There hasn’t been one Naperville city council meeting this year, and the council’s pettiness is already on full display. While city council members stumble over each other for photo ops, and getting their names attached to anything and everything for voter awareness, they balk at allowing other groups and individuals the courtesy of recognition for good intentions.
Oh, they will hand out a plaque now and then at meetings, but when it comes to displaying names in public view showing appreciation for generosity, council members including John Krummen, Paul Hinterlong and Becky Obarski give a thumbs down.
Such is the case when the Naperville city council accepted a $200,000 donation from the Naperville Jaycees to help fund a Wi-Fi park next to the Naperville Municipal Center. The Jaycees donation covers about half of the projected $400,000 cost, in exchange for naming the park-project, Naperville Jaycees Smart Park, and including a plaque in public view naming current Jaycee directors and officers. Seems like a more than fair trade-off for $200,000.
Councilman Paul Hinterlong said, “You are a community service organization. It’s going on our property. I don’t want to see names on a plaque. It’s not your park, it’s a community park. You are a community partner; that’s the way it should be presented.”
What exactly does Hinterlong mean when he says, “it’s going on OUR property”. It’s not his property, it’s not the council’s property, it’s the property of the taxpayers. There Hinterlong goes again, mis-representing ownership.
While the Naperville city council nickels-and-dimes residents for all sorts of fees and fines, and squeezes hundreds if not thousands of dollars out of Naperville residents, property owners, and businesses, they have the audacity to jeopardize a $200,000 donation because of a few names on a plaque in public view.
Other lesser Jaycee requests that offended council members included:
- Space to promote community events
- Prominent participation in ground-breaking and ribbon cutting
- Exclusive rights to sell brick pavers within the Smart Wi-Fi park
- Funding opportunity for future park developments
The Jaycees would have had a much easier time obtaining city council approval if they would have offered a well-lit plaque with Naperville city council members’ names on it to be displayed in a prominent location within the park.