This is Watchdog’s 100th posting for the year 2017. It’s the most postings of any year since Watchdog started in December 2010. It’s also Watchdog’s 589th posting overall, hence averaging 84 postings per year. For this final posting of 2017, I want to answer some of the most commonly asked questions I receive,. So in no particular order, here we go.
Why did Watchdog start?
It started for three reasons:
- A Naperville council member was involved in a kerfuffle with a Naperville police officer in downtown Naperville. The City graciously dropped the charges against the councilman, but rather than being appreciative, the councilman sued the City. His case against the City fell apart, and the real losers were the good folks of Naperville who had to pay legal costs.
- A young friend of mine was fully prepared to start a creative ‘designated driver service’ in Naperville utilizing a collapsible scooter. The idea was to drive the customer home in their own vehicle, and then return to downtown Naperville using the scooter. The idea was well-received by local business, along with radio and TV media, but not by the Naperville city council which over-regulated the business, out of business.
- I began attending meetings and I was appalled by the disrespect some council members exhibited towards residents during meetings. The need to ‘call out’ those council members and hold them accountable was born.
How long will Watchdog continue?
I’ve heard, that if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plan. With that being said, the plan is for another four or five years at most; dropping back about 20 – 25 postings per year until Watchdog rides off into the sunset. I enjoy writing, but there is a time commitment necessary to do it, so dropping back seems prudent.
Why don’t you comment on reader’s comments, especially if those comments are critical of Watchdog?
I am simply the swizzle-stick, or facilitator presenting a point-of-view for others to respond to each other, or the topic. I don’t feel it necessary to justify or defend.
Do you ‘approve’ all of readers’ comments?
Yes. Surprisingly, though many disagree with each other or me, no one has resorted to inappropriate language.
Considering the current city council, which council members are assets, and which are liabilities?
Assets would be Mayor Steve Chirico, and council members Kevin Coyne, Rebecca Boyd-Obarski, Paul Hinterlong, and Benny White. Liabilities would be Becky Anderson, Judy Brodhead, Patty Gustin, and John Krummen.
How about previous council members?
Asset would be Doug Krause. Liability would be Grant Wehrli and Jim Boyajian
Which council member, current or past, has provided the best material to write about?
Dick Furstenau. He had the right to remain silent, but not the ability.
Which council member is/was the biggest disappointment?
Bob Fieseler. He had unlimited potential, but totally misplayed interacting with the Smart Meter Awareness Group.
Which current city council member has been the biggest surprise?
Rebecca Boyd-Obarski. She started out tentative with the learning curve, but quickly came up to speed to become a solid leader on the council. She exhibits self-confidence and asserts herself appropriately to advocate her point of view. She is willing to voice an unpopular opinion, while providing direct and action-oriented feedback to others.
Which current city council member has the most appealing style?
Kevin Coyne. He doesn’t often speak, but when he does, people listen. He makes his point in a few words and moves on. He speaks clearly and succinctly. He communicates a clear picture of what matters, and enables an open flow of information, while effectively tailoring his message to a variety of audiences.
Is Mayor Steve Chirico good for Naperville?
Absolutely. His strong leadership style is evident. He cares, he listens, and it’s not about him, it’s about Naperville. He demonstrates accountability and courage, maximizes relationships and builds trust, while driving change. He leads Naperville, the same way he built his flooring business…successfully.
There must be something you like about the Naperville city council, what is it?
What has been Watchdog’s biggest disappointment?
The current 5 to 4 ratio of assets to liabilities. A 6 to 3, or 7 to 2 ratio would be much more encouraging. Also the city council’s reversal of voter approval for district representation, and falling back into the abyss of at-large representation.
What has been Watchdog’s biggest satisfaction?
The emergence of Watchdog groups elsewhere. My favorite happened in 2013 when I was contacted by Michele Chrisitian from the Pitcairn Islands (famous for Mutiny on the Bounty) in the South Pacific, wanting to know how to create and implement a Watchdog group for their community. The template is simple; watch, listen, and write.