Musical Chairs In Politics

It happens in business, sports, government, everywhere, all the time. A vacancy occurs and there is a list of candidates wanting to fill the vacancy, which when filled, then creates another vacancy and the process continues.

Naperville city council member Darlene Senger left the council to run for state representative. Naperville councilman Grant Wehrli also left the city council to run unopposed for state representative. Councilman Bob Fieseler left the city council to run (unsuccessfully) for a school board position.

Recently Naperville councilwoman Becky Anderson announced she is running in the 2018 Democratic primary for U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam’s 6th District seat, and now Naperville councilwoman Patty Gustin announced she is running in the 2018 Republican primary for a DuPage County Board District 5 seat.

There is a lot of running going on with more to follow. Mailboxes will be full of campaign materials, robocalls will be plentiful, flyers on doors, doorbells ringing with campaign workers, all sorts of excitement and festivities will be occurring, with everyone telling us why they are the best person to represent us.

Some candidates run with a head start, via name recognition; Anderson’s Book Store, Wehrli (Road, and Stadium). Other candidates (Gustin) run through association with groups; Zoning Board of Appeals, Naperville Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Advisory Board. Whether or not they accomplish anything with those groups depends upon who you talk to. The candidate would say ‘yes’, others may say ‘who?’. In many cases being associated with a group is nothing more than socially acceptable non-productive participation.

Is there anyone on the Naperville city council who can truly say he or she has accomplished something, anything after being elected? There is at least one person and we’ll look at that person’s accomplishments in this weekend’s posting.

The questions become is this person interested in running for a higher office, and if so what are the chances of victory.

Show 6 Comments


  1. Jim Haselhorst

    This has always been a concern of mine. A rotating door on the city council chambers were individuals view Naperville elected offices as a stepping stone rather then a zenith and are only looking to develop a resume for higher office. This in no way benefits our community, and the potential for hurting our community is great because of the hazards created by a lack of continuity in our elected offices.

  2. Gerard H Schilling

    A bigger question is the people who have brought us disorder, fiscal irresponsibility and potential bankruptcy should be rewarded with higher office so they can do the same at the county, state or federal level.

    ONLY a educated electorate free from voter fraud and crony capitalist can save the day. Unfortunately we in Naperville seem to have neither.

    • Jim Haselhorst

      Great Sloganism post, but nothing useful. Care to be more specific (.i.e. name names)? And why (i.e. specifically what have they done to make your list)?

      • Gerard H Schilling

        The people who brought us smart meters, 30% interest in a coal mine and power station, bell tower, museum, electric charging stations, grass to fuel plant that burned up twice, negotiated contracts with employee unions which has ridiculous pay, benefits and pensions, floated bond issues which were unnecessary and fiscally irresponsible. Guess pretty much all of them since most of these boondoggles were 9 to 0 votes.

        • Jim Haselhorst

          I’m going to take these a little out of order. First we have one of the best run, most transparent and least sued city governments in the state with zero incidents of government corruption. Our per capita city debt and outstanding pension obligation are the among the lowest; our ratings for family friendly, senior friendly, education excellence (city library system contributions), safety, etc are among the highest in the state and something frequently commented on by media outlets. We have some of the lowest power, water and property tax rates in the Chicagoland area. This is all the product of hard working city employees (union and non-union). If you want the best outcomes, best city, you have to hire the best which means compensation commensurate with the best. You want more crime, higher taxes, higher utility rates, etc then start replacing these city workers with poorly compensated workers and that is what you will get. Also it is my understanding the city council does not negotiate these contracts (union or otherwise) they only approve them based on city staff recommendations.

          Only two of the present council member were actually on city council when it voted for smart meters, taking responsibility for the Carillon, and electronic charging stations so I don’t see how you can hold the other seven members in anyway responsible for these actions. And the charging stations are an attempt to generate replacement funding for city street maintenance, upgrades and repairs which are funded by the fuel tax, something electric car owners do not pay.

          Only three of the present council member were actually on city council when it voted to provide funding and assistance to the DuPage Children’s Museum (when it moved to Naperville) and to get involved in the Argonne grass to gas initiative. Again how do you justify holding the other six members responsible?

          Argonne National Labs test program to turn Naperville city grass clipping to fuel for city vehicles was a joint project (Argonne, Packer Eng, College of Dupage and the city) to test the feasibility of using municipal grass clippings to produce fuel for city vehicles. The city’s investment in this proto-type facility has been to providing a place to locate this Depot and the grass clipping needed. The perfecting of this process would lead to a production facility capable of providing fuel to all of the city’s vehicles for penny’s per gallon, a saving worth taking some risks for.

          I know you will continue to bitch about Naperville city government because you have made it quite clear in past posts you hate all forms of government. You are an excellent “back seat drive” with a perfect record of “twenty-twenty hindsight” when it comes to government involvement. So it is a small wonder you would find others so lacking.

          • Gerard H Schilling

            Keep drinking the Kool-Aid bucko as people and businesses continue to be taxed out of the state and city because liberals know no limits on what government entities do or should be doing. BTW- Council appoints/hires City management so they are responsible for what these bureaucrats do or don’t do. As Harry said the buck stops here.

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