Every now and then, something happens during a Naperville city council meeting and you realize that’s how government should work. It happened at the last council meeting when councilman Doug Krause questioned whether or not it was appropriate to use city assets to help another community in need, without presenting the request to other members of the council or city officials. Watch and listen as councilman Krause presents his concern, and is then responded to by councilman Dave Wentz.
So on one hand we have a city official protecting city assets (Krause) by encouraging communication, and on the other hand, we have a city official (Wentz) offering to ‘help make things happen’ by being a good neighbor to Plainfield. Both positions are commendable. Of course we want city officials who protect city assets and encourage communication, yet we also want city officials who can make timely decisions and do the right thing.
It’s been said that ‘righteousness is the mid-point between two evils’. The possible downside to Krause’s ‘more communication’ is endless talking, referring the issue to committee and tabling it. Nothing gets done. The possible downside to Wentz’s ‘do something now’ position, it might be the wrong thing to do. Neither councilman’s position was inappropriate. In fact, both Krause and Wentz were correct in what they did, yet they did things differently.
Watch and listen as councilman Steve Chirico sums up the conundrum within a few seconds.
Common sense is often overlooked in local government decision making. Chirico didn’t over look it. He brought it to a logical conclusion.
So, that’s what neighbors do….they HELP out their neighbors in need. They don’t bully them, or force them, and arrest them if they don’t agree with them.
What if Plainfield came and demanded the fences. They told Naperville their need for the fences was for the “greater good” but Naperville disagreed and Plainfield came and took the fences anyway, and then forced Naperville to pay for the fences and moving expense of fences and installation of the fences, and when Naperville disagreed with them, Plainfield arrested them. And then to add insult to injury, they sent Naperville a 30 million dollar bill because using the fences was actually going to cost them more than leaving the old fences in place.
I think Robert Frost said it best, “Good fences make good neighbors.”