The City of Naperville was recently ranked by Money Magazine as the 10th best city to live in, but that didn’t carry any clout with the DuPage County Court, when they said ‘no’ to Naperville’s offer to house a traffic court in Naperville. A number of locations were submitted to DuPage County including Naperville’s Safety Town on Aurora Avenue near the Naperville Police Station.
Watch and listen to Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico as he updates the city council at the September 20 meeting:
Naperville city officials have been active in looking for better utilization of under-used city properties, while also trying to allocate tax dollars for more efficiency. Most recently, Naperville city officials offered to take over Naperville Township’s highway maintenance at for a substantial savings to taxpayers. The effort was met with intense resistance from the Township Highway Supervisor resulting in expensive court action paid by the taxpayers. The Township supervisor lost the court action, however the City of Naperville lost the opportunity to save taxpayer dollars when the township highway maintenance was transferred to Lisle Township. Another classic example of a government fiefdom (Naperville Township) grasping for control for self-preservation over the benefit of saving taxpayer dollars.
Having a location for a traffic court in Naperville would be win-win-win situation for Naperville residents, the City of Naperville, and DuPage county.
- It’s estimated that 10,000 to 15,000 people a year drive from Naperville to Wheaton for traffic court.
- Naperville Police Officers would not need to travel to Wheaton saving time and money
- An under-used city property could be more efficiently used
- DuPage County could reduce the number of field courts that are in use five days a week, and the Naperville site could operate two days a week to start as a circuit court, again with the advantage of being next to a police station.
- Positive environmental and economic impact
The number one site Naperville offered was Naperville’s Safety Town, which would still operate as it has for years in teaching and educating children in safety skills that they carry through life, including the skill of safe driving.
Wouldn’t this be a classic teaching opportunity, when kids see an unending line of traffic violators marching thru Safety Town, along with police officers, and attorneys heading to traffic court; a place where nobody wants to be. And then shortly afterward, another unending line of traffic offenders leaving court with a few dollars less, wishing they had attended Safety Town when they were kids, or if they had attended, wishing they paid more attention learning, and paid less or nothing to traffic court.
There were a lot of issues with the Safety Town proposal, the County’s decision simple avoided discussions about why the Safety Town Building is under utilized. Who actually owns the building. What the “Naperville Standard” for building upkeep and maintenance is (which has to be pretty low based on what anyone who takes the time to look well see about the upkeep of city hall as they come in the main entrance) and the selective nature of council’s decisions on who get SECA funds as well as who gets restrictions in original agreements lifted to make operations easier.