Aug 272017
 

Is there anyone on the Naperville city council who can truly say he or she has accomplished anything worthwhile since being elected to the council? There is at least one person who stands above others in making that claim, and that person is Naperville councilman Kevin Coyne. When Coyne talks, people listen. He may not talk as much as others, which is one of the reasons people pay attention to his words. He is not a blind follower to party establishment which is why he is more of a ‘statesman’ than a politician.

Is there a good political match for Coyne? How about the 11th Congressional District on the Republican side.

Some of his accomplishments include the following:

  • His work with Mayor Chirico on the consolidation initiative lead directly to the elimination of a unit of government (through merging the Naperville and Lisle Township Highway Commissions). He had to take on a lot of the local Republican party faithful to do this. Many Republican leaders wanted to keep these township offices in place, because they garner patronage support and labor for the party. He took the issue on any way and successfully helped place this merger question to the voters who agreed with Coyne and the mayor—not surprisingly, they voted to reduce government and merge these offices together. Two highway departments became one. The cost of the law firms, admin staff, trucks, building maintenance will be cut in half. One pensionable, nearly six figure elected official salary was eliminated.
  • Councilman Coyne also played a large role in negotiating and motioning a $2 million dollar tax abatement that was added to the home rule sales tax. This tax had passed council 5-4 with no tax abatement at all. Through this same motion, it reduced and capped the amount of money transferred to the ever popular SECA fund. The escalator to the amount of money received by SECA was removed, and the fund itself was reduced by nearly 10%.
  • Coyne also motioned and was instrumental for the elimination of council member health insurance. Health insurance has been hot button with tax payers—many struggle to buy their own insurance. Coyne rhetorically asked why should residents pay for politician’s healthcare if they cannot buy it for their own family?
  • And during a recent meeting, he motioned for staff direction for specifics as to how Ogden will be improved, along with asking staff to draft a Humane Pet Ordinance for council consideration. Both of these issues have arisen consistently through recent elections and candidate forums. Though much lip service has been given to both concerns in recent years—-concrete action on both is just now being undertaken with Coyne’s urging.

So councilman Coyne definitely has accomplishments to run on if he chooses to do so.

If name recognition is a ‘must have’ to get elected, how about this. Kevin Coyne was a musician, singer, composer, film maker, and a writer of lyrics, stories, and poems. Coyne is notable for his unorthodox and unforgettable style of blues-influenced guitar compositions, and the intense quality of his vocal delivery. OK, so it’s a different Kevin Coyne, but close enough in politics.

Still not impressed. How about the fact that he shares the same first name with Kevin Bacon and ‘six degrees of separation’ connects him to Bacon, and who doesn’t like bacon.

If this is still not enough name recognition for Coyne, how about nickels, dimes and quarters. Coin, Coyne, close enough.

  3 Responses to “Naperville Councilman Could Run On Accomplishments”

  1. I’m Kevin Coyne, and I approved this message.

  2. Good points.

  3. As a fellow Jaycee I have know Kevin for years. He is a good man and I would certainly support him for higher office should he choose to run. Having said that I do feel compelled, however, to correct some the points made for his accomplishments.

    First the Naperville Township Highway Department (NTHD) has not gone away and was not consolidated with the Lisle Township Highway Department (LTHD). The NTHD contract for the LTHD to do most of its road maintenance (like the contract City Staff proposed that would have had NTHD contract this same work with the city of Naperville). So no elected position has been eliminated (nor has his retirement, heathcare coverage or staff); he was after all just re-elected this past April. I attended the Naperville Township Republican Party meeting were this was discussed. I would say those in attendance at this meeting were split 50/50 on this subject and all the party officers were supportive of it. So there really was no party leadership to content with on this matter other then the Highway Commissioner himself. It should be noted that by state law only the Naperville Township Highway Commissioner can eliminate/de-establish the Naperville Township Highway Department.

    The “omnibus” motion Kevin made to: set the HRST and its sunset; change the SECA cap and eliminate the annual adjustment for inflation; and provide a property tax abatement was not solely his idea and “accomplishment”. Most of the council had already voiced support for the HRST rate Kevin proposed and were in favor of a sunset. This motion’s change of the SECA cap from $2million to $1.9 million was a reduction of 5% not 10%. And the previous council (Hinterlong, Broadhead & Chiro) had already reduced this from $3million to $2million (a fifty percent reduction). I will, for now, forgo my usual rant about how screwed up and politically self serving it is for council to reduce the SECA fund. The council, every year, has passed a property tax abatement of around $2million proposed by one or another member of council so this was not really breaking any new ground.

    The previous council (Hinterlong, Broadhead and Chiro) had already started the process of eliminating benefits for council member by discontinuing their pension and the elimination of healthcare was something the majority of the previous council supported and were working on. It was also a election issue which all the elected council members ran in support of, making eliminating this a real no brainier that any member of council could have “accomplished” simply by being the first to speak.

    Kevin’s proposed direction to city staff was to evaluate establishment of a “Special Service Area” (SSA) for the properties along this section of Ogden Avenue. This is part of the process for raising property taxes in this area, yes a property tax hike! This would only make it more expensive for businesses to operate in this area. It is already difficult enough to get businesses to move to this area, increasing their overhead is hardly an incentive! The money raised by this tax is proposed to be spent on “beautifying” this area to make it more attractive to businesses and customers. Biggest problem is that Ogden Avenue is a county controlled road, meaning the city has no authority to make any changes to it without county approval. So the first step in really getting anything done here would be to start a dialog with the county not start a process in impose more property taxes.

    If your justification for supporting Kevin is based solely on these “accomplishments” then I would have to conclude you really haven’t been paying attention or simply do not comprehend what is going on in our local government bodies.

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