Now that I’m retired, my schedule is much more flexible, than it was when I was in the ‘fast lane’ of life. I still turn the lights off after 1 am, and wake up fully alert, as if my hair was on fire, at 6:22am. I’m eager to get the most out of each day, and it’s worked for me for about 60 years. One element that I’ve added to my life is that when I wake up, I anticipate something breaking or going wrong. Nothing big, just little things. Today my wife’s gladiolas were bent over from the storm Thursday night, and I had to prop them up, and the FedEx guy dropped off a heavy box on the front stoop, so that I was unable to get the door open to get it. Like I said, no major breakage or big problems, just simple annoyances, ‘Naperville-people’ types of’ problems.
The Naperville city council gets their fare-share of ‘Naperville-people’ problems presented to them. Lawn mowers that are too loud, delivery trucks making too much noise, garbage trucks missing a pick-up, too many bees buzzing around, chickens clucking too loudly, a fence line that two inches off-center, and birds chirping too early in the morning. The last one was my issue. I didn’t present that one to the council, because I knew if I did, the council would grill and pound me like a cheap drum. I’ve tried to minimize my opportunities to be a human pinata.
An agenda topic during the last Naperville city council meeting was whether to require Naperville landlords to consider government subsidy vouchers as income when renters apply for housing in Naperville. Not that big of a deal, unless you subscribe to the concern of incremental encroachment of governmental regulation, and when ‘voluntary participation’ becomes ‘compulsory participation’.
Watch and listen as Kenneth Coles, Executive Director of DuPage Housing, addresses the council regarding vouchers, followed by Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico’s pressing question, “What is the problem we are trying to solve?”
The question wasn’t answered, ‘what are we trying to solve?’. The numbers speak loudly. DuPage County has 2,750 vouchers. Naperville has about 500 vouchers being used, or about 18% of the vouchers in the county, with Naperville having about 10% of the population of the county. Naperville is exceeding the county average.
DuPage County has about 1500 voucher landlords, with Naperville having 225, or about 15%, again exceeding the 10% of the population Naperville has in the county. Again, Naperville is exceeding the county average.
Watch and listen as Anne Houghtaling, Executive Director of Hope Housing, answers ‘why Naperville’.
Isn’t that why most of us are here? It’s a good place to be. It took most of us a while to get here. We didn’t simply magically appear. I took a circuitous route from Des Moines, to Davenport, to Des Plaines (I liked the ‘D’s) to Naperville. For those of you, who are familiar with Joyce Meyer, charismatic Christian author and speaker, she states, “are you willing to do, what I did, to get what I’ve got?”
DuPage County is loaded with cities, not doing half as well with vouchers as Naperville. Cities such as Addison, Bloomingdale, Darien, LaGrange, Villa Park, West Chicago, Willowbrook, Winfield, and Warrenville. These are all cities of ‘opportunity’, for the cities themselves with the percentage of vouchers, and for voucher-holders.
Watch and listen as Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico asks the always important question, ‘what is the goal?.
Great question without a direct answer. The City of Naperville and city officials are getting the job done and exceeding reasonable expectations. What we have here, is a solution in search of a problem, and the problem is not Naperville.