Aug 312019

It’s been said that given a sufficient amount of time, anything that can happen, will happen. If that’s true, then sooner or later the Naperville city council will regulate everything. The more you watch and listen to Naperville city officials, the more you realize most council members have an insatiable desire to get their hands on everything, whether or not regulation is even necessary.

To the credit of council members Theresa Sullivan, Kevin Coyne, Paul Hinterlong, and Mayor Steve Chirico, they question the need to rubber stamp every issue with regulation. Unfortunately they are outnumbered 5 to 4.

Watch and listen to first term councilwoman Theresa Sullivan as she questions why the city council would need to “waste time” discussing whether or not to ban the sale of Kratom considering the State and Federal government have already stated their positions on the issue:

The Naperville city council often has a ‘nanny’ mentality thinking they know what is best for the residents of Naperville even if they don’t know what they are talking about. Most had never heard of Kratom until recently, some didn’t know how to pronounce the drug, some didn’t know the benefits of Kratom, and one (Patty Gustin) didn’t know using Kradom did not involve a syringe. Notice how quickly, after a few laughs from the audience, Gustin tries to distance herself from the comment, and place it on ‘someone who told her this’.

She could have left well-enough alone by not adding that comment. If that’s part of her research on the topic, she may want to use a more reliable source, especially considering her vote may tip the outcome.

As a side note if Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) was submitted as a new drug to the FDA for approval today, it would never be allowed on the market. It’s acid, brutal on the digestive system, but it works.

Not everything has to be regulated by the city council, the key is knowing the difference between being eligible or not for regulation. Good for Naperville councilwoman Theresa Sullivan for questioning the need for regulation, and thereby, good for the residents of Naperville.

Aug 252019

The Naperville city council may have broken the record for the longest recorded city council meeting in recorded history, not just in Naperville, but in the entire world; 7 hours, 11 minutes, and 44 seconds. It started at 7:00 PM Tuesday August 20 and didn’t finish until the next day Wednesday August 21 at 2:11AM. It’s also possible that nothing worth while happened the last two hours of the meeting because as former Naperville councilman Bob Fieseler has said, “nothing good happens after midnight”, and most police officers would probably agree.

What was so important for such a long meeting? Was it the discussion about whether or not Naperville should approve the sale of recreational marijuana, pot, ganga, weed, cannabis, funny stuff,  etc. Was it the topic of Kratom, trying to figure out how to pronounce it, before considering its approval for selling it in Naperville. Kratom (Kra’-tm), as in Crayola without the ‘ola’. Was it the resident hauled in front of the council to be emotionally ‘pistol whipped’ over a transgression, only to be given mercy by every council member not named Pat Kelly. We found out that councilman Kelly is Naperville’s version of the Wizard of Oz’s Tin Man; the character without a heart. Was it the long discussion about whether or not to approve a 7-Eleven type of business on Ogden. The stumbling issue was that it was not a 7 to 11 operation, but rather a 24-hour business. Bingo, not approved, out the door they went.

No, it wasn’t any of those mundane issues, the compelling story of the night was finding out who was the Good Samaritan (or thief, depending upon how you look at it) corralling all the signs on the roadways of Naperville. Watch and listen as Naperville’s version of the Lone Ranger presents his case:

For the most part the city council agreed with the resident, as I did to up a point, and Naperville councilman Paul Hinterlong came to the standard conclusion “Something needs to be done”:

It’s the ‘go to’ solution for every issue and problem. ‘something needs to be done’, but what exactly is that?

And are these signs really a problem? Signs for a sports soccer league, for tutoring, for trimming trees, for mowing. All these signs are for people wanting to do something worthwhile, rather than sitting around doing nothing. All these ‘sign people’ are entrepreneurs. Is the council trying to extinguish the entrepreneurial spirit.

If city officials really want to penalize street-sign-placers, rather than inflicting a financial hit on them, simply require each person to have a one-hour lunch with council member Patty Gustin. That would stop the ‘problem’ real quick.

It’s possible that before Mayor Steve Chirico built his successful flooring business, he bought his first rug, or piece of tile, and used a street sign to see if anyone wanted to buy it. Maybe when councilman Hinterlong started as a plumber, he bought his first plumbing tool, and used a sign to see if anyone had a drip.

What about the sign that shows ‘Call this number for a 6-figure income’. It’s probably true if you include the decimal point.

Naperville’s sign-confiscator scooped-up 43 signs between Washington St. and Wehrli Road on 75th Street. He must have been out again today because I saw only five signs today, and between Washington St and Naperville-Plainfield Road there were three. The most intriguing sign I saw today was a ‘For Sale’ sign with absolutely nothing near it for a half-mile. I can only assume the only thing ‘for sale’ was the sign itself.

If the city wants to make an issue of street signs, they may want to start with election signs where you can find fifty on a street corner.

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”.