We’ve all been in this situation, at one time or another. We have no idea what we’re talking about, but we try dazzle someone with double talk. It starts early in life trying to make excuses for something we did wrong. Later it happens in school, when we’re writing an essay about something to which we don’t even understand the question, let alone the answer to the question. It again surfaces when we have to tell our boss about a major screw-up we made, or trying to explain to our wife or husband why we didn’t do what we said would do.
It happened to Naperville city manager Doug Krieger during last Tuesday’s Naperville city council meeting regarding a tax levy, when Naperville city councilman (and mayoral candidate) Steve Chirico asked Krieger a simple and direct question about what happens if the budget is six or seven million dollars short of funds. Watch and listen as Krieger tries to obfuscate his way through the question, followed by Chirico tactfully re-asking of the question, and finished off by city manager Doug Krieger “trying to think”
Krieger’s thought process was very similar to the following ‘Larry, Moe, and Curly’ Three Stooges moment:
It was rather humorous, while being a bit painful, to hear Krieger stumble his way through an ‘answer’ that he should have been prepared for. The job of a city manager is to provide meaningful information to the city council in order for the council to make wise decisions. Anything less than that is a dis-service to the council and to the residents of Naperville.
Credit has to be given to councilman Chirico for not letting Krieger’s non-answer slide through, as most council members have a tendency to do with Krieger. Chirico’s ability to do that, in large part, is due to the fact that he owns and operates a successful retail business in Naperville; he understands what it takes to succeed in business.
Which takes us to the logical conclusion. The City of Naperville needs a mayor, council members, and a city manager who understand what it takes to operate and manage a successful business, because in essence that’s exactly what the City of Naperville is. Overall, conditions in Naperville are good, however if ‘better’ is possible (and it is) , then ‘good’ is not enough. Naperville needs and deserves first-class leadership, because ‘Larry, Moe, and Curly’ aren’t getting it done.