It took a long time for the Feds to finally get Al Capone convicted of something, and when they finally did get Capone, it wasn’t for murder or any of the other egregious things he did, it was for a lesser infraction of tax evasion. The same thing holds true for Naperville city manager Doug Krieger. Rather than ‘outing’ him for classic ineffective leadership, he was nailed for allegedly making ‘racially offensive comments’ in the form of an ‘off-color joke’, which is in itself, ineffective leadership.
Krieger’s penalty for this infraction, was simply a verbal reprimand, along with completing the city’s harassment prevention and diversity awareness training. I imagine the conversation with the city council went something like this: ‘Hey Doug, don’t do it again, and if you do, then at least don’t get caught. And by the way Doug, let’s hear your joke’. I can’t imagine Krieger being able to deliver a punch line in a coherent manner, so the joke probably fell flat during the council’s closed session. Afterwards the council probably said, “Hey Doug how about you fill out a form saying you completed harassment and diversity training, and we’ll approve it. Let’s all go to Peanuts for a beer. Let’s hear some more of your jokes”
The City of Naperville hired a attorney to look into the issue (that in itself is a punchline), and it cost residents $5,000 to determine that Krieger told an off-color joke. $5,000 and the residents don’t even get the satisfaction of hearing the joke. Remember when you were grade school and the teacher caught you laughing, and your teacher would say, “Well, Dougie, if what you have to say is so funny, why don’t you tell the whole class so we can all laugh.” Well Doug, how about it, can we get our $5,000 worth.
An HR executive also accused of some less than appropriate behavior decided to sign his separation agreement last week, and departed with nearly $7,500 worth of severance. City officials know how to waste tax dollars, and consider $12,500 a drop in the bucket.
By the time these transgressions are decided in court, or settlements most likely are made, there will be many ‘drops in bucket’ that residents will be required to pay in the form of tax dollars and higher fees.
Naperville city officials pride themselves in ‘transparency’, however during the ‘New Business’ portion of the last Naperville city council meeting, not one council member, zero, nobody, had the courage to mention that the city was looking into HR allegations, though it had already been reported in the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times. Residents didn’t need specifics (yet), all they needed is for just one Naperville city council member to show some courage in leadership and mention something. Crickets, crickets, and more crickets.
Residents can only imagine what it’s like on a daily basis at the Naperville Municipal Center (City Hall). The following video may give us a glimpse.
Maybe Naperville city manager Krieger can finally ‘get it right’ and submit his resignation; this is an ideal time to do it. And maybe the council can finally deal appropriately with Krieger, and ‘get it right’ by accepting his resignation.
Afterwards, they all can head out to ‘Peanuts’ for some beer and jokes. At least it wouldn’t be on the residents ‘dime’ anymore.