Naperville city officials have a knack for getting the good folks of Naperville to buy-into an idea, but then changing the original buy-in idea. You have to give city officials a lot of credit for continuing to play games with the residents of Naperville. It’s so easy for them to tell us one thing, and then do the opposite later. It appears they must have a lot of fun doing it, otherwise they wouldn’t be doing it.
This time it involves the much anticipated Smart Park which will be built adjacent to the Naperville Municipal Center. It’s being presented as a really cool place for people to use the park, including children for outdoor classroom activities.
Watch and listen as councilman Bernie White asks if any consideration has been given to possibly renting out the grounds:
That’s a good question. Let’s get it out in the open so there are no unwanted surprises, right?
Now listen to Naperville city manager Doug Krieger respond:
He said ‘that’s a new idea’, as if this hasn’t been discussed. His wording is interesting. He said, “at this time” staff wouldn’t recommend it. How does he know that, if this is a ‘new idea’? And if staff wouldn’t recommend it “at this time”, how about a week after the park opens.
He goes on to say, “the intention would be to make it available to any and all users”. The key word is ‘intention’. Intentions can cause all sorts of problems. Didn’t the good folks of Naperville hear this same thing when a different group of Naperville city officials were selling us the idea of building a new municipal center, when they said meeting rooms could be used without cost (no rental charge) to residents (taxpayers) and groups in Naperville. Then this group of city officials decided to rent meeting rooms by squeezing residents and small groups for cash.
Wouldn’t it be refreshing of Krieger would say, “Listen, we are trying to sell you something that’s not true. We can’t cover our expenses for having the park, and even if we could, we want more revenue (cash) for other unnecessary things we want. Of course we are going to rent the park and if a resident wants to see the park, they can go into the Municipal building and look out the window at the park.” The other option would be for city officials to install a toll booth for getting into the park, and then another toll both to get out of it.