Naperville’s New City Council

Naperville’s new city council members will take their oath of office on May 3. Brain teaser: Can anyone name two members of the new council? Ask the average Naperville resident, and if you do hear two names, you will probably hear the names George Pradel and Doug Krause, both of which would be wrong.

The mayor will be new in position (Steve Chirico) and six of the eight city council members will be new. It’s possible any of the eight, could not name the other seven. Chances are good, if you ask any of the six new members what they are reading, and the answer will be Robert’s Rules of Order.

The first couple of Naperville city council meetings should be quite entertaining. They will have to remember that only the first and third Tuesday nights are council meeting nights, then they will have to remember where their seats are located at the dais. Fortunately there will be a name plate in front of their seats, which will help.

Probably the busiest person at the dais will be city attorney Jill Pelka-Wilger as she corrects motions and procedures incorrectly stated by council members. Incumbent council members Paul Hinterlong and Judy Brodhead  have seniority, and still occasionally have to be set-straight with proper wording.

The second busiest person at the dais will be newly elected Mayor Steve Chirico who will be surrounded by 75% ‘freshmen’. Everybody has their first day on the job at sometime in their life, but six out of eight at the same time is a formula for some chaos.

Of the nine members on the council, Watchdog endorsed five. Neither Paul Hinterlong (let’s set-up Uber for failure in Naperville) or Judy Brodhead (chickens don’t bark) were endorsed, so unless something changes with either, we can expect to see the same based on the past.

The other two which were not endorsed, but could surprise Watchdog are former council member Kevin Gallagher and John Krummen. It almost appeared that Gallagher forgot it was election night when a local reporter knocked on his door for a comment.

John Krummen (Ambassador for Smart Meters) now becomes the face for the Smart Meter fiasco since most of the council members who supported the ill-advised venture have departed.

New council members Patty Gustin, Rebecca Boyd-Obarski, Becky Anderson, and Kevin Coyne should be a welcome addition to the council and help Mayor Chirico move the council in a positive direction.

The big question, is whether or not this new city council can do something the outgoing council could never seem to do; show respect for other peoples’ time by starting the meeting on time at 7:00pm sharp. We’ll have to wait 23 days to find out.

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