Have you ever watched or attended a Naperville city council meeting and said to yourself or someone else ‘Hey I could do that better than they can, I ought to run for council or mayor’.
Well who knows, maybe you could, but I know one thing for sure. I wouldn’t be able to do it, and even on the outside chance that I could, I wouldn’t want to do it. First, I could never be elected, and I know that even more now than I did a few weeks ago. I’d have to go out and get petitions signed in order to file as a candidate. So that in itself eliminates me, because based on what happened to the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness group’s petitions, someone would object to my signed petitions. My guess he would be someone who is beholding to a council member. Then I would have to go to city hall and meet with the Naperville Electoral Board. I would have to get an attorney, and even if he were as good as Perry Mason or Judge Judy, I wouldn’t stand a chance. I would lose the Mayors vote and since the city clerk is an appointed position somewhat beholding to the mayor or the council, that vote goes against me too. So that’s two out of three; unlike baseball, two strikes and I’m out. Additionally the objector’s lawyer would want to subpoena all those who helped me distribute petitions, including my wife, my son and daughter, my pastor, my doctor, and the guy who repairs my shoes. So they would all be required to appear in person at a specified time and place under penalty. Now I know that wouldn’t go over very well with my family and friends. I mean, they offered to help me, not to go to the slammer on my behalf. The objector’s attorney would also require me to read all the signatures on the petition. That would knock me out of the box too, since I can’t read the doctor’s name signed on a prescription even when his name is printed on the top.
Even if I could overcome all the above, I still couldn’t get elected because once they started looking into my background glaring things from my past would surface like when I got fired from a job at the tender age of 16 for clocking-in too soon from lunch. I took a 25-minute lunch break rather than 30 minutes, which was against union rules. Then I’d be skewered for throwing at batters (occasionally) when I pitched semi-pro baseball back when dirt was new. My thought was, why waste four pitches by intentionally walking a batter, when I could simply clip the batter in the side on the first pitch.
Now let us suppose I could get by all those obstacles and actually get elected. I would have a choice; be a good council member, or be like the other 95%. I don’t think there is a playbook for being a good councilperson since all it takes is listening to the needs of the constituency and doing the right thing. That sounds simple, straightforward and Occam-like.
However you have to think there is a playbook for the other ‘nefarious’ Naperville council members. It’s probably like the Holy Grail, hidden and protected from public view. It takes a special key held by the most nefarious council member (or city manager by proxy) of all; only he can unlock the Nefarious Naperville City Council Playbook, only he can initiate and present the Top-Ten most despicable, reprehensible, and disreputable tactics to a new council member. Knowing this information is as secure as a resident’s personal information in a Smart Meter, it would take a minute or two to hack the system, which could be accomplished by a high school student during a break from his Drum Show practice. And here is what the list would look like: “The Top-Ten ways to ‘Stick it’ to the citizens of Naperville”
1) Pretend that you care and that you are listening during Public Forum, while actually dozing off with your eyes wide open.
2) Tell the citizen that you will get back with an answer, and then see how fast you can forget their question.
3) Over-promise and under-deliver
4) Learn how to introduce yourself, example: “Hello, my name is Bob but you can call me Councilman Fieseler”
5) Try to appear taller during council meetings by sitting on a book of Naperville Ordinances.
6) Try not to ask for free stuff, but always walk around with your hands open and palms up.
7) Try to be different by adding an ‘n’ to your first name
8) Wear suit pants 3 inches too short so people know which one you are.
9) Perfect the standing nap, so it looks like you’re working when you’re not.
10)Always look at a penny saved, as an oversight by city council.
Now that I think about it, the person that they would find to object to my signed petitions would be one of the batters I brushed back.