With the recent approval of Naperville’s first-ever municipal sales tax, the city still still finds itself with a $1.8 million budget deficit. Part of the ‘deal’ with residents was that the Naperville city council was going to explore and identify cost saving measures.
The city is reviewing it’s expenses, but not as quickly as it’s trying to figure out how to extract more money out of residents. This was apparent during the last Naperville city council meeting when council members all but approved charging residents, and not-for-profit Naperville groups a fee for using meetings rooms in the Naperville Municipal Center (city hall). This is expected, in a perfect world’ to net city officials $38,000 (about 2%) towards the budget deficit. But the words ‘perfect world’ and ‘government’ in the same sentence is an oxymoron.
What this city council decision will do however, is make it more difficult for people trying to help other people; each of which have limited or no resources. It would be similar a council member taking an umbrella away from someone standing in the rain. Not so City friendly is it.
The vote to ‘take away the umbrella’ was seven for, and two against. Council members John Krummen and Patty Gustin voted not to burden residents with additional fees for the use of municipal center meeting rooms.
Watch and listen as Krummen nails it perfectly when he states, “This is the peoples’ house, and it is wrong to charge the people to use their house”.
Thomas Jefferson couldn’t have said it any better.
Councilman Krummen later emphasized his point when he said the following:
This was followed by councilman Paul Hinterlong when he chimed in with:
Councilwoman Patty Gustin responded in part with the council’s sacrifice of having no water during the meeting as a cost saving measure:
Wow, now that’s a creative cost-cutting sacrifice, giving up water for two hours.
Councilwoman Rebecca Boyd-Obarski admitted that another council member ‘set her straight’ with the following:
How disappointing it is, that another council member can so easily convince Obarski to give up on the idea of making a positive difference by doing the right thing, only because it is too difficult to accomplish.
Obarski then stated the obvious with the following:
As if giving up water at the dais was not enough.
The discussion on agenda item concluded with councilman Kevin Gallaher providing voters with a classic example of his double standard with the following comment:
So it’s OK to charge ‘the people to use their house’, but he is offended that the Park District scooted him off the lined playing field. Based on Gallaher’s ‘yes’ vote for ‘people paying to use their house’, Gallaher should have tossed in $40 to use the ‘peoples playing field’.
If $40 is free…perhaps councilman Gallaher would be willing to give two 10’s for a five.