Some ideas seem so simple or logical. Like the guy who first invented the wheel, or the hula-hoop, or the idea of kids selling lemonade from a sidewalk stand making a few dollars. Who is going to find fault with that, other than city officials using police to shut the kids down.
Some city officials have a tendency to make things more difficult than they need to be, while other city officials employ common sense and come up with creative ideas.
Both were on display at the recent Naperville city council meeting when Mayor Steve Chirico floated the idea of creating a position of honorary mayor emeritus for former mayor George Pradel. That’s brilliant.
- Former mayor Pradel loves to help out and attend events
- He has the time and experience and desire to stay involved.
Who could possibly withhold support of that idea? Council members Paul Hinterlong and Rebecca Boyd-Obarski, that’s who.
Obarski is concerned about an ‘honorary’ title rather than creating a position with strings (duties) attached. It sounds like Obarski wants to make it more difficult than it needs to be. Isn’t that typically how government (city officials) tend to be; taking the simple and making it complex.
Hinterlong who voted ‘no’ along with Obarski, has reservations about council members being obligated or pressured to bestow the mayor emeritus title to mayors in the future. That’s a sad commentary about the inability of council members to vote on the merits of an issue, and being pressured to make the wrong decision, rather than simply making the appropriate decision.
If there ever was or will be a mayor of Naperville who deserves the honorary title of mayor emeritus it would be George Pradel. He served 30 years on the Naperville police force and then 20 years as mayor of Naperville. That’s a total of 50 years of service. Fifty years ago, Hinterlong was a twinkle in his daddy’s eye, and Boyd-Obarski didn’t even know what a hyphen was, and Pradel was already helping Naperville by helping people.
The council needs to invoke Occam’s Razor (keep it simple) and embrace Mayor Chirico’s idea. If Hinterlong and Obarski are still uncomfortable singling out George Pradel for this honorary position, then let’s include Mayor Joe Naper too. They both did a lot for Naperville. Pradel wants to do it; let him do it while he is still with us.