Jul 142019

Baseball’s All-Star game marks the theoretical half-way point of the baseball season, just as July 4th marks the half-way point Naperville’s city council meetings for the year. July 16 will be the first meeting of the second half of the calendar year so it might be a good time to review how Naperville’s city council meetings can be seen.

The Naperville city council meets on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at the Naperville Municipal Center located at 400 S. Eagle Street in council chambers on the main floor. Meetings begin at 7:00PM and last about two hours. The shortest meeting I can remember lasted about 30 minutes and the longest concluded after midnight.

In contrast to former Mayor George Pradel, when meetings would begin after all the council members would come in late like it was a social gathering, Mayor Steve Chirico is punctual, getting meetings started on time, oftentimes with council members running to their seats during roll call.

Just like a ballgame, nothing beats being at the meeting in person to see the entire performance unfold. Rather than having the camera dictate what can be seen, your eyes can see what can’t be seen online or on TV, including a council member dozing off (it’s happened), council members chatting while a speaker is making a presentation, or council members on their devices checking scores, emails, or menus, again while speakers are speaking.

Meetings can also be viewed live, on TV via the government access channel, or online. You can also view previous city council meetings on the city’s website.

The City of Naperville will post the agenda for council meetings on the Thursday preceding Tuesday’s council meeting thereby giving all the opportunity to view topics to be discussed five days in advance. This Tuesday’s city council meeting is available for viewing.

What could be more fun than gathering the entire family around the TV with a big bowl of popcorn watching your elected officials talking endlessly about a topic only to have it tabled until a future meeting.

Jul 062019

A guy has an infected finger and goes to the doctor for a diagnosis. The doctor recommends surgery to remove the infected digit. The guy goes to two more doctors for a second and third opinion; both make the same prognosis. Finally, while on safari, the guy decides to visit a local witch doctor for his recommendation to see if there is any other option besides surgery. The witch doctor says, “Surgery not necessary. No need to do anything. In short time, finger will fall off all by itself”.

That’s the situation the Naperville city council finds itself with the deteriorating Moser Tower which houses the 72-bell Millennium Carillon. Naperville is in the third round of testing to determine if they want to 1) make major repairs for a big-time expense of about $3.8 million, 2) make repairs on-the-cheap to keep it standing for a few more years, or 3) demolish the 160-foot structure for about $600,000.

It seems as though the Naperville city council is suffering from paralysis through analysis, unable to make a decision thereby kicking  the can down the road. It’s cost Naperville taxpayers over $200,000 and still no decision from Naperville city officials. Maybe they should tell the testing company what conclusion they want in the report, so the testing company can submit a report that the council likes, and they can vote in favor of that direction.

Better yet, how about a binding referendum allowing voters to choose which of the three options they want. That’s much too simple, much too logical. If voters choose to demolish the money pit, what better time to do it, than the 4th of July as a rousing send off for the last Ribfest in Naperville.  Again the Naperville city council missed a golden opportunity to make it a 4th of July celebration to remember. Forget spending $600K for demolition. How much would 40 sticks of dynamite, a long fuse, and a Bic lighter cost. If they want to save the cost of the Bic lighter, they could simply use the last burning charcoal briquette from Ribfest to ignite the momentous event.

The third and final testing and assessment report, prior to the soon-to-be fourth and fifth final testing and assessment reports should be available to the Naperville city council by August. City officials can then make a decision or choose to do nothing and wait for more reports. In time Moser Tower will come down all by itself.