Final Grades For Naperville City Council members
April 19 marks the last meeting for the current members of the Naperville City Council.
Two new members (Steve Chirico and Joe McElroy) will join the newly seated council on May 3. The outgoing council leaves a legacy that only time will tell if they will be hailed as ‘wise men’ of our community or court jesters that made extremely unwise decisions by exercising an abundance of poor judgment.
What we won’t have to wait for are final grades for each council member. Our survey resulted in a final grade for each Naperville City Council member along with a composite of one, two, or three-word descriptions of each council member from those who responded to our survey. Though we don’t necessarily agree with each comment submitted we respectfully acknowledge their right to respectfully comment.
The Final Grades at Watchdog University for each Naperville City Council member in descending order are:
Paul Hinterlong [A+] Promoted and skips a grade level.
Common sense, in-touch, plain speaking, appealing, calm, humble, respectful, amiable, good listener, demonstrates accountability, builds trust, solicits feedback, seeks new ideas, strives for collaboration, demonstrates integrity, focuses on the important, anticipates road blocks, takes charge in a crisis, demonstrates flexibility, adapts quickly, innovative.
Doug Krause [ A- ] Promoted
Experienced balanced, knowledgeable, visionary, endurance, perseverance confident, self-assured, interested, good eye contact, fact oriented, rational decisions, communicates effectively, thinks critically, manages execution, values input, negotiates win-win solutions, stays current with information, incorporates wisdom and analysis, looks beyond the obvious, best dressed, no longer shovels snow.
Grant Wehrli [ B+ ] Promoted with reservation
Assertive, confident, bottom-line guy, firm, responsive, impatient, driven, time disciplined, swift, opinionated, demonstrates courage, manages performance, drives change, willing to voice unpopular opinion, takes action, direct, encourages candidness, challenges assumptions, strong bias for action, effective and efficient, gets things done.
Mayor George Pradel [ B-] Tenured
Figurehead, reliable, positive spokesman, compassionate, maximizes relationships, conveys passion, approachable, considerate, gives recognition, sound judgment, loves Naperville.
Kenn Miller [ C ] Promoted to meet quota
Professional, opportunistic, unsure, cunning, cautious, business-like, open-minded, the second ‘n’ in ‘Kenn’ is silent.
Judy Brodhead [ D+ ] On probation moving towards expulsion.
Inconsequential, irrelevant, non-entity, hesitant, inadequate, weak, doesn’t respond well, manages time poorly, delays decisions, gets complacent, avoids conflict, perseverance-challenged, courteous, sense of humor, tries to help others, best non-male on council.
Bob Fieseler [D] On probation moving backward and downward rapidly
Double talk, trust issue, lacks courage, evasive, suspicious, words don’t match actions, reacts defensively to feedback, credibility dropped faster than gravity.
Jim Boyajian [ F+ ] Drop out
Arrogant, insensitive, disrespectful, egotistical, cocky, defensive, analytical, aggressive, demeaning, insulting, holds others overly accountable, gives punishing feedback, creates negativity, other than that a really nice guy.
Richard Furstenau [F -] Expelled
Incompetent, clueless, unprepared, belligerent, confused, contrary, overwhelmed, demanding, delegates, blames others for mistakes and problems, talented without discipline, makes the rest of the council look like geniuses, best councilman named Richard.
This year’s Naperville City Council election resulted in two council members not retaining their council seats; Drop-out Councilman Boyajian, and expelled Councilman Richard Furstenau which were also the two lowest graded councilmen. Even though the next election is not scheduled until 2013, it’s definitely not too soon to start focusing on who needs to be replaced. Council member seats which are up for election include Judy Brodhead, Kenn Miller, Doug Krause and Paul Hinterlong.
Unseating an incumbent though not easy to do is doable; that was seen in this recent election. Furstenau’s massive and expensive direct mailing marketing campaign could not overcome the negatives he created. And Boyajian wisely decided he could not win a re-election and dropped out. Further proof on his part that Naperville taxpaying citizens deserve to be treated with respect, along with staff members deserving the same reasonable level of courtesy from a ‘seated’ councilman.
It’s a new day and a new time, and no longer can local elected official’s behavior, actions and decisions remain unseen by their constituency, or for that matter the entire world. If a council member’s grade at Watchdog College is an ‘A’ or if it’s a ‘D’ or ‘F’ it’s there for the entire world to behold. Naperville Council members who grasp that concept “get it”.
And those council members who don’t grasp that reality concept are truly candidates for replacement. Naperville does not need to settle for council members who are C’s, D’s and F’s. One question we have to ask ourselves is, “Is the best 9 we can elect?” We have over 140,000 in our fine city…..is this the best we can do for elected officials. So the real bottom line is this, if better is possible then good is not enough. 2013 means ‘better’ is our opportunity.