Some things are just not enjoyable, in fact they can be downright painful. Things like a letter from the IRS, or a dental appointment, or free tickets to a White Sox game. They can be miserable experiences.
Unfortunately the same can be said about appearing in front of the Naperville city council asking (pleading) for a variance in a code, as was the case during the June 2 council meeting when homeowner Dean Batotowski presented his request to install a pass-through circular driveway on his property. Watch and listen as he presents his idea:
Appearing in front of the council is the current day version of a public flogging. When the dust settled and the vote was taken, it wasn’t even close.
Eight votes against the homeowner, and one vote in favor (Kevin Gallaher). The homeowner simply wanted approval to improve his property allowing his family to enjoy life just a bit more without hurting anyone. None of his neighbors objected. No harm no foul, but that’s not how city officials saw it.
Move ahead to the June 16 city council meeting when the homeowner asked city council members, via email, to reconsider his request with modifications. The homeowner simply requested the council to listen. The vote to extend the courtesy was taken requiring this time a two-thirds ‘yes’ vote to approve the motion to reconsider. One would think that a resident-friendly council would welcome the opportunity to listen to a resident with a unanimous 9-0 vote, but not so with this council. Watch and listen to the council vote on whether or not to watch and listen to the homeowner:
The vote to listen was 6 to 3 in favor. The good news is that the homeowner can present his modified request. The not-so-good news is that council members Judy Brodhead, Patty Gustin, and John Krummen didn’t have the slightest interest in listening to a resident. Apparently they think they are busy, busy people with no time to listen, but isn’t this what they signed-on for when they campaigned for council membership.
Brodhead, Gustin, and Krummen were also probably pre-occupied with their devices when former council member Bob Fieseler shared his words of advice for new council members on the day they took their oath of office. Watch and listen as eight-year council member Fieseler encouraged the new council members to “Keep the human touch” and to “go lightly”.
Apparently Brodhead, Gustin, and Krummen were too busy to listen to Fieseler. For them, the discussion is over.
sorry to learn that Gustin is another Brodhead, sorry I gave her my vote. Fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me. I guess that’s what you get when less than 24% of the people in Naperville vote.
In my June 8th comment that was posted on this site, I talked about this very topic which you did not mention at all in your “City Council’s Character Continues to Take Shape” post pertaining to the June 2nd meeting which I also attended. So, you are welcome for the idea for your post, Watchdog. As I had stated in my comment, I think the homeowner has a pretty good argument to the city if they continue to deny his request. Apparently, several of his neighbors have a similar, if not the same type of driveway/property improvement he wants to install on his property. He showed photos of this at the meeting. The only difference is that HE is seeking a permit to do it where his neighbors perhaps did not. That, is according to the young woman who was answering questions at that meeting on behalf of one of the city departments that would be involved in this. I personally found Councilwoman Gustin extremely condescending in her dialogue with the petioner. My guess if that perhaps she was still on Planning and Zoning when this first reared its head and at that time most likely was denied by the commission. Planning and Zoning is an absolute farce. Come to South Naperville and see where the Planning and Zoning Commission approved the new McAlister’s Deli location in the parking lot of the 95th street Jewel, right in front of Oberweis/That Burger Joint. It is a disgrace. There is no cohesive plan for this area and it just continues to get worse. Mr. Galetto is absolutely correct in his last statement. The voting numbers are shameful.