Naperville city manager Doug Krieger, wants more authority to settle claims by increasing the current limit of $25,000 to $50,000. In order to do that, the Naperville city council would have to approve amending an ordinance.
It seems like that would be a reasonable request. Less approval by others, means a quicker and more efficient process. The problem with that is less oversight, means more chance of something going wrong. The additional problem, is Naperville city manager Doug Krieger, leaves a bit to be desired when it comes to earning the faith, trust and confidence of residents.
Watch and listen as councilmen Bob Fieseler and Doug Krause express their positions on the issue:
Krieger has had a number of missteps since moving over from city finance director to city manager, including the roll out of the ill-conceived Smart Meter program, lost Federal funds, and HR issues among others. The City of Naperville has a tendency to churn employees from one position to another, rather than hire more competent individuals from the outside. The ‘good ole boy’ mind-set is ‘alive but not well’ in Naperville. City officials did the same thing when they moved the assistant city manager (Bob Marshall) over to become the police manager, rather than promoting from within the Naperville Police Department, or hiring a true member of a police force from the outside to become police chief.
In Krieger’s case, it is a classic example of the ‘Peter Principle’ which states, in a hierarchy, an employee tends to rise to the level of their incompetence. It would have been wise for Krieger to have embraced the philosophy that “it is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to speak out, and remove all doubt”.
Most of us have to earn the right of more privilege, by proving we can handle current responsibilities with wise decisions and choices. A higher line of credit is a classic example, which in essence, is what Krieger wants, however his track record doesn’t justify it.
Amending the ordinance to adjust the city manager’s authority to settle claims, should not be doubled from $25,000 to $50,000, but rather, it should only be approved if the decimal point is moved over two digits to the left from $25,000.00 to $250.00
Amazing that our city manager who is the poster child for gross incompetence would dare to ask for this increase in authority especially as an election replacing the entire city council and mayor is about to take place. This guys takes second place to the College of DuPage’s Breuder. BTW since Naperville’s citizens pay most of the tax supporting this JC where is council’s outrage over this scandal and why haven’t they weighed in on it?
Anywhoo…it appeared that Krieger caught the Council off guard by announcing suddenly that the Electric Company was in financial trouble. Instead off the $11.2M mandated cash reserve, the Electric Utility had a $14M deficit! The Council, with their pants down, had to pass an ordinance allowing the Electric Company to borrow up to $19M from our Water Utility. That loan was to be repaid starting in 2016 at an interest rate of 2.7%.
According to the Managers Memo, the Electric Utilty FY15 now has a Cash and Investment balance of NEGATIVE ($8.8 M) and our Water Utility, which once had a Cash and Investment balance greater than $15M is down to $3.7M. The Electric Company continues hemorrhaging cash, despite back to back rate hikes of 6% and 7%. How will the Water Utility (taxpayers) ever be paid back with the Electric Utility continuing to loose millions?
Krieger appears to have a problem with transparency regarding the Council and especially the residents of Naperville. Giving Krieger the authority to settle claims, without Council approval, up to $50,000.00, will keep us all in the dark as to what is really going on in City Hall. Wasn’t it Krieger who approved the contract, giving our retired police chief $50,000 in salary and benefits for a 3 month consulting stint, without informing Council?