It’s that time of the year again when Naperville officials take their annual field trip downstate in order to get out of town and have some fun. Remember back when your parents would haul the family to Brookfield or Lincoln Park Zoo for the day so you could see the lions and tigers devouring their meal by ripping apart huge chunks of meat and being very territorial while doing it. That’s pretty much like what members of the Naperville city council along with city manger Doug Krieger were doing with State officials, except that instead of chunks of meat, it was your hard-earned tax dollars. I suppose you could call it a feeding frenzy.
The State of Illinois is close to bankruptcy, but city officials are wanting more of what’s not available (money) in order to feed their pet projects. Naperville city officials seem to have this issue of not knowing the difference between ‘wants’ and ‘needs’. Consider this thought, if city officials had everything they needed and wanted, they would still want more. And the ‘more’ always comes from tax dollars.
Lately city officials have been trying to out-do each other by erasing their perks; everything from internet and cell service to their pensions and health care. This is admirable, however a true test of character is what they do when no one is watching, or when votes are not at stake. So that begs the question, how did they get downstate, and what if anything did they accomplish.
I imagine city officials met at the municipal center at about 5am with brown bags in hand (lunch) and they all jumped into a fully charged electric vehicle. Two council members, Fieseler and Hinterlong, did not go allowing the other 8 city officials to fit into a 4-person vehicle. About half-way to Springfield they each begin frantically using their hand-held devices to locate an EV charging station. Fortunately they find the only charging station in central Illinois, however it’s being used by the only other EV south of I-80. With a few hours to kill, in the middle of nowhere, what better to do than to have some special ‘bonding’ time by playing an almost-friendly game of dodge-ball. Pradel and Brodhead being the slowest runners are eliminated quickly, then Krause, Chirico, and McElroy (trying to play the game by the rules) get nailed and eliminated. Wehrli and Krieger team up against Wentz, and he gets pummeled and out he goes, leaving Krieger and Wehrli still standing. Just then the EV is fully charged and it’s time to get back on the road.
When they arrive in Springfield, nothing beneficial to Naperville residents gets accomplished, however Wehrli demands that his seven peers refer to him as State Representative Wehrli while in the state capital.
To make matters even worse, they went to meet with staff members of the IMEA (Illinois Municipal Electric Agency), whom city officials blame for Naperville’s electric utility having a $25 million deficit, and again, nothing was accomplished. City officials didn’t want to ask questions (limitations imposed by the Open Meetings Act), and IMEA wouldn’t have wanted to answer questions (limitations imposed by their choice).
After a full day of fun and games, it was time to return. While at the same EV charging station, Wehrli and Krieger decided to arm wrestle for bragging rights. I don’t know who would have won, but I’m confident the loser would have wanted a do-over just like they did with the District/Ward representation do-over vote.