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.
Is it Krieger’s fuzzy thinking that approved today’s marathon map that is blocking and delaying hundreds of families access to their churches during Sunday worship hours? The police state they have not been given maps to help families avoid traffic jams, ability to pick up kids, shop for Sunday dinner or attend morning events. Worse yet, as Krieger seems have bled the city’s cash to dangerously new levels, taxpayers are going to have to endure yet another tax rate hike on homes they are having difficulty getting to today. Of course, homeowners are also hammered by compounded rate hikes for electric, water and sewage. Under Krieger, the Electric Company lost over $20M dollars and had to borrow $13M from the Water Utility. There has been no plan announced to pay that back. Then there’s the $72M in premium fees that Naperville agreed to pay IMEA, and that doesn’t include Naperville’s proportionate borrowing and operational costs of IMEA and Prairie State. City of Naperville’s debt is over $150M, excluding unfunded pensions in excess of $100M. It’s time we hire a business owner, who understands cash flow before Naperville goes over the financial cliff. The City has to stop treating homeowners as ATMs for their reckless spending. Naperville’s AAA rating is in jeopardy. The constant borrowing trough needs to stop. We must get our great city’s financial house in order. Another economic slowdown will be a nightmare for all of us.
At first, he says that we used to have a pile of cash, now we don’t – so, we can’t use cash, got it. Then, he babbles about a bunch of different things that make no sense. Then Chirico asks, what’s the plan if we’re short? Doug says, basically, he has no idea. How does he survive? Does he have something on these people? Someone should run for mayor saying that they will can the manager, if elected.
Here we are again blaming Krieger – He is NOT to blame – he is just Krieger. He is just a tool, like a hammer (or bag of hammers, if you will) and you wouldn’t use a hammer to fix a watch any more than you would use a tiny screwdriver to pound in a nail. He has risen above his level of competence and has been rewarded by the people who put him there. He will continue to stumble through his career, depending on his subordinates to make him look capable, until someone stands up and fires him.
The blame for this mess falls squarely on the shoulders of the city council and mayor mc friendly. They sit there, week after week, and listening to the city manager, as he mis-manages the city. He rambles on, making no sense what so ever. It would be comical if we weren’t the ones ultimately paying the price. It’s time for them to actually do something productive.
Disagree that Chirico is capable of running the city as mayor. And, his business must be luck. Its obvious he can’t read a business case otherwise he would have seen through that crap they called a business case to justify smart meters… Where are electric costs going?