Watchdog And Naperville City Council Share The Same Problem

I have a problem. I’m obsessive-compulsive. I make to-do lists and I have to get them done. I’ve mellowed a bit as I’ve become older, but it’s still there. It started in kindergarten. The comment on my report cards was that I ‘don’t keep profitably busy’. Well that did it, I became a list-maker over the years; I need to accomplish something every day, including finishing my to-do list.

The Naperville city council appears to have the same problem. Their list is the city council meeting agenda and they have to get it done. It makes no difference how late it is, or how important the agenda topic is, they are obsessive-compulsive about getting it done. Case in point, it happened during the August 20 meeting which lasted until August 21. The meeting went on and on for 7 hours and 27 minutes.

Council chambers were packed with people who wanted to speak about or hear about recreational marijuana and what the council’s position was regarding whether or not to approve its sale in Naperville. What many considered to be the most important topic on the agenda didn’t start getting discussed until 12:20am and finished at 2:27am.

Per council guidelines, city council meetings finish at 11pm unless meeting extensions are approved by a majority of council members which happened numerous times that evening. The council did have the option to continue the meeting on a different date and a more palatable time for discussion, but the city council found itself between a rock and a hard place. If they chose to do that, then the people who attended the meeting and waited, did so without hearing any discussion, or if they continued discussing the topic, then as council member Theresa Sullivan stated “we don’t make our best decisions (that late). I know I don’t. My brain turns off”. She continued with “public meetings are for the public. Is it really accessible to the public if you’re meeting at 1am?”.

So rather than scheduling a special meeting for the following week to discuss the topic, the council decided to ‘soldier on’ and kick it into the obsessive-compulsive gear and keep talking. I also kicked it into the O.C gear by continuing to listen and trying to stay awake. I could have cashed it in and watched the ending the following morning, but that’s not how things work in the O.C. world.

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