Naperville’s Socially Acceptable Non-Productive Leadership

Typically I watch the Naperville city council meeting in real time, either in person which I did for the first two years, or live on television over the last two years. I would go to the meeting in order to see council members either dozing off, talking among themselves, or playing with their hand-held devices while residents addressed the council during open forum. Occasionally during a council intermission or after a meeting, I would be able to hear and see a council member ‘going-off’ verbally on a resident. With the addition of councilmen Cherico, McElroy, and Wentz that doesn’t happen anymore, so watching on TV works for me, at least for now.

After looking at last Tuesday’s agenda, I decided not to watch in real time, but to record the meeting instead. I had two other opportunities instead. One was an opportunity to learn something at a continuing education event, and the other was sharpening my pencils. I chose the C.E event. I based my decision on the fact that the Naperville city council is truly not interested in solving the problem of over-serving in the downtown area of the city. Oh, they say they want to take a strong stand, and regain control of the nightly chaos, but they are not willing to do what is necessary to return the city to the residents and families of Naperville.

When I later watched the meeting, the council, as expected, did not let me down. They accomplished absolutely nothing with regard to the ongoing nightly liquor-fueled mayhem after 11:00pm in Naperville. City staff presented a number of light-weight remedies to the problem, and one-by-one the city council erased all but two from the list. The two that the council most likely will approve to solve all of Naperville’s alcohol problems include:

  • additional training for employees (BASSET training)
  • prohibit price reductions on drinks

Wow. Hours and hours of talking, and that’s it. Training employees, who most likely will be gone by spring when the street fighting intensifies, and no longer will anyone be able to get a beer for five-cents off. I should have sharpened my pencils. That would have been time better invested.

Show 6 Comments


  1. Gerard H Schilling

    Maybe instead of running all those Gestapo roadblocks on weekends which abrogate our 4th amendment rights (stopping law abiding citizens without probable cause) and basically harassing them they could use these same resourses to patrol the downtown and lockup the thugs causing the problems. BTW they gave out 167 citations on labor day weekend, 9 of which were for driving impaired (new word for DWI?) and a bunch for cell phone usage. The patch article neglected to tell us what the other 124 citations were for which must have been really serious stuff to keep it secret. How much money have these extortion schemes generated for Naperville in the last two years?

  2. Kevin Piket

    I don’t have a problem with the pace the council is taking on this particular issue, I would rather see them take their time and get it right vs hurry up to pass something now to satisfy those who want answers quickly. You said it yourself that the spring time is when the problems intensify, so why not take your time now and pass something with teeth vs overreact and pass something to say you acted quickly? Pass what you can now (which they did) and then tackle the other major issues after thoroughly thinking it through to find a common sense solution that truly helps curb the problem.

    Something needs to be done with this problem, there is no question about it. We need thought leaders on the council that only act after gathering information so they can make informed decisions. They need to get this right, the future of the downtown area depends on it.

  3. toolittletoolate

    The future of the downtown also depends on them limiting the scope of the monster they already approved to be built on Aurora Ave. Increased traffic, bars, cheap hotels (Holiday Inn), welcome to the new Rush Street. Buckle up folks, the downtown area is gonna get bumpy.

  4. Ed James

    It’s a Hotel Indigo, not a Holiday Inn. It will be fine, the downtown needs a hotel.

  5. Indigoshmindigo

    Wake up Ed – It’s a fancy name for a 100.00 a night express hotel. Check out rates at Hotel Indigo in Vernon Hills.

    They are both owned by InterContinental Hotels Group PLC. Its brands include Candlewood Suites, Crowne Plaza, Even, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Hotel Indigo, Hualuxe, InterContinental and Staybridge Suites.

    You can put pearls on a pig, but it’s still just a pig, albeit with pearls on.

  6. Ed James

    OMG, I’m finally awake due to your incredible insight. It’s not a bad hotel and a good match for the downtown. What would you suggest in that spot?

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