Dec 242015
 

The Naperville city council is composed of nine members, including the mayor of Naperville. The role of the mayor in Naperville’s council-city manager form of government is officially a part-time position, and the same applies to the other eight members of the city council. What exactly do Naperville city council members do, when they are not governing and regulating businesses and residents in Naperville.

The nine include three attorneys (Kevin Coyne, Kevin Gallaher, and Rebecca Boyd-Obarski), two business owners (mayor Steve Chirico and Becky Anderson), a realtor (Patty Gustin), a plumber (Paul Hinterlong), an engineer (John Krummen), and a faculty member (Judith Brodhead).

Naperville City Council 2015

From left to right: Paul Hinterlong, Rebecca Obarski, Becky Anderson, John Krummen, Mayor Steve Chirico, Kevin Coyne, Kevin Gallaher, Patty Gustin, and Judy Brodhead

The City of Naperville’s website also has an individual picture of each, along with a short bio for three of the nine (Brodhead, Chirico, and Hinterlong). The new council took the oath of office last May, however their group picture wasn’t posted until just recently, and the fact that six of the nine have yet to include a short bio, doesn’t show much of a sense of urgency on their part to have residents learn a little more about each.

So what does each council member bring to the dais from their vocation that helps them with their avocation (council responsibilities)? I say avocation because at least three council members have mentioned how much fun they are having as a council member since being elected (Anderson, Gustin, and Krummen).

It seems that governing draws a preponderance of lawyers (Coyne, Gallaher, and Obarski) at all levels of government, hence 33% on this council reflects that theory. They have a tendency to make things more confusing than they need to be, which is why attorneys are needed in order to explain ordinances, regulations, and laws they help create.

Retail business owners (Anderson and Chirico) probably bring more to the dais than any other group since they know what it takes to succeed in order to stay in business. There are no safety nets in their world if bad decisions outnumber the good decisions.

Having a realtor (Gustin) on the council can help when it comes to explaining why so many store fronts and Naperville locations are empty and what can be done to change it.

Every group needs an engineer (Krummen) and I don’t mean a train. They tend to be very detail focused and have the ability to make every statement sound like a question.

A tradesman is also nice to have on the council, and what could be better than to have a plumber (Hinterlong) especially in the spring, summer, fall, and winter when flooding occurs in the basements of residents homes.

Faculty member, associate professor of English, (Brodhead) brings an uncanny knowledge of split infinitives and dangling participles to the dais. The need for that expertise has not yet surfaced, but when it does, the council has itself covered.

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