Naperville city officials continue to tighten the vice grips on Naperville Township Highway Commissioner Stan Wojtasiak. The latest effort is the threat of a couple of non-binding referendums. One would ask voters if the city should take over maintenance of township roads which supposedly would save tax payers a bundle of money. The other referendum would ask voters if they favor doing away with the township within the city limits.
The overt issue is how much is a ‘bundle of money’. Naperville city officials say somewhere between $500,000 to $800,000, while Wojtasiak says ‘it ain’t so’, but he hasn’t presented anything showing ‘it ain’t so’.
The covert issue is that Naperville city officials want control of what they don’t control now, and Wojtasiak wants to protect his little corner of the world and rule his fiefdom with his own budget, generously paid assistant, and his really cool-looking desk.
Just as Obama and Hillary can’t get themselves to refer to ISIS as a terror organization, the Naperville city council can’t get themselves to verbalize the covert issue. Hence the council along with city manager Doug Krieger talk endlessly about why the highway commissioner isn’t going along with the plan. Apparently city councilman Kevin Coyne is playing the role of the ‘bad cop’ by taking a more firm and assertive approach to Wojtasiak, while the rest of the council plays the ‘good cop’ by fumbling around tying to be PC about wording the issue.
An unincorporated township resident (Mr. Hoffman) addressed the council and encouraged them to form a committee with the township and determine a dollar-savings amount they could agree upon. Mr. Hoffman was quickly dismissed by the Naperville city council. Apparently they would not have that kind of talk in council chambers.
While the City of Naperville would be careful in selecting the wording for the referendum, the Naperville Township would be busy doing the same thing by having its own referendum for township residents. Las Vegas odds would probably predict that township residents would vote to keep things as they are. Naperville councilman John Krummen said that trust appears to be an issue with township residents and Naperville city officials.
No matter how the referendums turn out, it’s meaningless, since they are non-binding. And if the City of Naperville, referendum did not provide the results that city officials want, they could have a do-over vote like they did with district representation. Just keep voting until city officials get what they want.