Naperville city officials really like referendums. Binding, non-binding, all kinds of referendums. If the vote doesn’t support the result that city officials want, they can simply have a do-over vote. So for Naperville city officials, what’s not to like about referendums.
The newest referendums, planned for the November election, include two regarding the Naperville Township. One will ask Naperville residents if they want an intergovernmental agreement allowing the city of Naperville to takeover maintenance of unincorporated Naperville Township roads.
The other referendum will ask Naperville residents if they believe townships within city limits should be eliminated.
Both referendums will be non-binding, which means they carry no legal weight. The purpose is to gauge the feelings of the voters. The wording of the referendum is huge, and can make all the difference in the results of the referendum. This was true, when two binding referendums were presented to the voters of Naperville in 2013. One was for district representation vs at-large representation. Voters chose district representation. Naperville city officials weren’t happy with the result, and decided to have a do-over vote. They obfuscated the wording , and voters chose at-large representation, giving city officials exactly what they wanted; no change and easier to hide-for-cover in city council elections.
The other binding referendum in 2013 was for term limits. By a landslide, voters chose term limits and city officials have not tried to overturn the vote. At least not yet.
Residents wanted a referendum regarding the installation of electric smart meters, but Naperville city officials made sure that wouldn’t happen. Residents even offered to make it non-binding, but Naperville city officials shut it down faster than turning off a light switch. The bottom line is that referendums, either binding or non-binding typically favor the desires of city officials.
Which gets us back to the referendums on the Township. If the vote is in favor of keeping things as they are, city officials won’t be happy, and they will continue to squeeze the Township into submission.
Getting voters to approve the referendums should not be difficult. Who doesn’t want smaller government and lower taxes? It should be a piece of cake for city officials. The only problem is that voters don’t trust city officials. And Naperville city officials have created that distrust.
Naperville city officials, including Naperville city council members Judith Brodhead, Paul Hinterlong, and then Smart Meter ambassador John Krummen (now on the council) said Smart Meters would be the greatest thing since sliced bread, and they are not. They said Smart Meters would save residents and businesses money, and they haven’t. Now those same council members, along with others are saying the city can save residents money regarding the Naperville Township.
Personally, I firmly believe it’s true. But I’m just one vote. Other residents subscribe to “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”. Residents to not want to be fooled again.