It didn’t take long for Naperville’s new city council members to give us a glimpse of their character by revealing their thought process. It happened at the last city council meeting (their second meeting). The agenda item was whether or not to pass an ordinance regulating the sale, possession, and use of alternative nicotine products, specifically e-cigarettes (e-cigs).
Two council members (Gallaher and Hinterlong) were eager to jump on the regulation even though both admitted to not knowing anything about “these things”. Two council members (Anderson and Gustin) wanted the regulation passed “now” without waiting for more information. And one council member (Boyd-Obarski) used skewed logic to come to an illogical conclusion.
There is a saying in medicine and politics, that when you have a new hammer, everything looks like a nail, and this surely was the case when the new council couldn’t wait to pass their first regulation. Apparently it wasn’t important to get it right; they just wanted to regulate something.
Watch as listen as councilman Paul Hinterlong says “I don’t know anything about these things, but I’m all for regulating them”.
Hinterlong has a tendency to speak before thinking things through which makes for some interesting video clips.
Now watch and listen to councilman Kevin Gallaher when he states, “I have no idea what these things are for”, but is all too willing to regulate them.
It’s been 13 years since Gallaher has had a chance to regulate something, so it looks like he is trying to catch up for lost time.
Now comes councilwoman Rebecca Boyd-Obarski who considers e-cigs as a “gateway” to cigarette smoking because a high percentage of e-cig users also smoke. Apparently she has never considered that the reason e-cig users use the item is because they want to get off cigarettes and this device can help accomplish that goal.
Fortunately one council member, Mayor Steve Chirico, took the opposing and rational view that he “would rather under-regulate than to over-regulate”.
Here comes councilman Hinterlong again giving it another go-around, this time asking if the police department had some type of magical “machine” that could analyze e-cig vapor.
A machine? Really. A machine.
And while we are at it, could someone please remind councilwoman Patty Gustin that she is no longer on a ‘board’, she is now on the council.
Next we have councilwoman Becky Anderson saying “we need to pass it tonight” regarding the regulation.
What’s the rush?
Finally, having one council person in a rush to regulate is concerning, but to have two in a rush to regulate is disturbing. Watch and listen as councilwoman Patty Gustin also wants to rush to judgement by saying there is a “need for expediency…modify quickly”.
As for the remaining three council members, Kevin Coyne was another voice of reason along with Chirico, Judith Brodhead continued fumfering, and John Krummen apparently would apply capital punishment to anyone evening thinking about e-cigs.
This Naperville city council has a new hammer (over-regulation) and unfortunately for Naperville residents, everything looks like a nail.