It’s Time To Ask The People

The Naperville city council has a way of making things much more difficult than they need to be. Maybe they need to add a department that simplifies decisions and actions. It could be called the Department of Occam’s Razor, and the department head would be in charge of keeping it simple. ‘It’ being everything the city does. As referred to often by Watchdog, Occam’s Razor (a scientific and philosophic rule) states that ‘the simplest of competing theories be preferred to the more complex”.

For example, the council has been wrestling with the over-serving  of alcohol problem in downtown Naperville for almost as long as they have had a liquor commission. Rather than keeping the solution simple, uncomplicated, and extremely enforceable, they likely will make it either miserably confusing or socially acceptable non-effective. It appears they will choose the latter.

Initially, solutions considered by city officials were so complex, it would have required an instruction sheet to be passed out to anyone considering eating a meal or having a libation when entering the city. It appears Naperville city council will choose action which is nearly the same as no action, including limiting late night entry, limiting the serving the size of beer and limiting shot service.

City council members were elected to do what is best for the residents of Naperville, not to cater to special interest groups including bar owners and the restaurant association.

Watch and listen to Naperville resident Roger McDonald as he presents an idea to the council during the last Naperville city council meeting, followed by a comment from councilman Joe McElroy.

How simple is that. Ask the residents what they want. Take a survey. Let their voices be heard. Then base the decision (solution) on the very reason city officials exist; to do what is best for the residents who elected them into office.

In the spirit of Roger McDonald’s idea, Watchdog surveyed its readers with these results:

“What should the Naperville city council do about the late night issues in downtown?

Cut back on liquor license concentration in downtown Naperville 51%
Cut back on serving alcohol by one hour 32%
Do nothing 13%
Do something else 4%
Have all staff BASSET trained 0%
Reduce the serving size of beer 0%

A few thoughts jump out with these numbers:

  • More than half of those responding (51%) believe the solution is the very thing city officials don’t want to do. (offend special interest groups and lose tax dollars)
  • No one (0%) thought that reducing the serving size of beer will do any good.
  • A high percentage (13%) believe nothing needs to be done. Watchdog thanks the high number of bar and restaurant owners, late-night revelers, special interest individuals and DUI attorneys for participating in this survey).

Watchdog acknowledges this was not a scientific survey. However, until Naperville city officials are willing to ‘ask the residents’, this survey will remain the most accurate.

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