Another year is going by, another Rib Fest is in the rear view mirror, and the Last Fling is now history. Again the Naperville city council has missed an opportunity to put some ‘skin in the game’ by showing residents they can do their part in helping to off-set some higher fees and taxes, that they voted to inflict upon residents.
Watchdog has been trying for years (since December 2010) to encourage the Naperville city council as a group or individual council members to put in a little effort, even if only token, to do their part in helping residents pay for higher fees and taxes.
The city council has no problem voting to increase taxes (next up is the city sales tax), or fees (electric, water, garbage) and adding all types of revenue generating gimmicks to extract money from Naperville residents and businesses. Most of you have seen the classic video clip of Naperville city manager Doug Krieger explaining the way to fill a financial hole (created by city officials) is to squeeze it out of rate payers, taxpayers, and residents. It’s easy and apparently it’s fun to get money whenever they want it, without feeling it on their part.
Naperville city officials have avoided the golden opportunity to show residents they want to help by earning a few bucks to toss into the city coffers and help reduce fees and taxes if only by pennies and nickels. The Rib Fest and Last Fling would be ideal venues to have city officials participate in water dunking; put a council member on a platform and folks can buy a ball to toss at a target to drop the council member into a tub of water. Or how about charging residents a fee for a pillow fight with a council member, or Nerf-sword fighting with a council member. The good folks of Naperville would gladly pay a fee, and line up for a chance to have some fun pounding a Naperville city official.
There are so many ways city officials could help slightly offset their votes for higher fees and taxes. How about some of the following:
- Council members could wash cars at the Municipal Center
- City officials could have lemonade stand at the Municipal Center
- City council members could do ‘Drive you home from the bar’ nights. They could rotate the nights with ‘Chirico Fridays’ and ‘Hyphen-Saturday’s when Rebecca Boyd-Obarski drives folks home from the bars.
- Council member ‘Meter Reader Days’ thereby reducing the exposure of their constituents to added RF, and to criminals having electronic usage information.
- City council members could do “$1 salary” months in lieu of their regular salary. Remember it’s about ‘public service’.
- ‘Moser Tower Spackle Sundays’; council members can show their desire to keep the tower and the Carillon.
- Making Tuesday night city council meetings, a revenue generating experience with council members wearing NASCAR-like attire at the dais. Each patch is a sponsor who kicks in cash to the SECA fund kitty.
- Certain letters of the agenda can be sponsored by something. Take some wisdom from professional baseball. Example. “Every time there is an agenda item J-1 during the 2017 Naperville City Council season, it is proudly sponsored by Anderson Book Store. Anderson Book Store is a diamond level sponsor of agenda item J-1 and your Naperville City Council”.
There is no limit to the creativity Naperville city officials have in coming up with revenue-generating ideas to help residents rather than squeezing them for additional dollars.
Two city council members (Anderson and Gustin) have announced their candidacy for other offices. Rather than the same old, same old, campaign ideas, why not utilize some of the above. Show their potential constituency that they are willing to take a dunk, a pillow to the back of the head, or Spackle the tower, to help the good folks offset some higher fees and taxes that they voted for.