How Welcoming Is Naperville Councilwoman Becky Anderson?

Naperville councilwoman Becky Anderson is doubling down on her quest to “remind people who we are”, as if the fine folks of Naperville have forgotten and need to be reminded. It sounds a bit condescending. These are some of the same folks who voted for Anderson in the last election.

Anderson barely beat councilwoman Judy Brodhead for a four-year term. A mere 570 votes less and Anderson would be running in the April 4th election, while Brodhead would be watching re-runs of ‘Let’s Make A Deal’ on T.V. One has to wonder how Anderson was elected if she has such a low level of confidence in Naperville voters since they have to be “reminded” that we welcome others to Naperville. Could it be that her election to the council was influenced by the Russians. Granted it’s unlikely, but it’s possible. Maybe an investigation is in order.

Watchdog decided to initiate the investigation by heading to Anderson’s Book Store in downtown Naperville to see what I could find. The first thing I couldn’t find was a parking spot. I thought it was my lucky day when I noticed a open spot directly in front of the store. As my excitement was building to pull in, another car coming from the opposite direction made a spectacular move by backing into the open spot, not an easy thing to do considering it’s diagonal parking. My disappointment was only exceeded by the creative genius of the other driver’s amazing maneuver of backing in.

After finally finding a place to park, I walked into the book shop and to my amazement the first book I saw, which was also the closest book to entrance less than eight feet from the front door, was “A Gentleman In Moscow” by Amor Towles. Was this the smoking gun. Why would a book regarding Russia be so prominently displayed? Needing more evidence I asked the friendly and efficient clerk if there were any other books about Russia in the store. The answer was a resounding ‘yes’. Even more amazing, was the fact they were in three separate parts of the store. Books on Kazakhstan, Tajikstan, and Uzbekistan are all in one location, but Russia has multiple locations in the store. Is that the link between Anderson and Russia and the results of the last municipal election? Maybe not, but then again, maybe so.

Anderson’s passion is lukewarm for most issues, other than her desperate and shameless attempt to be relevant by making an issue of a non-issue, by reminding us we are a ‘Welcoming City’. Her only other spark of passion involves taxation of on-line purchases, including Amazon.

Which brings us to a point where Anderson’s ‘Welcoming City’ quest, and Amazon converge. Amazon has a brilliant plan to launch a chain of 300 to 400 physical, brick and mortar stores, with the Lakeview area of Chicago being one of the first. It’s only a matter of time before Amazon proudly opens a store-front in downtown Naperville. The question is, will Anderson still be pushing for Naperville to be a ‘Welcoming city’ by welcoming Amazon?

Show 8 Comments


  1. Kevin

    Anderson is a bump on a log. Doesn’t respond to emails, engage with residents, or have an original thought. All great qualities for someone on Council.

    • Jim Haselhorst

      No original thoughts? The welcoming city idea is one that no one else had thought of, so this very article refutes your statement. Anderson has lots of original thought, thats why she is one of this communities most successful businesspersons. It is her originality that has gotten authors to come to our community to do book signings an appearances, like GW Bush who’s visit to Anderson’s Bookstore was the only independent bookstore in the country he appeared at.

      How many other business owners in Naperville have show the originality and creativity needed to bring this caliber of National Figures to our community? That’s right none. How many book signings and special events has Barnes and Nobel hosted? Yeah, I know, can’t think of any can you?

      As to voter engagement she is a major member of the Naperville Indie group, which has produced several radio and TV spots promoting Naperville’s locally owned and operated businesses along with community activities to bring shoppers to these business which are the backbone of our community.

      How much of your time do you spend a day making Naperville a stronger and more prosperous city? I doubt it comes anywhere close to the amount of time Anderson spends working with city staff & members of council, working with community groups and through her business successes making Naperville stronger and prosperous.

      If all of this makes her a bump on a log, what does your contributions to the community make you?

  2. Stew Gilgis

    Good points. What a waste of taxpayer dollars to promote “Welcoming City” and other wasteful efforts like “Sister Cities”.
    Spend and tax responsibly.

    • Jim Haselhorst

      What points? This article is just the third article in a roll where the Watchdog attacks Councilwoman Anderson for her position. I can’t think of the last time a member of the council got under the watchdog’s skin so deeply to provoke this much time spent attacking them.

      I would hardly call getting so much community engagement in council actions unproductive. With this single issue Anderson has done more to focus residents attention on what is happening during council meeting then raising utility rates, creating a new home rule tax, budget discussions, SECA funding, Baurer One development and the Puppy Mill ordinance.

      Naperville’s image is its Brand and it is that brand that brings new businesses and residents to Naperville along with shopper from near by communities. Any activities that helps develop, promote, or strengthen that brand is not a waste of time or taxpayer dollars. I doubt the amount of taxpayer dollars that can be assigned to promoting a welcoming city or our sister cities can come anywhere close to the $100K in taxpayer dollars the Naperville Downtown Alliance gets each year to promote the Naperville Brand.

  3. Jim Haselhorst

    Anderson runs not only one of the most successful businesses in Naperville, but one of the most successful independent bookstores in the country. If Barnes and Nobel moving into downtown did cause her to miss a step I doubt Amazon would. After all Amazon may have started out an online bookstore but it no longer promotes itself as such. If anyone should be concerned about Amazon opening a brick and mortar operation in downtown Naperville, it should be Barnes and Nobel which has already lost its online battle with Amazon.

    Fun how conservatives are all for successful business people getting into government until of course they don’t behave as expecting then its call in the wolves, pull out the stops we have an unproductive, rogue official that has to be dealt with.

    And those 560 votes (actually 575) represented over to 5% of the most votes anyone running for council received, hardly just a squeaking by win (yes, voter turnout for city/consolidated election really are that low in Naperville).

  4. Aunty Jim H.

    The “idea” I’m a welcoming city, is not an original idea, many cities around the country have done it to avoid being called a sanctuary City and losing Government funding. There’s nothing original about it. It is quite original however that she supports an internet tax on goods such as books which compete directly with her. It’s so original that she supports yanking back food cart licenses that compete with her friends who own brick and mortar restaurants in downtown Naperville. I would rather not Welcome people who have skirted the law to live in our country, I Welcome them to leave the USA and re-enter through proper channels. Then I welcome them to grab a hotdog at the food cart while ordering a book online.

    • Jim Haselhorst

      The online tax is a federal initiative that has been in the works for over a decade and is supported by the Governor and others in Springfield because it means more revenue for state coffers, so it is not original to Anderson, nor is the cart vendor licensing issue.

      The complete elimination of these vendors was actually originally proposed by city staff, several years before Anderson even announce she was running for city council. There has been little interest by people wanting to operate cart vending downtown (only two at present, a third dropped out) and the staff believes it is a waste of city resources to continue this program just to support two vendors.

      As I have posted several time on this issue, 9 out of 10 illegals enter this country “through proper channels” with a valid visa, they just do not leave when their visa expires. Staying after your visa expires in the US is not breaking any law, it is just against immigration policy. It does not even effect your ability to get another visa or even apply for immigration. The only illegals breaking the law are the ones entering the US without a visa, and the US government usually does not even bother to prosecute them for this offense when they are caught.

  5. Anthony Castro

    Don’t you have anything better to do than complain about parking spots, and suggest that Becky Anderson is unpatriotic?
    She’s a very kind and thoughtful American- doing her best to show that all families are welcome in her hometown. No need to be a hater.

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