Aug 262018

I’ve always preferred walking vs. running. Truth be told, sitting beats both, but it doesn’t do much for cardio. My good friend likes running, though I never see him smiling while running. The miles finally caught up to him with foot, ankle and knee issues, so he has resorted to using a bicycle. He doesn’t seem to enjoy that either. Maybe it’s just him.

I’ve decided to get back to walking. I tend to be obsessive/compulsive, so I walk any one of several routes, anywhere from 2.1 miles to 4.5 miles per day. Having not walked for a while, I’m sure the folks that used to see me probably thought that I had ‘checked out’. A couple of people, that I didn’t even know, were actually glad to see me again. It’s nice to see someone you think is no longer with us.

When I walked previously, I had my accessories with me, including a good pair of walking shoes, a little bottle of water, a small tape recorder in case something brilliant crossed my mind ( the recorder didn’t get much use), and my cell phone in case I planted myself horizontally on the ground (my wife thought that was a good idea). I’ve added one more temporary tool which I will get into later in this posting.

One thing that has changed since I resumed walking is the obstacle course on some sidewalks; low hanging tree branches, on the city owned parkway, blocking the walkway.

I called Naperville’s Department of Public Works to see if or when the city trims those branches for sidewalk access. I was pushed over to voice mail; it was early afternoon, so staff probably left for the day. I didn’t get a return call, so I tried again the following week. This time I had a name to ask for (Jack Mitz) and he answered the phone. He was a nice fellow, and proceeded to tell me that the city has about 500 miles of roadway trees to cover consisting of about 70,000 trees. The trimming cycle used to be about every five years, but now it’s been extended to about every 7 to 8 years.

He asked me the area of concern that I had, and I mentioned the north side of 87th street between Naper Boulevard and Wehrli. He thought it had been trimmed a few years ago, and he would look into it. I thanked him and that was it.

Knowing that it might be years before they get trimmed again, and knowing that I buy only ripe bananas because I’m not sure how long I’ll be around, I called him back and left a message asking whether or not it’s acceptable for a resident to trim off the more egregious branches to clear the sidewalk. I haven’t heard back from Jack; I’m sure I will.

In the mean time I have added one more accessory to my walk. It’s a ratcheting bypass lopper with telescopic handles for pruning. If the city gives me the green light to go for it, I’m ready for the challenge unless someone or the city beats me to it.

Aug 192018

Somebody is going to lose. That’s usually how it works unless an incumbent doesn’t have a challenger. Is there anything an incumbent likes more than running for office without an opponent.

Naperville’s municipal election is 226 days from today; April 2, 2019. Finally, someone has announced plans to run for a seat on the Naperville city council. Bruce Hanson, Naperville Planning and Zoning Commissioner, has thrown his hat into the ring, as the first non-incumbent seeking election.

Chances are with the weak assortment of four current city council members running for re-election, candidates will begin to follow the lead of Hanson and line-up for their chance to get one more vote than the person coming in fifth place. To get elected, you don’t have to get the most votes, just be one of the top four vote-getters.

It reminds me of the story of two fellows on a safari in Africa when they notice a tiger, a short distance away, looking in their direction. One of the fellows reaches into his backpack to put on his running shoes, and the other fellow says “there’s no way you can out run that tiger”, to which the first fellow says, “I don’t have to, all I have to do is outrun you”.

The four incumbents, Becky (sanctuary city) Anderson, Patty (can’t stop talking) Gustin, Rebecca (hyphenated) Obarski, and Paul (answer a question with a question) Hinterlong have yet to announce plans for re-election. Odds are that each will run, unless they know they can’t win, which means they will probably run. Politicians have a way of over-valuing their stock price. If all four run, along with one non-incumbent, somebody has to lose.

Anderson and Gustin appear to be the most beatable, while Obarski is on solid ground, and Hinterlong hangs around like gum on your shoe on a hot August day.

Bruce Hanson, an 18 year Naperville resident, enters the fray with a good resume ‘on paper’ including:

  • Secretary for the Naperville Planning and Zoning Commission
  • Naperville Public Library trustee
  • Served on the SECA (Special Events and Cultural Amenities) Commission
  • Chairman of Naperville’s Financial Advisory Board
  • President for Naperville United Way
  • Treasurer for Naperville Heritage Society Board

A lot of folks look good ‘on paper’, however it takes more than that to get elected. A good pair of running shoes would be advised.

Aug 122018

With the influx of $2.8 million of additional revenue for the City from the recent special census equating to about $800,000 per year thru the year 2020 until the next census, Naperville has an opportunity to invest money in numerous areas of needs and wants. One area that’s both a need and a want would be the Naperville Police Department.

It’s becoming widely known that Naperville is a great community to raise a family; it’s both safe and affluent. It’s also becoming a day-destination for ne’er-do-wells. We are seeing an increase of brazen crime including everything from purse-snatching to auto theft and break-ins. This is no fault of the Naperville Police Department; it’s a matter of numbers, more bad guys and not enough good guys.

That alone should be reason enough to shore up the police department with additional police officers and proper equipment. Add to that, the news we see daily with unrest in country in the form of unruly protests and worldly concerns, makes additional policing a need and a want. Fortunately most of us don’t come in contact with an increase in crime. However what we do see on a daily basis is a proliferation of inconsiderate drivers.

Recently residents were sharing their frustrations on a website/communication (Next Door Meadow Glens) specifically mentioning the intersection of Wehrli Road and Bailey, and how drivers see the stop sign as a suggestion rather than a rule of law. It’s not happening just there but everywhere. Driving etiquette has become passe. It’s next to impossible to drive to your destination without seeing any one or more of the following infractions:

  • Distracted driving
  • Failure to stop
  • Failure to yield
  • Following too closely
  • Improper lane usage
  • Lane change in an intersection
  • Light violation
  • Noise level
  • No turn signal
  • Passing in a no-passing zone
  • Speeding

Is there anything more irritating than driving the speed limit and have someone tailgating you to the point you can’t see their headlights. Again, no fault of the Naperville Police Department, there just aren’t enough eyes to reign in inconsiderate drivers. A show of financial support for the NPD would be a step in the right direction.

Aug 052018

It wasn’t that long ago when a return on investment of 1% on a CD seemed like a good deal, compared to the 0.1% banks were paying individuals. Municipalities were doing better but still struggling and needing to extract money from their residents and anybody driving thru town.

Naperville city officials had a brilliant idea. Why not do a partial, special census and see if city coffers could be fortified by an increase in population, and that’s exactly what they did. They spent $210,000 for the census, and bingo, it was shown that Naperville’s population had increased from 141,853 to 147,841. That’s a walloping increase of 5,988 residents, which translates into an increase of about $880,000 in tax income annually which projects to a total of $2.4 million in new revenue through May of 2021 when the results of of 2020 census will be certified.

That’s an amazing return on investment of 1,030%, which begs the question, what are they going to do with the extra revenue? City officials have been known to go through money like a hot knife through soft butter.

City officials said through a memo (big print) that a small amount will go toward capital projects, while the bulk of the new found revenue is earmarked for the city’s general fund. What exactly does that mean? The detail (little print) remains to be seen; big print giveth and small print taketh away.