Be careful what you vote for, you just might get it. When the current Naperville city council was seated in 2015, there were six new members on the nine member council. The only holdovers were Paul Hinterlong and Judith Brodhead as council members, along with former council member and new Naperville mayor Steve Chirico. If you had to describe the current city council in one word, the word would be ‘boring’. If you could use two words, it would be ‘very boring’. Not that boring is bad because it isn’t. It’s just boring relative to previous members of the Naperville city council.
What happened to the good old days, when the Naperville city council had its share of characters at the dais, who were anything but boring? Council members like:
- Dick (let’s make headlines at the Lantern) Furstenau
- Grant (I have a road and stadium named after me) Wehrli
- Kenn (the second ‘n’ is silent) Miller
- Bob (let me tell you something buster) Fieseler
- Joe (I may look disheveled, that’s because I am) McElroy
- David (do you know who I am) Wentz
- Doug (let’s run for mayor and lose four times) Krause
- Jim (I have no patience for residents) Boyajian
- and former Mayor George (I’ve been here for a long time) Pradel.
These were council members who left lasting impressions and memories in the form of Watchdog video embeds in postings. They were council members who weren’t afraid of making fools of themselves, proving it numerous times, and they had the courage to take opposing views against common sense. They were council members who would make residents say, “what did he just say?”, while other residents would say, “that makes no sense whatsoever”.
Agree with them or not, (and usually the Watchdog didn’t), they took a stand and didn’t rubber stamp the view of the majority. As misinformed as they were, they spoke up and expressed their dissenting viewpoint. And most importantly they did not subscribe to the idea that it’s “better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt”. No, those Naperville city council members spoke out and removed all doubt.
This gets us back to the current Naperville city council. It’s basically a rubber-stamp governing body. Very little dissent, very few opposing views, circular conversations regurgitating the same thoughts. Has there ever been a group who have said so little, in so many words, taken so much time, to vote unanimously on so many issues. I think not. Boring, without a doubt.
Again, boring is not bad. I am probably the most boring person I know. I’m so boring that I have one friend, and he doesn’t even like me, he never takes my calls, and if by chance I get through, he hangs up on me. I know boring when I hear or see it. And I see it and hear it often during council meetings.