The majority of Naperville city council specializes in being penny conscious and dollar foolish. The city is swimming in debt and rather than looking for some good footing and heading to shore the Naperville city council decides to strap on lead vests to its citizens and have them swim further out by approving a $19 million bond obligation to be used in part to fund an absolutely unnecessary fiasco called the Naperville Smart Grid Initiative. The majority of the Naperville city council appear incapable of saying ‘no’ to additional expense.
It’s encouraging to see a council member (Doug Krause) come to the dais with solutions and firm positions on issues. One such issue is filling open positions with full time employees. Councilman Krause’s solution is to hire part-time employees rather than full time employees which addresses three opportunities; 1) it costs less to hire part-time (employee benefits are not offered), 2) staff employees for the City of Naperville need some help with the increasing workload, and 3) this creates a pool of talent from which to choose when the economy improves and full time positions become available.
Councilman Bob Fieseler looks at the issue from a different perspective. His answer is to continue dropping additional workloads on city employees because somehow magically the work appears to be getting completed. Look at the following videos from the July 19 Naperville city council meeting.
Therefore, the question to council member Fieseler would be “How hard can you run a horse before it drops?” Based on councilman Fieseler’s solution to the problem (make the staff work harder), here are a couple of ideas that councilman Fieseler may want to consider to demonstrate solid leadership on his part and setting a good example.
Suggestion one. The city of Naperville currently has 909 employees, which is down from its high of 1070 employees. So that’s about 85% doing 100% of the work. If councilman Fieseler volunteered to step out of the council and forfeit his salary and benefits for austerity reasons and setting a good example of fiduciary responsibility, we would have 88% of the council members doing 100% of the work. This is doable. Cities of comparable population (Dayton, Ohio, Hollywood, Florida, Ft. Collins, Colorado, and Pasadena, California) have as few as half as many council members (4) as Naperville has, and those cities are not wasting money on not-so Smart Grid Initiatives.
Suggestion two. If councilman Fieseler does not want to be the one to ‘step away’, he could volunteer another council member (or maybe two) and then take on their workload.
I’m guessing somehow magically he could get the workload done too, just as the city staff that he referred to is getting it done. Then the question becomes, “How hard can you run a city council member before he drops
I have a better idea. Do away with half of what the city does, consolidate all the seperate funds and eliminate 50% of the employes while cutting council by 4 members.