Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind

A few weeks ago, a fatal crash occurred when a driver, accused of being intoxicated, veered off the road near the Naperville Municipal Center (where the city council meets) into a downtown water-filled quarry resulting in the death of two friends of the driver. As is often the case, a make-shift memorial appeared at the launch site of the crash. It consisted of flowers, pictures, T-shirts, cards and other mementos of remembrance.

Typically those memorials, out of respect, remain for a period of time. But not this time, and not at this location. Overnight the memorial disappeared. Almost as if the accident never occurred.

Perhaps the Naperville city council didn’t want the reminder…perhaps they forgot their own ordinance regarding leaving items for 30 days before they can be removed (a la our street dweller). Naperville city officials solved the issue of the homeless, by calling them ‘street dwellers’.

Since the accident happened at the southwest corner of the Municipal Center, perhaps Naperville city officials deemed it distasteful to see the memorial as they pulled into the parking lot, or as they looked out their office windows during ‘downtime’ which is most of the time. Out of sight, out of mind. If they can’t see it, then it didn’t happen, and they don’t have to deal with it. It’s like not looking into your mail box so you don’t have to see your bills. It’s Naperville’s version of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’.

The problem is that those spontaneous memorials are just as much for those remaining, as it is for those who departed. In a way, it’s a form of ‘closure’, or a symbol for the briefness of life, and certainty of our limited existence. To have that memorial disappear so quickly overnight, in order that some don’t have to remember, is a dis-service to those who want or need to remember, if only for a short period of time.

Show 5 Comments


  1. you'vegot2Bkidding

    It’s all about them, and hiding the unsettling truths of what happens in this “perfect” City. It might disturb the snobs to see such a thing, after all.

  2. Whatsup

    “Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.” Peter Drucker

    Presently, only the insiders have control over the city. There is no way to clean house and get Naperville back on the right track. The Mayor is merely a mascot. The Council members answer to everyone, and really to no one. Try getting an issue resolved. A citizen has to contact all Council members and hope that even one responds, let alone follow through. We need a strong Mayor, responsible for the hiring of City Manager or Police Chief. The Strong Mayor option can include a recall provision. A Strong Mayor, responsible directly to the taxpayers for the quality of management of the city is essential. Dealing with or working for a company who has 9 bosses, who can only run a enterprise by collaboration or trading favors is a disaster. Naperville requires qualified, strong leader who has the authority and responsibility directly to the citizens, to make decisions and take action.

    • Ed James

      There is no City Manager in a Strong Mayor form of government. And… that’s a much worse situation that we have today.

  3. joe galetto

    Still trying to understand why a senior living center near a shopping center is denied and a medical marijuana center is allowed in a business setting close to a city park, children’s swimming center, two dance studios, two medical companies, a church and a sports center. There is also minimum parking.

Leave a Reply

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