Apr 272019
 

Elections are simple; get more votes than the other person and you win unless you’re Hillary Clinton. This year, Naperville’s mayoral election had just two candidates, the incumbent Steve Chirico and the challenger Richard ‘Rocky’ Caylor, whereas the 2015 mayoral election had four candidates. Interestingly in 2015, Mayor Chirico received more votes (10,671) in the field of four, than in the two-person race in 2019 (9,650). Surprisingly the vote was closer than most expected, but the winner needs only one vote more than the loser to be called ‘Mayor’.

Naperville Mayor Election Results - April 2019

CandidateVotesVote %
Steve Chirico9,65051.8%
Richard Caylor8,98448.2%

Ironically, Rocky Caylor lost by 666 votes. Does the number ‘666’ ring a bell? Considering how Rocky ran his race, ‘666’ is apropos. Voter turnout in DuPage County was an anemic 15%, but still more than Will County’s 13%. To win by less than 700 votes in a city of over 145,000 residents can be summed-up in two words…voter apathy. I think it was Confucius who said, “tis better not to vote, than to vote without knowing who to vote for”. Well, maybe it wasn’t Confucius, but it should have been.

Then there was the election for four city council members out of the 11 candidates. The dreaded 5th place finisher was Bruce Hanson. The 4th place finisher (Teresa Sullivan) received 276 more votes (0.5% more) than Hanson. Sullivan will now be known as ‘councilwoman Sullivan’ while Hanson will be known as ‘what’s his name’. If only Hanson would have had just one more yard sign strategically placed somewhere, he would have been councilman Hanson. All he had to do is distribute 23-dozen donuts (+1) at the train station one morning, and bingo, he wins the election.

PlaceCandidateVotesVote %
1Paul Hinterlong9,89115.2%
2Patty Gustin9,56114.7%
3Patrick Kelly7,36911.3%
4Teresa Sullivan7,06410.9%
5Bruce Hanson6,78810.4%
6Brad Miller5,1788.0%
7Barbara O'Meara5,0867.8%
8Nancy Turner4,3446.7%
9Whitney Robbins4,0786.3%
10Joe McElroy2,894 4.5%
11Michele Clemen2,7154.2%

Some random observations about the vote totals:

Councilman Paul Hinterlong received more votes than Mayor Steve Chirico (9,891 to 9,650). Does that mean Hinterlong could have won the mayoral election?

Teresa Sullivan came in 4th place in DuPage County, and 6th place in Will County. What does Will County know, that DuPage County doesn’t know.

Brad Miller finished in 4th place in Will County, but 8th place in DuPage County. Does that mean if he lived on 87th Street (the dividing line between DuPage and Will) he would have finished in 6th place.

The closest vote total difference was 92 votes between Brad Miller 6th place, and Barbara O’Meara 7th place. Other than Miller and O’Meara, does anyone really care. I think not.

Candidates Barbara O’Meara (6th place) and Nancy Turner (7th place) did everything together including the same email address, same website, same campaign signs, same candidate-forum answers, yet finished 742 votes apart. How does that happen?

Former councilman Joe McElroy (10th place) beat last-place finisher Michele Hilger Clemen by 179 votes. If Michele would have used a ‘hyphen’ between ‘Hilger and Clemen, like Rebecca Boyd-Obarski did, could she have been elected or at least finish in 10th place rather than in last place?

The all-important ‘hyphen’ could have been a difference-maker.

Apr 202019
 

The next Naperville city council meeting (May 7) will see two new council members at the dais (Patrick Kelly and Theresa Sullivan) while two departing members (Becky Anderson and Rebecca Boyd-Obarski) will become fading memories. However, issues will carry over.

Some issues have been tabled, others have been ‘kicked down the road’, and some have been somewhat ‘resolved’ only to inevitably resurface in the future. Loose ends include:

  • Affordable housing
  • Alcohol delivery
  • Bearcat police vehicle
  • Carillon and Moser Tower
  • Car washes on Ogden Avenue
  • City Of Naperville Employee bonus program
  • Conflict-of-Interest guidelines
  • Electric rates
  • Fire station consolidation
  • Fifth Avenue Development
  • Fuel filling stations
  • Gas sales tax down
  • Hazardous waste facility
  • IMEA (Illinois Municipal Electric Agency)
  • Leaf pick-up program
  • LED lights and frost/snow build up
  • Ogden Corridor development
  • Pet stores and puppy mills
  • Pour-your-own bars
  • Recognition for the police and fire departments
  • Recycling
  • SECA
  • Sidewalk cafes
  • Street scape
  • Traffic congestion
  • Vacant store fronts
  • Water meters / elevated lead
  • Another bee in a birdbath (oh the horror of such a sight)

These are just a few of the many issues carrying over, with undoubtedly many new issues to surface. Overall the Naperville city council has done a good job, but when better is possible, then ‘good’ is not enough. Just as issues will become more numerous and more intense, the ‘new’ city council will need to ‘up their game’ and become more decisive and creative.

Apr 132019
 

One of the best decisions Naperville councilwoman Becky Anderson made for the residents of Naperville was her decision to not run for re-election. It’s not easy winning an election with a double-digit vote total. Anderson has not been a magnet for voter support. Her likeability quotient measures in the negative.

Whereas some council members, including Judy Brodhead, are harmless, more like an empty seat, others including Anderson cause problems. When Brodhead leaves the council, it will be as if she was never there. However when Anderson departs, it will immediately increase the average IQ of the entire council. Anderson’s mode of operating on the council has been defined as underhanded and not in a subtle way. If you look in the dictionary for the definition of ‘conflict-of-interest’ there is a good chance of seeing a picture of councilwoman Becky Anderson.

As an example, during the March 19th Naperville city council meeting, rather than expressing her opinion of Mayor Steve Chirico’s possible (but untrue) conflict-of-interest regarding the Central Park Place development on Washington Street, she waited until Chirico recused himself from that portion of the meeting before leveling the accusation.

Watch and listed as Mayor Chirico recuses himself, followed by Anderson’s cheap shot:

Anderson’s specialty on the city council is her propensity of exercising her lack of judgement on her own conflicts-of-interest.

Watch and listen as councilman Kevin Coyne chimes in with just a few of Anderson’s conflicts-of-interest without mentioning Anderson’s name:

  • Should a council-member vote on a petition which her family member presented.
  • Should a council-member vote on public resources being used for an event outside of her business.
  • Should a council-member vote on a special service area if she has a building in that area.

Coyne didn’t wait until Anderson wasn’t present. She was there in full living color slinking into her seat. Coyne didn’t throw the punch, until after Anderson threw her sucker-punch at Chirico.

Councilman Benny White then steps in with a common-sense thought of his own;

Anything could be considered a conflict-of-interest. However when it comes to Becky Anderson she specializes in a plethora of conflicts-of-interest including:

  • Voting for library funding while owning a book store.
  • Voting for downtown improvements when she owns a business in the downtown area.
  • Voting for a Harry Potter event again while owning a book store.
  • Improper use of quasi governmental bodies such as NCTV and Naper Settlement for financial benefit.

Becky Anderson has never been accused of being a class act. During the April 3rd city council meeting watch and listen as councilman Paul Hinterlong congratulates Mayor Steve Chirico on his re-election victory. Every council member joins in by clapping, except for Anderson seated second from the left.

The bottom line is that the Tuesday April 16 city council meeting will be councilwoman Becky Anderson’s last meeting. The really good news is that it will allow Anderson more time do some industrial-strength dusting and vacuuming in her book store, which is sorely needed.

Apr 062019
 

Best Of The Worst Award – Bruce Hanson came in 5th place, while the top four were elected to the city council.

Best Yard Sign Ever – ‘My Man Mitch’ elected governor of Indiana in 2005 – 2013, now the President of Purdue University. No originality with Naperville city council candidates, hence none qualified.

Second Best-looking Yard Sign – Steve Chirico’s navy blue and whiter-than-white, with a red check mark; simple, crisp, easy to read and name spelled correctly.

Sore Loser Award – Mayoral candidate Rocky Caylor, still hasn’t officially conceded.

I Could Have Been Elected Award goes to Rebecca Obarski when she lost her support base.

Worst Colored Yard Sign – Rocky Caylor, pea soup green and cement gray.

Oversized Yard Signs not abiding by city ordinance – Rocky Caylor.

I Can’t Wait For This Candidate Forum To Be Over Award goes to Bruce Hanson.

Projected last candidate to remove campaign yard signs – Patty Gustin.

Most difficult yard signs to remove – Rocky Caylor, support posts will need fork lift to remove from ground.

Most yard signs in one location – everybody everywhere.

I Can’t Believe I’m Still On The City Council Award goes to Judy Brodhead.

Number of candidates who knocked on my door – zero, none, nada, zilch, zippity do da.

Number of mailers received – I’m still counting them.

‘Who gets the campaign yard signs’ is a tie between Barbara O’Meara and Nancy Turner.

I’ve Got To Get Out Of Here Award goes to Kevin Coyne who wants to run for the Dupage County Board.

Candidate sending the most mailers – Brad Miller.

Candidate sending the same mailer the most times – Brad Miller

Best and Worst Strategy – Barbara O’Meara and Nancy Turner. They shared the same email, shared the same signs, said the same thing and both lost. If you added their votes together, it wouldn’t be enough for either to get elected.

Best and worst television coverage of election – NCTV17. The best because it was the only coverage. The worst because the host looked as comfortable as a fish out of water, and the analyst Kenn Miller because he still has two ‘n’s in his first name. The second ‘n’ is silent.

Biggest show of disrespect to candidates – NCTV, because they seldom showed vote totals for O’Meara, Turner, and McElroy

Most underused color for yard sign – Gustin’s Orange.

Most vanilla candidate – Brad Miller.

Candidate with the worst answer to a best question – Bruce Hanson (evaluate current city council leadership).

Least controversial candidate – Brad Miller.

Losing candidate who could have been a welcome addition to council – Whitney Robbins.

‘Whatever happened to Joe Award’ goes to Joe McElroy.

Most controversial candidate – Barbara O’Meara (white privilege, and taxing water sprinklers).

Candidate using Chicago-style politics to enter into Naperville politics – Rocky Caylor.

‘Shouldn’t There Be A Hyphen Award’ goes to Michele Hilger Clemen.

Elected candidate most likely to leave little to no impact on Napervillians – Theresa Sullivan.

Candidate most likely to request a straw vote – Patty Gustin.

The ‘Plus 600 Vote Award’ goes to Steve Chirico.

The ‘What Was He Thinking Award’ goes to Bruce Hanson.

The “Who’s Rocky Award’ goes to Rocky Caylor.

The ‘What Was The Deal With The Pie Award’ goes to Joe McElroy

The ‘Attaperson Award’, formerly known as the ‘Close But No Cigar Award’ (goes to the candidate who received the 5th most votes for council. – Bruce Hanson.

‘Big Spender Award’, to the candidate most likely to introduce the most costly regulations – Barbara O’Meara.

The ‘Gum On Your Shoe On A Hot August Day Award’ for a sitting council member is a tie between Patty Gustin and Paul Hinterlong.

Most abstinent candidate, for the candidate with the highest number of votes in which they abstain because of conflict of interest – Would have been Becky Anderson but decided not to run when her base of support disintegrated.

The ‘Forget About It Award’ goes to the candidate/council member most closely resembling a Chicago alderman in his/her actions – tie between Rocky Caylor and John Krummen.

Candidate reading their answers without eye contact – It’s a tie between Patty Gustin and Paul Hinterlong.

The ‘I Just Needed Another 6,000 Votes To Get Elected Award’ goes to Joe McElroy.

Candidate/council member trying to find a problem that doesn’t exist – It’s a tie between Barbara O’Meara and Benny White.

The ‘I Came In 2nd Place Award’ goes to Rocky Caylor.

The ‘I No Longer Need To Sit At The End Of The Dais Award’ is a tie between John Krummen and Benny White.

The ‘Judy Brodhead Award’ for a sitting council member who needs to go away – Paul Hinterlong (too long in council)

The ‘Furstenau Award’ given to the candidate/council member requesting city staff to do needless work – Patty Gustin.