City officials in Naperville are doing it again. It’s called ‘socially acceptable non-productive behavior’. They appear to show interest in what resident’s want, but then they go about doing exactly what city officials want. It sounds good and looks good, however when all is said and done the benefit is realized by city officials, with very little benefit towards the residents.
City officials are creating an updated strategic plan for Naperville’s future and three priorities have been identified; 1) addressing traffic congestion, 2) making Naperville a leader in e-government, and 3) improving community education and involvement. Sounds great doesn’t it.
Let’s briefly look at them in reverse order. Naperville city officials want residents to be more involved and show more interest in what’s happening. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The truth of the matter is that in Naperville, residents are considered obstacles that need to be circumvented when it comes to what city officials want. This could not be more obvious than in the forced installation of smart meters on homes and businesses in Naperville. When residents spoke up during council meetings they were ridiculed and insulted by council members, both current and former. City officials used police presence as a show of intimidation towards residents who attending those city council meetings. When a petition for a non-binding referendum, signed by thousands of residents, was submitted to city officials they would not allow the question on the ballot. And when residents became more involved by speaking out against forced entry of city workers to the properties of home owners, they were arrested and cases are still pending in court.
With regard for making Naperville an e-government leader, this benefits the city far more than it benefits the residents. The less personal contact city officials and staff have with residents, the better it is for local government. It’s similar to self-checkout lanes at Jewel and Dominick’s. Jewel is discontinuing the concept, and Dominick’s is going out of business.
And as for traffic congestion in Naperville, the city wants to make it better, yet the ‘mother of all traffic congestion’ was recently approved by the city council when they voted ‘yes’ to the downtown Water Street Project. If you think things are tight in downtown Naperville now, this is nothing compared to the situation once that project gets rolling.
So city officials say they want improvement, yet their actions loudly say otherwise. If city officials truly want to improve residents’ lives in Naperville, they can begin by accepting or requiring the resignation of city manager Doug Krieger. The expiration date on his effectiveness is long overdue. Combine that with ‘turning over’ one-third of the nine members on city council, and Naperville is on it’s way to a solid strategic plan for recovery.