We have a dilemma here in Naperville. Residents like to know what the city council and city manager Doug Krieger are doing, and the city council along with Doug Krieger prefer that they not know. It makes sense to me. Residents are like parents; responsible, caring, and inquisitive. While teenagers (city officials) have difficulty with accountability and honesty.
Fortunately parents can apply consequences, and residents can utilize FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests. The FOIA is a nightmare for the Naperville city council and city officials. It means they have to work and they have to provide information simultaneously. Is it any wonder why they cry and whine when FOIAs are submitted.
At the last city council meeting, they did the whining and crying gig during an exchange between city council members and Naperville city clerk (Pam LaFebar). It was so well done, that it appeared rehearsed. Do you ever wonder what they do during the closed portion of the meeting prior to the open portion.
Let’s do some quick math.
According to an article in the Daily Herald from 2011 (link below), each council member is compensated approximately $23,000 per year. It could be twice that by now, but let’s go with $23K.
There are two city council meetings per month (sometimes one). Let’s go with two or 24 per year. Each meeting is about 2 hours, so they make about $480 per hour which equals $8 per minute.
Council members would say they would work more than that, but then again council members say a lot of things.
So take the time they spend talking about the hassle of FOIA’s each year (20 minutes at the last meeting), X 9 council members, X $8 per minute (wages) and it equals $1,440.
The cost of a FOIA per hour is (in their own estimation) $50/hour (sounds very inefficient).
That’s approximately 29 hours they could be spending on working on FOIA requests instead of complaining about them.
It’s ironic that time after time members of the Naperville city council and city manager Doug Krieger direct citizens to file FOIA requests to obtain answers to citizens’ questions. When those citizens do as they were directed, they are accused of abuse and harassment by the Naperville city council and Doug Krieger.
Since the council refrains from acknowledging a speaker other than interrupting them to state their address, and to tell them their time is up, or the Mayor Pradel special “Thank you”, a resident’s only recourse is the FOIA if they want an answer, and Naperville residents do want answers, many answers