It’s so much easier to get things decided if you’re not involving other people, unless you’re building a barn in Amish country. Maybe that’s why so many people in Naperville are feeling uninformed when it comes to projects close to their homes. City officials say they are doing their best to let residents know about issues that can have impact on a neighborhood, but the good folks of Naperville aren’t buying the rhetoric.
It makes no difference what the specific issue is, because it’s just another tree in the forest. What is important is that residents continually don’t feel informed.
Fortunately new council member Theresa Sullivan is openly questioning why so many people in Naperville are feeling uninformed. Kudos to Sullivan for being a voice for those residents.
Watch and listen to Sullivan ask the question ‘What went wrong here’, followed by some tap-dancing answers by Naperville Transportation, Engineering, and Development (TED) Director, Bill Novack, with a little coaxing by Mayor Steve Chirico:
So Mayor Chirico acknowledges that “it’s not that unusual for people to feel they haven’t been notified” which in itself verifies something is wrong with the process.
Novack states they are “constantly trying to change it”; well apparently it’s not good enough, and since better is possible, then ‘good’ is not enough.
The mayor then points out that there are minimum requirements for notification, to which Novack says “we greatly exceed the minimum requirements”. Since when does the great city of Naperville use the ‘minimum requirement’ as a benchmark of success. A patient in an intensive care unit of a hospital may have a pulse (minimum requirement for life) but that doesn’t mean the patient is well.
There was a time, not that long ago, when the city council meeting agenda was posted in the Naperville Sun newspaper, but no longer. Watchdog refers to the local newspaper as nothing more than the 10th member of the city council, since it publishes talking points by city officials. However by posting the meeting agenda, at least it gave residents the opportunity to see issues to be discussed or up for a vote. That option mysteriously disappeared from print.
Naperville city officials pride themselves in having state-of-the-art methods for getting things done, why not put a high priority on doing the same for notifying residents, or is the prevailing thought by city officials that residents are on a need-to-know basis, and they don’t need to know.