Watchdog’s Clear Choice For Mayor of Naperville Is Steve Chirico

I have been watching Naperville city council meetings since 2010. That’s more than 100 meetings, and I believe without a doubt that councilman Steve Chirico is the person to lead the City of Naperville into the future.

He brings a wealth of leadership dimensions to the table  including:

  • Demonstrating accountability
  • Demonstrating courage
  • Communicating effectively
  • Managing performance
  • Thinking critically
  • Managing execution
  • Maximizing relationships
  • Driving change
  • Building trust

As a Naperville  business owner for more than 30 years, he has a keen awareness of what it takes to lead a successful business. It takes more than just turning on the light switch. While working his way through college, he started a small tile shop, which is now known as Great Western Tile Flooring; a leading specialty flooring destination. Naperville needs a mayor with keen business sense, and Steve Chirico is that person.

Additionally Chirico brings a strong business and local government acuity including:

  • Keen understanding of budgets and negotiations
  • Disciplined fiscal conservative
  • Focused on maintaining reasonable property taxes
  • Determination to improve economic development
  • Promoting a strong business climate

He can and will accomplish this through his ability to be a consensus builder. The ability to bring opposite sides to the table, listen, and forge agreements. This is a huge plus for the residents and businesses of Naperville.

On the personal side of councilman Chirico, other factors that will help him lead Naperville effectively and compassionately include:

  • He is a livelong resident of Naperville
  • A level-headed temperamant
  • The ability to step-back for a clearer view
  • Father of seven Naperville school graduates.

Now Chirico and I don’t agree on everything, including the ability of city manager Doug Krieger. Chirico is in his corner for now, and I believe the City of Naperville can do better with a more competent leader as city manager. Most importantly, he and I can agree to disagree respectfully.

Watchdog was very critical of Chirico when he first joined the council in 2011. In fact, Watchdog was almost relentless in criticizing Chirico. To Chirico’s credit, he reached out to me, for us to have a chance to chat over a cup of coffee. It was at that get together, that I quickly realized that he really is a quality guy with class. He said something profound, when discussing a couple of his initial missteps on he council. He said, “I blew it. I wish I could have a do-over, and do it right.” Wow, how many ‘politicians’ are willing to say that and have it be genuine. His ability to build a consensus, demonstrate courage, and build trust were evident.

He and his wife Julie, who is an absolute delight, have a blended family of seven children. He understands his priorities of being a dad, a husband, a business owner, and a leader. Steve Chirico is the complete package. He’s real, he’s sincere, and he will be an outstanding mayor for the City of Naperville.

If this is not enough, then how about this. If he ever had to go one-on-one in a wrestling match with any other mayor, my money is on Chirico. He was the Co-Captain of the Naperville Central wrestling team, where he placed 4th in the State Tournament. He was the first ever four-year varsity letterman in the NCHS wrestling program and his peers selected him as the most valuable wrestler as he was undefeated in dual meets his senior year.

What that means is that if things ever get out of control during a city council meeting, Steve Chirico will quickly regain control.

Show 13 Comments


  1. Jeff

    I consistently read all of your posts, and I have to say that I’m seriously shocked that you’re endorsing Steve Chirico…and with such GLOWING words! I guess spending over $80K (so far) actually works…

    This is the guy who once asked a citizen (when referring to petitions the citizen had collected), “Did some of them just sign to get away from you?”

    He does come off as a really nice guy when you meet him, but he’ll simply continue the arrogance and condescension that flows freely from the dais. I’m stunned that you would go so far overboard in your endorsement. It’s one thing to say he’s the best option (lesser of two (or more) evils), but your post comes off as a paid endorsement. I don’t know what to say…it’s not at all what I expected…and definitely not the spirit that I expected.

  2. Gerard H Schilling.

    To bad ethics and integrity don’t count in your analysis. Beware of Greeks bearing gifts!

  3. Gerard H Schilling

    To bad the analysis didn’t include the qualities of ethics, honesty and integrity characteristics much more important then some of the ones you mentioned. Beware of Greeks baring gifts! My vote is for Kraus.

  4. napersince87

    I am extremely surprised by your “gushing” endorsement. This is a time when Naperville truly needs a very experienced hand at the helm, and Steve just doesn’t have the experience.

    Furthermore, I would think as the “watchdog” you would do some research into all the candidates.

    I am quite concerned about Chirico’s using approx. $400,000 in taxpayer money (federal tax credit and state grant) to install solar panels on his personal business. He made sure sure it generates 150% of what his energy needs are, then gets a nice check every month for what he sells back to ComEd. So nice, that according to some reports the entire project (over $800,000) was paid off in just 9 months.

    I’d say that is using taxpayer money to feather his own nest. Additionally, it is unsettling to me to see him spending nearly $100,000 on a race that pays just $25,000 a year.

  5. Not an April Fool

    At first I thought, ahhh, April Fool’s Day, but no we’re still in March. So, sorry Watchdog, can’t agree with you on this one. How can you trust a man who can’t mind his own business, to mind ours? His business lost close to $700,000 from embezzlement, and it took him 7 years to notice it? He put his inept, then-brother-in-law, in charge of his carpet cleaning division, and where is that now?
    • He championed spending 22 million, which we’re still trying to figure out how to pay back, and derided citizens who opposed the blatant money grab.
    • He made his own money grab to fund the solar powered, money making scheme on his warehouse
    • He also underpaid his taxes on that solar-powered electric-generating oversized warehouse.
    • He chose Comed as a provider instead of Naperville, so he wouldn’t be subjected to the same rules he votes to apply to other Naperville business owners.
    • He has tax payers footing the bill for his health insurance.
    • He signed up for the tax payer funded pension.
    • He voted to increase city council salaries.
    • He talks a great game, but look at his action to see the real Chirico.
    You may admire his wrestling abilities but I am wrestling with your support for this self-proclaimed public servant. He is more self-serving than selfless. And please, let’s not forget his delightful, Machiavellian, power hungry wife. She is the impetus behind his altruistic political career. Without her thrusting him forward, he’d still be grappling with the big questions like is carpet or hardwood the latest trend. You just need to look back a couple years at the vitriol she spewed about candidates she didn’t support. Steve Chirico’s campaign for mayor is nothing but a well funded, shrewdly planned, power grab, plotted by his calculating consort. I will not be one of the April Fools voting for him on the 7th.

  6. john

    Now lets do one for councilman Doug Krause. I have known Doug Krause for many years as a devoted councilman and fellow real estate broker. He deserves some serious recognition for his service to Naperville and his stance on spending money we do not have. I’m afraid we’re overlooking his experience and integrity. It’s looking like the one who raises the most money is the most experienced. I’m asking the watchdog to put a list together of Doug’s accomplishments. Only seems fair. I don’t ever remember councilman Krause ever voting on a matter because of possible conflict of interest or lack or impartially. If he did he would have it recused himself.

  7. Brenda

    News Flash: Naperville Watchdog turned Lap Dog!

  8. Joe Naper

    CHIRICO? Seriously? The guy takes THOUSANDS from developers, pushes for higher elected official wages and benefits, makes us taxpayers pay for his healthcare even though he owns a MULTI-MILLION dollar per year business, builds a solar plant on his roof with OUR tax money and the so called “watchdog” endorses him? Jeff got it right. How much is he paying you there “watchdog”? Chirico is a con-man and he sure has conned you. Of all the people running Chirico is the least trustworthy, most unethical and a hands down class A schiester.

    Chirico will be a disaster for Naperville. Higher taxes, massive business (IE; buddy) give-aways and will only make the city hall back-room deals more frequent.

    I’m willing to bet this post isn’t up for long.

  9. john

    How about a Town hall meeting with the four candidates running for mayor asking some fastball questions rather questions rehearsed one week in advance? This election is much to important not to have a serious public discussion on the future of Naperville.
    The questions would come directly from the public and answers in real time.
    This is a four year term and we can’t afford any mistakes in making the right choice.

  10. Buck Naper

    Courage is Kim Bendis, as she and her family endured financially and emotional devastation fighting, and prevailing over a phony arrest (details to follow). Where was Steve Chirico? Having coffee with the Watch Dog, or was he being upset by noisy landscapers while he sipped wine on his deck on a Sunday? Chirico was reported to say that his biggest contribution to his campaign was $5,000.00 from Great Western and that he would recuse himself from voting on issues regarding his company. However, in December 2013, as a Council member, he accepted a contribution of $2,500.00 from Nick Ryan and Jeff Prosapio of MP Water Street LLC and proceeded to vote in favor of three issues regarding the Water Street project on November 4, 2014. Does that mean that he’s ethical or just that he comes cheap? Was that Steve Chirico laughing like a jackle, in the back of Council chambers, as citizens were subpeoned to testify regarding their grass root petitions for a non-binding referendum? Let’s forget about his falsetto voice that sounds like finger nails on a chalkboard, one of his solutiins for the red ink facing Naperville, is (drum roll) raising taxes. Here’s a toast, Watch Dog, for all those that put it on the line to stand up as citizens to clean up Naperville, protect their families, their homes, their reputations and their hometown. Your second coming of Jesus, endorsement of this spend and tax establishment guy is a disgrace.

  11. Grant W.

    Chirico would be better than officer friendly. Whoever becomes the next mayor will certainly have the watchdog watching his every move. Perhaps a business owner who doesn’t run Washington street with an iron fist is something Naperville needs

  12. marty

    Chirico= bad choice for Naperville. He had an embezzler working right along side of him that stole hundreds of thousands of dollars, but it took the chirico years to find out? And that was HIS money…imagine the lack of care over taxpayer money….Actually, lets not imagine that! Further, so what if he was good in high school sports? Most of us were. It’s an irrelevant topic, Watchdog!

  13. Joanie

    Such a ridiculous endorsement of Chirico for Mayor! After one term on City Council,he is not the most experienced candidate, and his business background has some glaring examples of negligence. I was quite impressed by City Council Watchdog until this, you have just jumped on the Bandwagon because he is using his $80,000 to plaster his name all over town. As for his wife, Julie, it’s apparent that you have NO idea what kind of a person she really is…check around with people who knew her before she was Mrs. Chirico, and you will discover she is far from a “delight”! Wrong call here Watchdog…you sold us out!

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