Stampede Of Candidates For Naperville City Council Election

Not counting the mayoral election, there will be 11 candidates running for four open positions on the Naperville city council. That means 7 of the 11 will lose and finish sadder, poorer, and humiliated. Whomever comes in 5th place will be the best loser of the bunch.

Former ‘one-term’, Naperville councilman Dave Wentz, will not be one of the losers, nor will he be one of the winners, because he quit before he started. Many of you may remember Wentz from his now famous ‘Do you know who I am’ phrase that gave him more clout when dealing with the ‘little people’. You can’t blame Wentz for trying to elevate his importance, because he surely didn’t do it with his presence on the council.

When Wentz announced his plan to seek election this spring, he said he took a ‘brief hiatus from politics to focus more time on his family, business, and various community service projects’ which is code for ‘I lost the election and I’m bummed out’. He went on to say that he had “unfinished business” as his reason for running again,whatever that means. ‘Unfinished business’ will remain, because Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico named Wentz for an appointment to the Naper Settlement Museum board, and Wentz immediately withdrew his bid for city council. Who knew that Wentz had a passion for history; apparently Mayor Chirico knew.

It’s amazing how quickly ‘unfinished business’ becomes unimportant, and family and business become less important, when it comes to landing a spot on a museum board. Chirico did a favor for Naperville residents and businesses by redirecting Wentz’s attention from the council to the museum. It also helped Wentz by not being labeled ‘a loser’ with another city council defeat.

Another former city council member (Joe McElroy, 2011-2015) is throwing his hat into the ring for another try with city council. He also has some unfinished business to do on the council if re-elected and he’s in the race to win it. McElroy’s strength and expertise is in city planning, with a Master’s in urban planning from Michigan State in 1986. He wants to have impact with the 5th Avenue Development, the east Ogden corridor, and upcoming Route 59 subdivisions. He understands and welcomes the challenge of balancing progress and preservation with regard to developments. Having grown up on the south side of Chicago, he said it taught him the importance of strong, stable neighborhoods.

When asked, “What didn’t you accomplish the first time on the council, that you would like to accomplish this time” he mentioned, lengthen term limits for boards and commissions, strengthen landscaping regulations, and more emphasis on protecting neighborhoods.

McElroy sees the current city council as being more amiable, with the ability to work better together, and strong leadership as differing from the council on which he participated.

Joe’s hobbies include buying and selling used guitars and his quest to teach himself to play the guitar continues. A Jimi Hendrix he is not, but a wanna-be Hendrix he is. He just doesn’t wanna-be the candidate with the 5th most votes.

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