Naperville’s local newspaper (Naperville Sun), also known as Naperville’s 10th council person, ran an editorial in last Sunday’s January 15 edition, “Talk of merging towns is just silly” in which it outlined reasons why a possible referendum to annex three cities (Lisle, Warrenville, and Woodridge) into Naperville was a ‘silly idea’.
Maybe it is a silly idea, but considering the newspaper is simply an extension of the city council (hence the 10th member), Watchdog considered it appropriate to respond to each point.
- “The plan would be expensive, time-consuming and more complicated than anyone understands. Merging…might take years”.
Considering the speed at which government works, it could take some time, but if the effort was made at ‘Trump-speed’ it wouldn’t that long, and the benefits would be worth it.
- “The move also would mean the residents of the assimilated towns suddenly would have representatives whom they don’t know and didn’t choose”.
Basically that’s what we have now. Considering Naperville city officials overturned a landslide vote for district representation a few years ago, most residents today couldn’t name one council member.
- “It would burden Naperville’s City Council with an additional 70,000 people whose interests they don’t fully understand and who may have chosen their original town precisely because they did not want to live in Naperville”.
The last thing we want to do is “burden” council members with an occasional additional phone call or email from another resident. If there is one thing that most Naperville council members have, it’s time on their hands. If you doubt that, tune in to a council meeting and listen to the endless talking about topics in which they agree. And according to Naperville city officials, who wouldn’t want to live in Naperville. Additionally, Naperville has a city clerk who is actually attending council meetings rather than doing time in the Graybar Hotel.
- “We doubt there would be a savings in city personnel. Larger cities require more people to run them, not fewer”.
Reducing the number of mayors from four to one, and council members from 28 t0 8, is a good start.
- “Calling a Warrenville a Naperville, does not make it a Naperville”
This reminds me of Naperville councilwoman Brodhead’s comment about “chickens don’t bark”, what does this have to do with the price of cheese in China. Does anyone beyond a 50 mile radius of Warrenville, even know where Warrenville is?
- “A merger also would create more of the dissatisfaction that happens when people find themselves removed from the center of their city and its activities.”
Naperville is 35 miles from Chicago, and that doesn’t stop us from going to the lakefront or a Cubs game. That’s the beauty of transportation.
- “it’s wrong that such an action does not require the consent of the voters of the city into which the others are being assimilated”.
Try telling that to Obama’s Department of Justice. What the mayors see as ‘wrong’ is the fact that citizens and residents could control what city officials can’t, and that’s the outcome of the vote on the referendum.
- “Whether voters in Lisle, Woodridge, and Warrenville would ever approve the merger is an unknown”.
That’s the purpose of the referendum, to find out if they would approve it.
- “We know from experience that unpredictable things can occur when choices intended merely to be protests or statements of dissatisfaction appear on the ballot”.
The key word there is ‘unpredictable’, which is exactly what city officials from all four cities don’t want. If government officials are in control, it’s predictable; when residents have control, government officials begin sweating profusely.
It’s doubtful that this referendum for annexation (government consolidation) will ever see the light of day on the ballot. Government officials with a little help from the court can make that predictable.