Dec 142017

Naperville residents should prepare to get hammered by Naperville city officials when electric and water rates increase after the first of the year. The Naperville city council sees residents and businesses of Naperville as a ‘bank’, and when city officials need money, they simply make a withdrawal from the bank in the form of increased taxes, utility rates, fees, and fines. It’s the easy fix for council members. Looking for ways to cut expense or increasing revenue (without extracting it from residents) is more difficult, hence not much time or creativity is devoted in that effort.

One proven method of adding dollars to the city coffers is to conduct a special census showing additional head-count in the city, thereby getting additional funding from the state and federal government. Those dollars are are also from citizens, so the good folks of Naperville are still the source of the funding, but in a less direct manner. City officials don’t care how or where they get the money, as long as they get it.

Conducting a special census has been lucrative for city officials as the following chart shows, so why not do another one in 2018:

Census Year Cost Added Population Additional Revenue Added Revenue per Person
2003 $121,000 8,041 $2,600,000 $323
2008 $258,000 8,160 $2,600,000 $319
2018 $238,000 4,650 $1,600,000 $344

The City’s ROI (return on investment) has been outstanding. Comparing the cost of the special census to the added revenue stream is a fun venture for city officials. The more people added to the city population, the more money the city gets.

Is it any wonder why Naperville city councilwoman Becky Anderson would like to make Naperville a ‘Welcoming’ city, another name for sanctuary city. More money for the city, and she could add voters to her ‘get-Anderson-elected-to-anything’ effort.

If estimates and projections for the special census are correct, what could the city get for the additional $1,600,000 in revenue? The answer is easy. It would almost pay the cumulative salaries of the top five Naperville School District 203 employees, along with the salaries for the highest paid park district, police department, and city of Naperville employees. That doesn’t count pensions; another special census would be needed for that.

Dec 092017

Dogs may be “man’s best friend”, but it appears the Naperville city council is not a best friend to a dog. When the Naperville city council had an opportunity to help make dogs’ lives safer and happier, they stepped back into the shadows and decided to do nothing, other than kicking the can down the road. Ask a Naperville city council member what their favorite sport is, and chances are you will hear a deafening scream for soccer.

Council members can’t bring themselves to take any action in favor of pet protection. The council decided to table a vote on an ordinance banning pet stores from selling dogs and cats from any source other than rescue organizations or animal shelters. The city council meeting lasted ten minutes short of four hours with 75% of the meeting being devoted to the issue of puppy mills.

Thirty-eight people spoke totaling almost two hours with over 90% favoring pet protection from puppy mills, but when it came time for the council to take a stand one way or another, all but Mayor Steve Chirico chose to do nothing and wait again for something magical to happen at the State level or elsewhere.

Decision-making has not been a strength of council members Becky Anderson, Judy Brodhead, Patty Gustin, and John Krummen. For them to kick the can down the road is no surprise, however it is a surprise that Kevin Coyne, Paul Hinterlong, Rebecca Obarski, and Benny White joined in the delay. The eight council members kicked the decision 60 days into the future, and chances are they will kick it again in 60 days.

The other option was for the council to approve city enforcement of the State of Illinois Animal Act which restricts pet stores from buying from commercial breeders with five or more breeding dogs that have been cited for violations during inspections from the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture).

Mayor Chirico stated that “it’s time for (some type of) action” and that even short steps in the “in the right direction” would be prudent. He finished by saying, “We need to move forward”. At which time, the other members of council moved backward.

To councilman Paul Hinterlong’s credit, before moving backward, he expressed his frustration at both the State and Federal level for not taking action, and leaving it for local government.

In the meantime dogs and cats will have to endure with the status quo. No doubt, that if those eight council members could trade places for one day with a puppy mill dog, they absolutely would be able to finally make a timely decision.

Dec 072017

There is no doubt that the Naperville city council has problems with it’s seemingly inability to make timely decisions (puppy mills), and sucker-punching residents (surprise water rate increases), but as of yet, the city council doesn’t need to hire a sergeant-at-arms (referee) to maintain security and order during council meetings.

That’s what Palatine Township board members plan to do in order to conduct meetings in an orderly manner and prevent kerfuffles between board members; hire a referee. Apparently things are getting out-of-hand in Palatine among the five-member township board.

In addition to stepping in to prevent fist-a-cuffs, the referee will have expertise in meeting rules and provide a modicum of decorum among board members.

Let’s face it, sometimes somebody has to step up to the challenge and maintain order:

The Naperville city council is getting two for the price of one; a mayor who is also a referee or sergeant-at-arms; a sort of bouncer. Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico came in 4th place at the 1978 Illinois State Wrestling Championships. If need be our mayor can beat up your mayor. More importantly Chirico has the ability to maintain order during council meetings and if need be, he could apply some of his famous wrestling moves including the:

  • Face buster
  • Choke slam
  • Back breaker
  • Brain buster
  • Drop kick
  • Pile driver
  • and my personal favorite, the 360-degree head twist

As long as Chirico is in office, Naperville doestn’t need a meeting referee. He doesn’t even need a gavel to pound. When Mayor Chirico speaks everyone better listen.

Dec 032017

A strange thing has happened over the last few months during city council meetings, councilwoman Patty Gustin is talking less, and Naperville councilman John Krummen has spectacularly filled the void. Krummen is not only talking more, (not that he wasn’t before), but now he is relishing face-time in the spotlight. To state it simply, he has never seen a microphone or mirror that he doesn’t like. That’s good news for Krummen, but not-so-good news for many watching and listening to him.

Krummen likes the sound of his voice so much, that he repeats himself, in circular monologue fashion, and has become known as the ‘human Lunesta pill’. Technically Lunesta is a tablet, but ‘pill’ is apropos for Krummen.

I tried using a stop-watch to time Krummen’s talk-time during the last meeting, but I continued to doze off. In fairness to the councilman, I tend to write postings after midnight, and his sedative, hypnotic style, is ideal for dozing.

Public forum speakers are allotted three minutes to make their point, and most speakers are able to do that. Krummen tends to be 3-minute challenged, and occasionally Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico has to redirect Krummen’s wandering or tactfully ask him to keep it short as he does in the following video clip:

Krummen’s self-evaluation that he “doesn’t talk often” and when he does, he “has a lot to say” is inaccurate on the first part, but spot-on correct on the second part.

A couple of opportunities present themselves to Krummen when he retires:

  • With Garrison Keillor riding off into the sunset, Krummen could become a story-teller, if he can learn how to get to the point.
  • Become a paid-guest at dinner parties, talking with other guests, with the sole purpose of quickly clearing people out of a room, house, or event.