Nov 092017
 

Word leaked out last week, that Naperville’s water utility miscalculated nearly everything possible creating a huge $3 million deficit in the water department’s rate model used to determine water rates. The Naperville Sun also confirmed and reported the story early this week, meaning that at least a handful residents are aware of the situation. Watchdog’s weekend posting will focus on this topic.

You won’t find anything about this on the City of Naperville’s website. Mum is the word. Also there was no mention of the issue during the city council’s November 7th meeting. Apparently the city council and city officials are hoping to avoid acknowledging the screw-up as though it never happened. Undoubtedly city officials will try to shift the blame elsewhere, but the bottom line is that it’s the City’s responsibility to trust but verify the numbers are correct and they didn’t.

However what we did learn from last Tuesday’s council meeting was that Naperville city councilman John Krummen gets to do “a lot of fun things” being on the council, and that being a council member is a “great gig”, in fact, as Krummen puts it, “it’s the greatest gig in the world”. Krummen stating it in two words describes it as “wicked cool”.

The good folks of Naperville are probably delighted that Krummen is having a blast, however they would probably be happier if someone would have caught the numerous errors in determining the water rates. That ‘someone’ could have been Krummen. There is probably not one city council meeting when Krummen doesn’t mention that he is a ‘numbers guy’; he likes to look at the numbers. Well he wasn’t looking at the numbers on this one, nor were other city officials.

I’m sure no one begrudges Krummen having a good time on the taxpayers dime, but the least he could do is tell the rest of us what he learned on his field trip. I remember taking field trips in kindergarten and first-grade and being just as giddy as Krummen, but I couldn’t wait to tell my folks what I saw and what I learned and how cool it was, maybe not ‘wicked cool’ like Krummen’s field trip, but still cool.

  4 Responses to “Naperville Councilman Krummen Having ‘Wicked’ Good Time On Taxpayers Dime”

  1. First a City Council member’s pay is based solely on the time they spent in city council meetings, which is what gets them classified part time employees of the city. This means anytime spend working on city business outside of these meetings are being done gratis and on their own dime not that of the city’s or taxpayers. Invitations to participate in special events such a awards ceremonies, grand opening, charity events, etc could be describe as “wicked cool’ and while they effect the quality of life in our community they do not effect city business.

    Second all these meetings are recorded, broadcast and made available on the Internet for anyone to watch and become informed about what is happening with our city government. And I think anyone that has taken the time to watch or participate in these meeting would agree that a description of “wicked cool” does not apply.

    Finally, it is disheartening to hear the city has once again made budget decisions based on numbers from a faulty rate study. The last time this happened was with the electrical utility and it created a deficit this utility struggles with today. The prospect of this same situation developing in the water department is daunting. It is, however, important to point out the last this happened, with an electrical rate study, the study was credible enough that over a dozen other cities used these same numbers. When a Rate Studies is done several simplifying assumption have to be made about the economy, infrastructure, labor costs, etc. and while these assumption might be agreed upon as reasonable by all parties involved they are still attempts to predict the future and anyone that can do that with 100% accuracy wouldn’t be wasting their time on rate studies.

  2. I am absolutely shocked that such errors were made by the professional company hired to do the rate study, as well as by the City of Naperville water staff. Makes no sense. This was the type of work I did for years, and those errors would have been obvious to anyone who knows anything about rate design.

  3. Really, ” A Great GIG” and “Wicked Cool”, what an inspiration for the “kids” out there, he’s the “cool” dad. But Wicked cool, hasn’t been “cool” for years, and the GIG he’s referring to is an elected position, that I would hope the voters do not make the mistake of electing Mr. Wicked Cool to again. A 3 MILLION Dollar deficit is definitely NOT Wicked Cool, it’s WICKED irresponsible and a tremendous burden that will of course be shouldered by the citizens of Naperville in the form of Wicked High rate hikes. It is a Great Gig if you can get it by duping the voters into electing you so you can go on field trips and blow off the Un-Wicked Cool job of paying attention to the numbers!

  4. What is more frightening is that the council finds this oversight FUNNY . There is very little accountability and nothing has been learned from this mistake . Council members just make a joke out of it . $3 Million is a drop in the bucket .Shame on us for having voted for some of them .

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