At the most recent Naperville city council meeting (November 20), the main topic of the evening was centered on the Water Street Development project, and whether or not to approve it. Nearly 30 people addressed the council during the Public Forum portion of the meeting. Then the city council began deliberations prior to voting yea or nay on the subject. They never did get to a final vote because council member Chirico sensing defeat of the project by a 5 to 4 vote (it was 4 to 1 against when Chirico began to talk) invoked a parliamentary procedure ‘council rules’ which allows a council member to table a topic/vote to a later date in order to reconsider the plan of action. Councilman Wehrli objected, but Chirico prevailed and the process will be repeated again at the next council meeting December 4.
Something very interesting was said during the council members discussion of the project. Council member Joe McElroy, as is often the case, brings a lot of common sense and perspective to issues with his pragmatic and simple approach to issues. Watch and listen as he summarizes the obvious when he states in essence, how can the council force something on people that they don’t want and then ask them to pay for it.
He’s right. He absolutely gets it when he said,, “This is a situation where most people are against it, and so it would be really tough to say, in addition of forcing you to accept something you don’t like, we’re going to make you pay for it”
But then the question becomes isn’t this the same when it comes to forcing Smart Meters on resident’s homes, something they are against, and then in addition, making residents pay for it in the form of fees and penalties. McElroy gets it. Krause gets it. But the other seven council members don’t get it.
Keep it simple. Don’t force things on residents that they don’t want and don’t make them pay for it. How simple, refreshing, and citizen-friendly would that be.
What do the following projects all have in common?
1. The Carillon
2. The unfinished parking deck at Van Buren and Main
3. The Children’s Museum
4. The IMEA contract
5. SECA fund recipients
6. Smart Meters
7. Water Street?
All sweet heart deals that go unchecked and never to be talked about again. Why? Too many people make out. Who? Connected residents, connected developers, city staff, city council, connected community groups, and consultants. If we had an investigative reporter, it would be fun.