Naperville City Manager Doug Krieger Falls Short

I think I was the most average guy who ever graduated from college. My grade point was 2.2, and I was very proud of that .2, because if it was .3 less I would have spent my life making egg cartons. Not that there is anything wrong with making egg cartons, it’s just that I’d be working the third-shift right now.

I remember taking a business class in college, and the professor saying, “those who can’t do it, teach it”. I thought, ‘does he realize he’s talking about himself’. It also applies in baseball; if you can’t hit, field, or throw, you coach. It’s been said the same is true in government. If you can’t make it in the world (free market), you make a career in government.

In the business world, you’re held accountable for your actions. Not so with the City of Naperville, and specifically the position of city manager.

In some ways the City of Naperville is like a corporation. There is a board of directors (city council), and a CEO (Mayor Pradel), and a president (city manager Doug Krieger), and of course the stock holders (taxpayers). The board (council) can replace the president (Krieger), and board members (council members) can be voted off the board by the stock holders (tax payers). It works quite well in business, but not in Naperville politics.  When it comes to Naperville city officials, those who “screw-up”, stay, or are shifted from one department to another, or get promoted.

For example, when the position of city manager had a vacancy, the person who was selected, from the millions of people throughout the country was Naperville finance director Doug Krieger. What a stroke of luck, that the best candidate was just a short walk through the inky shadows of city hall, to his new office.

I did not know (again, I was a 2.2) that there is actually an association for city and county managers (ICMA) called the International City/County Management Association, and they have a ‘Code of Ethics’ with 12 Tenets (beating the Ten Commandments by two).

As I read through the ’12’ to see how Doug Krieger would ‘measure up’ to the code, I quickly realized he would fall short in 6 of the 12. They would include the following:

Tenet 2 “Affirm the dignity and worth of the services rendered by government and maintain a constructive, creative, and practical attitude toward local government affairs and a deep sense of social responsibility as a ‘trusted’ public servant.”

Doug could have scored a ‘Yes’ on this one, if it weren’t for the words, ‘constructive’, ‘creative’, ‘practical’ and ‘trusted’. Doug gets a major ‘No’ on this one.

Tenet 3 “Be dedicated to the highest ideals of honor and integrity in all public and personal relationships in order that the member (Krieger) may merit the respect and confidence of the elected officials, of other officials and employees, and the public.”

His most recent scandal resulting in a ‘verbal reprimand’ for him, along with being ordered to participate in the city’s ‘harassment  prevention and diversity awareness’ training scores a big negative on this Tenet.

Tenet 4 “…serve the best interests of all people.”

When residents including women and mothers were handcuffed and arrested for protecting their homes in Naperville (under his direction) during the forced so-called Smart Meter installations on their homes, this made the national news. Another big negative for Krieger on this Tenet.

Tenet 5 “…provide elected officials with facts…”

Another ‘No’ on this one. Krieger didn’t warn the city council that the city-owned electric company was nearly broke until it had a negative cash balance of $22 million.

Tenet 8 “…develop the competence of associates in the use of management techniques.”

A huge red ‘X’ on this one. Major leadership dimensions missing on this one including, demonstrating accountability, communicating effectively, managing performance, thinking critically, managing execution, and building trust.

Tenet 9 “Keep the community informed on local government affairs…emphasize friendly and courteous service to the public, and seek to improve the quality and image of public service.”

A solid ‘no’ on this one. The city manager is the captain of the ship, and when the ship is described as a ‘hostile work environment’, it’s time for the ship to have a new captain.

So Doug falls far short on six of twelve Tenets; that’s 50%. Even with a sliding scale, that’s a solid ‘F’ which is even less than my 2.2

Leave a Comment


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *