Isn’t it amazing how we oftentimes are willing to ‘support’ an idea, until we realize how it can negatively impact us. You probably have seen the video clip asking Wal-Mart shoppers leaving a store, if they are in favor of higher living wages for Wal-Mart employees and the answers are ‘yes’, but then when asked to contribute 15% of the value of the merchandise they just purchased, to the employees, they come up with reasons they don’t want to or can’t do it.
It’s OK for others to do it, but not for me to do it. It’s the “not in my backyard” mentality. We’re all in favor of ‘it’, until ‘it’ affects us.
Naperville city officials have been active in supporting the idea of government consolidation. They exercised this idea when they made the relentless effort to consolidate the Naperville Township Road department into the City of Naperville, with the focus being on saving money for residents. The City received a lot of push-back from the Township Road supervisor, who probably liked the idea to consolidate until he found out he was the one being consolidated out the door.
Naperville city officials have done such a wonderful job of extolling the merits of government consolidation, that someone wants residents to consider and vote on the idea of annexing (consolidating) Lisle, Warrenville, and Woodridge into Naperville. Petitions have been submitted to put the idea up for vote in the April election.
All of a sudden, Naperville city officials, along with the mayors and city officials of Lisle, Warrenville, and Woodridge, are trying to rip away the voters/residents opportunity to make the decision at the voting booth.
This is a classic example of government officials double-standard. When their jobs or fiefdoms are in danger of disappearing, they come up with every reason why annexation/consolidation is not a good idea. What could be more exciting than eliminating numerous bureaucratic jobs of duplicity. What’s wrong with three of the four mayors standing in the unemployment line, or whittling down the number of council members from 28 to 8.
Orlando, Florida’s population (256,000) is about 20%% more than the combined population of Lisle, Naperville, Warrenville, and Woodridge, (215,000) yet Orlando’s city council has only seven council member / commissioners versus Naperville’s nine; 28 if you combine all four cities.
I’m not saying that annexing those three cities into Naperville is a great idea, but it is an idea. The irritation comes in the fact that all four mayors ran for cover in a hastily prepared press conference with the goal of extinguishing the idea. Their self-preservation, group-answers were:
- There’s no advantage for annexation
- The petitions are flawed
- Everybody is happy with the status quo
The mayors went on to say that petitions were circulated in a ‘haphazard way’ not with serious intent, but as a ‘political stunt’. If anyone knows about political stunts, it’s politicians. Additionally, the audacity of the four mayors to consider it a ‘flawed law’ that allowed a citizen or a group to file the petitions. That in itself speaks loud and clear about the mindset of politicians when it comes to the rights of residents to be heard.
Not one of them stood tall or separated himself or herself from the pack by at least encouraging the idea for discussion and consideration. Apparently government consolidation is only for others.