over-regulation is a huge hammer; use it wisely.

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