Council Members Hinterlong And Obarski Not Convinced About Pradel

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.

Show 3 Comments


  1. Gary kochanek

    If the former mayor desired to remain active he could have run for office again. He didn’t, we’ll all survive so let’s just move on. I agree with the Hinterlog and Obarski.

  2. Jana O'Brien

    I agree. Several years back I had the opportunity to speak to former Mayor Pradel regarding an issue here in “south” Naperville where I have lived for 10+years. In that brief exchange that we shared, Mr. Pradel made the comment that he “didn’t get south much”. I have never forgotten it. Can you tell me, Watchdog, what government accomplishments for the city would and should merit this title? Twenty years as the mayor of a city is quite something I admit, but perhaps it is more of a self serving proposal by the new mayor so he can focus on being a “business-minded” mayor, as opposed to cutting ribbons and kissing babies. I am quite certain that was never Mr. Chirico’s intention when he entered the ring to be mayor. So personally, I am not in favor of the title being bestowed on George Pradel or anyone else going forward. He or any future mayor can be all those things without the title, thank you. Kudos to Mr. Hinterlong and Ms. Boyd-Obarski for having some spine and making an independent thought as council members.

  3. Boy, I am truly having a difficult time even understanding Ms. Obarski’s argument or why Mr. Hinterlog thinks there should even be positions for former council members. I watched the council meeting and also read the Q&A regarding the meeting and still could not understand the arguments. ME Prodel’s title is even strange given the fact the “Mayor Pradel” was never a “me” person.

    ME Pradel will be a great help to Mayor Chirico. Additionally, there are many business and economic issues facing this City, and Mayor Chirico is quite rightly devoting his time to these issues that affect all of Naperville while asking ME Pradel to kiss the babies and cut ribbons.

    On another theme, ME Pradel has always lived in the older section of Naperville, also identified as “DuPage” Naperville, or “Naperville Township” Naperville. I live in “Farmstead” Naperville, that could also be described as “Almost South Perhaps Mid-East” Naperville, or “Lisle Township” Naperville. However, as I advised a person who represents “Will County” Naperville, I live in Naperville. While mayor, Mayor Pradel visited all parts of the City of Naperville. He did not confine himself to where he lives. Even though I truly do not remember him coming to the Farmstead Pool to talk to the folks, I hardly take that as his not caring about that section of Naperville. Maybe because he just was not asked to come and dip in the pool.

    It is truly amazing to me that any council people or residents opposed/oppose the Resolution creating the honorary position of Mayor Emeritus.

    How about reopening the issue to give our council the opportunity to revise the vote to unanimous?

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