Has anyone noticed that Naperville city manager, Doug Krieger, has all but disappeared during city council meetings. Whether he has decided to keep his foot out of his mouth by not talking as much, or he was encouraged to do so by the new administration is up for debate; either way it has been refreshing.
Krieger couldn’t blend into the woodwork when he was the lead participant in the recent workshop meeting. The workshop focused on a financial update regarding the city budget. Naperville city Finance Director, Rachel Mayer did a commendable job of presenting the state of financial affairs in Naperville, with what was supposed to be support from city manager Doug Krieger. However, in Krieger’s typical style, rather than clarifying he obfuscated.
The previous, well-seasoned, city council including Doug Krause, Bob Fieseler, Joe McElroy and Grant Wehrli would occasionally ‘call Krieger out’ for trying to bamboozle the council with non-sense. Most members of the current city council, other than council members Gallagher and Coyne, are allowing Krieger to skate without challenging him to be more clear and forthright.
Some things are so blatant, that they are screaming for someone to question “what’s going on with that”. Take a look at the following pie chart showing where budget dollars are being spent,, and see if you notice anything that seems out of balance:
Who didn’t notice the huge piece of pie that reflects 42% being spent on electric.
Now watch and listen to city manager Doug Krieger as he states that the city owned ‘electric utility provides a lot of electric’, as if it was something he should receive a standing ovation for:
Here is where it gets even better, when Krieger states, the utility “financially needs some fixing”, a hole was dug, and “the way you fix holes, is with more cash, the way you get more cash is from the rate payers” (residents and businesses). So Naperville’s highly paid city manager’s solution, for his terrible decision-making (long term electric contract), is to squeeze it out of the very people already affected by high electric rates.
Krieger is going for the ‘easy fix’ rather applying some creativity and sacrifice suggested by councilman Paul Hinterlong in the following clip:
The City of Naperville has a $6.8 million deficit, or about $50 person. Rather than jacking up the electric rates, adding a city sales tax, and slapping residents with a 617% increase in garbage pick-up, how about we all chip in $50 each and require city manger Doug Krieger to toss in a percentage of his salary to cover the deficit. Krieger can then go back to saying less at meetings, and making far fewer bad decisions that cost the City and residents more than they should have to pay.