Naperville Resident Not Allowed 20 Seconds To Speak

There is a new ‘Sheriff’ in town, and he means business;  just follow the procedure. The new ‘sheriff’ is Naperville mayor Steve Chirico, and he drew some definite lines in the sand during last Tuesday’s city council meeting; the first meeting for the new Naperville city council.

It didn’t take long for the first change to be noticed.It happened at exactly 7:00pm when the meeting started on time. The was no meandering in at 7:05 or 7:10 for council members. They were there and ready to do the peoples’ business at 7pm sharp.

The leader sets the pace, creates a benchmark, and leads by example. Chirico campaigned on his platform of a strong business background. He owns Great Western Flooring. The business opens at 9:00am, not 9:05 or 9:10. Opening and starting on time (punctuality) is respect for other peoples’ time.

Things were going great for the new city council, until about 45 minutes into the meeting when Michael Carpanzano addressed the city council during Public Forum:

It got worse for the city council about a half-hour later, when Basim Esmail respectfully addressed the council with his claim (supported by video and audio) that the City of Naperville has engaged in ‘silent discrimination’ against him for the last 30+ years:

Two things are interesting about this clip. First it appears Naperville city officials have kept this resident on the ‘bureaucracy bicycle’ since the last century, and secondly they don’t want to hear (or let residents hear) the final 20 seconds of his public forum presentation.

Anyone can Google ‘Napergate’ and learn why he spent over $100,000 fighting the city in court and winning, and purchasing 129 full page ads in the Naperville Sun and Daily Herald to explain his position. If he would have spent those dollars on campaigning for city council, he may have been our outgoing or current mayor.

One can understand why Mayor Chirico slapped the 3-minute rule on Mr. Esmail;  he is the new ‘sheriff’ in town and wants to follow or enforce procedure, I get it, however there were two speakers during public forum that spoke for more than three minutes without hearing the dreaded words, “Mr. Mayor, the speaker’s time is up.” The mayor spent 45 seconds telling the speaker he couldn’t have 20 seconds to finish.

What is disappointing is that not one of the other eight city council members spoke up by saying, “Mr. Mayor, if you don’t mind, I would like to hear Mr. Esmail’s final 20 seconds.” Chances are the mayor would have said ‘no’, and that’s O.K, but at least that council member would have distinguished himself or herself by showing enough interest to at least listen to the resident.

Every single member of the city council at one time or another during the campaign or inauguration mentioned the importance of listening to residents’ concerns. Apparently they are only interested in listening for three minutes.

Show 6 Comments


  1. Gerard H Schilling

    Stay tuned Bob it will get worse before it gets better. Since power corrupts absolutely our leaders need to have personal values of honesty and integrity which of course leaves out the new mayor. What should have happened was a commitment by this new council to investigate the complaint(s) and have a subsequent report made to council by a specified date. Instead like is always the case with these people they just shut down the citizen and never resolve the problem. Welcome to the new, same old city council of pawns and cronies under the leadership of a tyrant.

  2. Casual Observer

    There is nothing worse than a power hungry person actually getting some power. It was barely perceptible, but if you looked closely, you could see her lips move as the words came out of his mouth. She makes Terry Fator look like a piker. She is a well-funded bully flexing his muscle. (it took $116,000 to get him elected mayor) And this was just the first meeting!

  3. I wish dash cams and recording devices were implemented a couple of months before May as I had an equally disturbing encounter with a NPD Sgt…. Integrity has been a joke in Naperville. I hope, but am not convinced it will improve with new council members.

  4. Marty Levine

    Not letting the Napergate Man finish his 20 seconds is ridiculous. This man owned the town 20 years ago and seems to have been in hiding. It would have been nice to hear his summation whatever it might. have been. Was the Mayor really enforcing the time limit or was he suppressing free speech? I have to wonder……….

  5. sweet dee

    The new mayor surely owes a lot of favors for all that campaign money raised. $116,000! Did Pradel spend that much over his whole tenure? I hope he willl be recusing himself when big $upporter$ have issues up for votes, and not just telling us to trust him, he’s not biased.

  6. Operator 57

    Somebody should ask the gentlemen (Basim) what his relations are or were with the Village of Stone Park and ownership of bars and or business interests there.

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