Naperville Lost A Good One

 Last Saturday, Naperville lost an outstanding resident when Frank Hnilo (Ni’-lo) passed away after a four year battle with lung cancer. Frank was 67. In 1974, Frank along with his partner (Carmen DiGiovine) founded what ultimately became the accounting firm of DiGiovine, Hnilo, Jordan, and Johnson Ltd., in Naperville, which has grown to over 50 employees and two offices.

I first met Frank in 1978 when I moved from Barrington to Naperville and he had a small office on 5th Avenue just south of Naperville North high school. He was referred to me by friend and local attorney John Roscich, and for that I am indebted to John and his wife Carolyn. Frank did my personal and business taxes from that day forward, and a friendship beyond accounting evolved over the years. Numerous times I asked Frank for advice, and each and every time Frank’s advice turned out to be correct. Even the one and only time I didn’t heed his advice (a small business venture) he was correct again.

Frank was everything you could want in a CPA and a friend; knowledgeable, helpful, wise, logical, loyal, rational, ethical with integrity, honest, and a dry sense of humor. Years ago I remember asking Frank if he ever thought of running for office in Naperville, and he thought about it for a moment and with a humble smile he responded, ‘No it’s not for me….it’s a different set of values’.

I always thought he would have been an excellent mayor, or at least a solid, no-nonsense councilman. He had the leadership dimensions needed for success in any business and very much needed in local politics. Those leadership dimensions included, demonstrating accountability, communicating effectively, maximizing relationships, managing performance and execution, thinking critically, driving change, demonstrating courage, and building trust. Frank truly would have been the “”people’s councilman” and a strong voice for the residents of Naperville. He would have listened to the residents, responded to their needs and questions, and at all times interacted with mutual respect. Frank was truly a gentleman.

I was reminded of this as I watched last Tuesday’s Naperville city council meeting when resident Mike Anderson made an interesting, thought provoking, and respectful three-minute presentation about Smart Meters to the city council during the Public Forum portion the meeting.

Watch and listen to Mike and then listen to the response of the city council.

No answer. No comment. Not even the common courtesy of a response from any member of the council.

Frank was right again…’s ‘a different set of values’.


Show 4 Comments


  1. Sandy Glass (Suspect)

    Can the Council get anymore bizzare? The City may be paying vendors way to much for software adjustments? Wouldn’t the proper response be to investigate? How often is this happening? What about asking for a refund or adjustment? Apparently, spending other people’s money doesn’t require the same due dilligence as spending their own. But then again, the punitive “monthy” opt out fees had to be justified somehow.

  2. Sandy Glass (McElroy

    Time of Use Billing…coming to a town near you…

    California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey’s response (Letters, April 9) to your March 30 editorial “California’s Coming Green-Outs” is laughable: “It may be true that if energy costs escalate or energy becomes unreliable there may be a backlash against green energy, but California’s energy agencies are working to avoid that.”

    If? My baseline (tier one, the first 319 kwh) subsistence rate is 12.8 cents per kwh. Moving beyond caveman consumption to tier two is 14.6 cents per kwh. Unlike the perpetual coolness of San Francisco, if you hop over to the Central Valley in the summer you will quickly experience the criminal tier-three rate of 29.5 cents per kwh for running your air conditioner.

    Ask Intel Corp. INTC +1.39% when it last put in an energy-intensive fab line in California. Or where Google GOOG -2.17% locates its server farms. The backlash began some time ago.

    Mark Strauch

    Livermore, Calif.

    A version of this article appeared April 19, 2013, on page A14 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: California and Those Green Electric Rates.

  3. A Concerned Citizen

    City Watch Dog, you have better hearing than me, so thank you for pointing out Krieger’s reply. This Council is like talking to a bunch of empty chairs or a brick wall, depending on whether they opt to show up. Neither is acceptable! Later in the night, McElroy vetts Mr. Krieger’s credentials, and on paper he is quite accomplished, but he seems to be very unresponsive to replying and meeting residents needs or even engaging in any discussion with residents as Mr. Anderson learns and likely has experienced once again. I know I have.


    A Concerned Citizen

  4. East-Side Naper Resident

    Great website Mr. Watchdog.

    Thanks for keeping an eye on our city council members.

    Keep it up!

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