Naperville Councilman Paul Hinterlong, “I fell short and I apologize”.

Why is it that when Naperville city council members apologize for something, they don’t need to do it, but when they need to apologize for something, they won’t do it.

It happened again during the last Naperville city council meeting (May 17) when councilman Paul Hinterlong apologized for supporting a 22-unit development at Bauer Road and Charles Street. Hinterlong said he “doesn’t like the barracks look”, but he supported the project. He also said that changing it would create “difficulties being able to market these units”. Since when is “marketing” a project the responsibility or concern of Naperville council members.

When Mariano’s opened its new store at 75th Street and Naper Boulevard, was “marketing it” the responsibility of the council, or is it Mariano’s responsibility? Is the council now choosing ‘winners’ and ‘losers’? Apparently that’s now part of the decision-making equation for city officials because isn’t that what they did when they said ‘no’ to McDonald’s at Hillside and Aurora avenue, because of noise and traffic congestion, yet they said ‘yes’ to Dunkin Donuts / 31-Flavors at that same location. I don’t suppose that had anything to do with the long standing Burger King just north of that location. Is it possible that somebody ‘important’ on the council knows somebody ‘important’ at Burger King, hence quarter-pounder was pounded out of that location.

Councilman Hinterlong continued his ‘apology’ speech when he said, “I tried my best to do this over again, but I fell short and I apologize. I’ll be supporting this tonight”.

Watch and listen to Hinterlong in his own words:

What exactly is he apologizing for? It’s his job to make a decision, not to apologize for it. If he has to apologize for his decision supporting the project, then don’t vote to approve it. Simple isn’t it.

If councilman Hinterlong wants to apologize for something, how about a few of these:

  • apologize for making most comments sound like questions
  • apologize for wasting staff’s time for researching useless information
  • apologize for getting the most votes of any council member during the last election, especially when half of the council members can run circles around Hinterlong, and half of the other half, can walk circles around him.

Hinterlong apologizing prior to making a decision, appears counter-productive. Hinterlong apologizing after making a decision appears like he made the wrong decision. Maybe his best decision is to vote ‘present’, then he’ll never need to apologize.

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