Aug 172019

It must be getting close to election time because State Rep Grant Wehrli is planning upcoming ‘meet and greet’ events with residents. His first event was scheduled for last Wednesday August 14 at Quigley’s Irish Pub. When residents were asked if they knew Wehrli was at Quigley’s , the typical response was “Who?”

You can’t blame those residents for not knowing who Grant Wehrli is since he accomplished very little as a Naperville city council member, and even less as a State Rep. Other than usually filling out his expense reports correctly, most folks are hard pressed to come up with anything Wehrli has accomplished.

Somebody has to be the State Rep in the 41st District, so it might as well be Wehrli. It’s better for Wehrli to be in Springfield as a State rep than to be in Naperville as a city council member. The reason is simple; he can do less damage in Springfield than he could do in Naperville. It’s a matter of numbers. In Springfield Wehrli is one of 118 State reps representing about 108,000 people, whereas in Naperville he would be one of nine council members representing up to 146,000 people. In Springfield there are 117 other State reps helping to keep Wehrli in line by keeping a lid on him.

In Springfield he is a small insignificant tree in a forest of tall trees, hence his record of accomplishing next to nothing of importance matches his ability. Wehrli has failed miserably, and has proven over and over, to be incapable of learning from his mistakes.

Bottom line, let’s help Grant Wehrli stay in Springfield.

Aug 102019

Naperville council members come and go, and when they go, where do they go? City Council Watchdog postings began December 2010 (674 postings and counting) and during that time 12 council members have departed for various reasons. Unlike State of Illinois politicians, none have spent time in prison, none have been indicted, and none have resigned in disgrace. Using that as a benchmark of success, Naperville city council members have been successful.

In order to find out what former Naperville council members are doing, Watchdog has done a little research, actually very little research, in fact none, however very unreliable sources have uncovered incredible fake news updating the whereabouts of those 12 former council members and this posting announces the unscientific findings.

Becky Anderson

After advocating for the City of Naperville to become a sanctuary city, Anderson has considered moving elsewhere less crowded or getting a variance to build the country’s highest fence around her home.

Jim Boyajian

He was last seen at a Farmer’s Market sitting by himself at a small table earning money by insulting people as they walk by.

Bob Fieseler

He’s still trying to figure out how he lost a school board election after voluntarily leaving the city council rather than losing re-election by the largest margin in Naperville’s history.

Dick Furstenau

Other than occasionally popping up during public forums at city council meetings reminding everyone that he was once on the city council, he spends a lot of time at home watching reruns of the Jerry Springer Show while pushing and punching a bozo-facsimile of a Naperville Police Officer during commercials.

Kevin Gallaher

He talks to anyone who will listen to his story about celebrating his city council election while in his kitchen baking pizza on election night.

Doug Krause

After losing every Naperville mayoral election to George Pradel by coming in second-place, and then coming in second place to Steve Chirico, he decided to move to Arizona and continuing to run for every mayoral election he can enter finishing in second place every time. He once was the only candidate on the ballot and came in second place to a write-in candidate.

Joe McElroy

He is still trying to explain why he used a cake rather than a pie to make his point during city council candidate forums.

Kenn Miller

He is the President of the one-member association promoting the importance of the silent ‘n’ in first names. He continues to pop-up as the political analyst on NCTV-17 on municipal election night even though he and the host couldn’t look more uncomfortable while aimlessly discussing the same topics as vote totals dribble in. Why he continues to subject himself to humiliation on the show, one can only surmise that it helps his side job as a used car salesman.

Rebecca Boyd-Obarski

Teaches wanna-be candidates the importance of the hyphen when it comes to election yard signs. It’s not how big the sign is, it’s how big the hyphen is.

George Pradel

Officer Friendly is now Mayor Friendly for eternity leading meetings where all votes are unanimous and all participants are happy.

Grant Wehrli

Still trying to justify why taxpayers should pay for his fuel driving back-and-forth to Springfield while accomplishing absolutely nothing.

Dave Wentz

Still uses his standard greeting, “Do you know who I am” with everyone he meets including kids at their lemonade stands.

Again acknowledging this is total fake news, you still have to ask yourself, is this really fake news, or might it be possible that there is an element of truth in these ramblings.

Aug 032019

The best and worst way to deal with a problem is to not acknowledge that it exists and maybe it will magically go away. It could be a cough, weeds in the yard, a car with an engine knock, a misbehaving child, or bills in the mail. If I don’t get the mail, then I don’t have to deal with the bills. But sooner or later it has to be addressed, and that’s where city officials find themselves with the lack of ‘affordable’ housing in Naperville. More and more eyes are focusing on the issue which then makes it a problem even if it’s not a problem.

The Illinois Housing Development Authority called out Naperville for not having enough affordable housing even though a 2013 report showed a little over 6% being affordable, and a 2018 report showed it had risen to slightly less than 8%, falling short of the 10% goal set by the IHDA.  Naperville is moving in the right direction, just not as fast as others would like. At this rate it could take another five years to reach the goal, but most importantly the goal will be reached unless the goal line is moved.

Naperville is the largest Illinois city not to meet the 10% goal along with being one the 46 towns to fall short of the threshold. Other towns, in addition to Naperville, short on affordable housing include: Barrington, Burr Ridge, Geneva, Hinsdale, Kenilworth, Lake Forest, Lincolnshire, Oak Brook, Wilmette, and Winnetka. What else do they have in common? They are all desirable destinations to raise a family. Who wouldn’t want to live in one of those towns?

I wanted to live in one of those towns when I graduated from college, but I couldn’t afford it. I started out in Davenport, Iowa, then Skokie (big mistake), then Des Plaines, and after three years of working 80-hours a week in the ‘real’ world I was able to afford a small home in Barrington, prior to moving to Naperville 41 years ago.

Rather than lowering Naperville’s  standard of living threshold in order to achieve affordable housing quickly, city officials need to take the time to identify important objectives, set appropriate priorities, and develop strategy to accomplish the goal, while anticipating consequences of decisions and actions. Doing it right trumps doing it fast.

Maybe the Rolling Stones got it right, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find you get what you need”.