Q and A with the Watchdog (part 1)

We had a great response regarding our request for reader’s questions. Some we responded to individually via email. Other questions were similar in content, so we took the liberty to pinpoint and shorten the query. We will post additional questions and answers in the coming weeks. Again thank you to our viewers for submitting your questions and concerns.

Q: You seem very critical of the City Council. Do they do anything right? (Bert T. Naperville)

A: Of course they do, and that’s to be expected. We focus on areas of improvement.

Q: Why do you hammer away with the Council’s late start time? (Ken Y. Naperville)

A: Punctuality is respect for another person’s time. If they can’t start meetings on time, it’s a microcosm of disrespect for their constituency in general, and an example of their inability for self-discipline which carries over to their financial accountability.

Q: Why don’t you talk more about the new candidates, rather than the incumbents? (Leah G. Downers Grove)

A: Incumbents are making important decisions now, hence spotlighting them is vital. New candidates are off to a very slow start and no one seems to be serious about taking a lead. One candidate has no email address, while another one has an incorrect email address listed with the City Clerk. Attention to detail and assertive game plans are lacking. We anticipate, or at least hope this will change because the City Council needs fresh ideas and strong leadership. Currently ideas are stagnant, and leadership is lacking.

Q: Will you be endorsing any new candidates or incumbents? (Fred P. Naperville)

A: Yes. We will conduct a survey and post the results shortly before the election. We will also make our recommendations soon after the survey.

Q: Still no name on your website. Why hide from your opinion? (Grant W. Naperville)

A: It’s not about any one of the ‘Watchdogs’. It’s about the content of the postings and the actions of City Council and local government.

Q: What possible difference can one person make in an election, or one small group of people, or one website? Some of the councilmen have been there since time began. (Florence B. Naperville)

A: It’s this type of attitude that allows elected officials to stay in office. Every journey starts with the first step, one person becomes one group which gets larger, and a website or social network expedites communication. This is a powerful tool. There are 230 million personal computers in our country of over 300 million people. If you think a first step doesn’t make a difference, then look at the Tea Party, and the recent change in Egypt.

Q: How did your group get started?( Michon M. Toronto, Canada)

A: The idea was conceived late in 2008 during a social event; nothing more than friends chatting about local events, and agreeing that actions need to replace chatter. Then by the middle of 2009 it began to move forward at a quickened pace with citizen involvement. On August 5th of 2009 our first support came from local business, with others soon following. By the first part of 2010 we had a solid grassroots foundation. We have never aspired to build a high rise on that foundation based on our Statement, Mission, and Vision, however our focus is to create the most widespread, quality-base as possible, and we are doing exactly that.

Q: Are you affiliated with any other groups? (Joe Z. Naperville)

A: No, not directly. However ‘Watchdog’ groups are beginning surface and organize in other cities and states nationwide. The City of Chicago has incorporated a City Council Watchdog group within its proceedings. It appears they realize it’s better to work with the group than to deny its existence or to reject its impact on public awareness.

Q: How has your Watchdog effort been received by local business?
(Ryan W. Wheaton)

A: Better than anticipated. At first they were inquisitive as to our motives. They were and still are cautious and on-guard about eager endorsement of our actions and comments because the city can affect their business with permits and licenses. However they also realize overregulation does negatively impact their profits and ability to freely conduct business

Q: Are you concerned about ‘retaliation’ from the Council or local government? (Warren P. Oswego)

A: No.

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