Here I am sitting at my desk, looking out the window at the snow falling, with a college bowl game on mute, and listening to a Beethoven CD with a freshly brewed cup of hot coffee and reflecting on 216 Watchdog postings since January 3, 2011 consisting of more than 96,000 words thinking that this sentence is too long.
So what’s new since that first posting, “Who Works For Whom“. Well, the Naperville city council has three new council members (Chirico, McElroy, and Wentz), replacing three who departed for various reasons (Boyajian, Furstenau, and Miller). I for one believe this has been a definite ‘upgrade’ to the council, though there is at least three people who would disagree. There are possibly two more who may be signing off from the Naperville city council; Mayor George Pradel who has said he won’t be running for re-election, and councilman Grant Wehrli who is running for a state position unopposed at this time. Grant likes anything where there is no opposition.
That means it’s possible, that only four of the nine council members from 2010 (less than a majority) will remain (Brodhead, Fieseler, Hinterlong, and Krause). With two of those four being ‘resident-friendly’ regarding their voting patterns (their names rhyme with Krause and Hinterlong), the Naperville city council appears to be heading in the right direction. This is a good, however if better is possible, then ‘good’ is not enough.
Watchdog’s Mission “is to provide the electorate with additional eyes and ears to see and hear the nuances of actions and decisions of their local government, and a watchful eye on those who spend our hard earned tax dollars, while promoting awareness among citizen-voters about incompetence, waste, mismanagement, and taxpayer abuse by elected officials at a local level.”
Watchdog’s Vision “is a term-limited, representative local government based on ethics, transparency, and accountability whereby elected officials respect their constituency and act on behalf of the residents they represent”.
Watchdog’s Statement, “we are seeing watchful eyes at both the national and state levels of government; however at the local levels of government, the misuse or abuse of government is running unbridled”. The U.S. population is over 315 million with nearly the same number of estimated computers (311 million). No newspaper has ever attained that kind of circulation. Watchdog types of websites allow that type of watchful eye.
This Watchdog website has readers in all 50 states, and currently in 73 of the world’s 195 countries. What has been most gratifying is that local Watchdog groups are surfacing throughout the country and even the world, including the following email received by Watchdog last July 28.
“To Whom It May Concern, I am interested in setting up a watchdog committee to keep our local council honest and to work in the best interest for our small community on Pitcairn Islands (famous for Mutiny on the Bounty) located in the South Pacific. I would like to know as much as possible … As new elections due at the end of the year, I would like to create and implement such a committee ready for next year.” This email was sent by Michele Christian.
The election was held last month (November), and Michele Christian is now one of five elected councilors (council member), along with a mayor and deputy mayor for Pitcairn Islands in the South Pacific.
The bowl game is over, the CD is finished, the snow is still falling, and the coffee has disappeared, and Watchdog has written the last words for this year, with these final 12 words: Watchdog wishes you and your family a happy and healthy new year.