Oct 262019

The Naperville city council has done a lot of listening and talking about selling recreational marijuana within city limits and they are not done yet. Though the council voted 6 to 3 in September to prohibit the sale recreational marijuana, it later approved a non-binding referendum be placed on the ballot for voters to ‘voice’ their opinion. The only question was should it be placed on the March 17, 2020 ballot, or the November 3, 2020 ballot.

After a lengthy discussion (aren’t they all) they decided by a vote of 5 to 4 for the March 3, 2020 ballot. Watch and listen to the council as they vote for the date of non-binding referendum:

Naperville city council members voting for that date included:

  • Judy Brodhead
  • Patrick Kelly
  • John Krummen
  • Theresa Sullivan
  • Benny White

Those on the losing end of the discussion, voting for the November date included:

  • Mayor Steve Chirico
  • Kevin Coyne
  • Paul Hinterlong
  • Patty Gustin

It was thought that the November general election would bring out more voters, but the idea went up in smoke when the March primary election got the nod. Naperville’s clouded marijuana debate has been hazy at best, hence the non-binding referendum was determined to clear the air for a more accurate picture on how voters feel about the hot issue.

Since it’s a non-binding referendum, council members can choose to ignore the wishes of voters as they did with District representation. Voters chose that option which didn’t please council members, so a re-do vote was conducted, and the council got their wish when at-large representation magically won the vote.

Some council members have stated they would honor the results of the non-binding pot referendum, however we know how that can work. The good news is that a referendum, even a non-binding referendum is a feel-good exercise.

So March 17, 2020 is the big date. Until that date, and after January 1, 2020 recreational cannibus can be purchased hassle-free in surrounding suburbs. And after that date, no matter what the result of the vote, cannibus can be sold in surrounding suburbs. So what’s the difference? The difference is will you need to drive 5 miles to buy it in Naperville or drive 6 miles to get it elsewhere? That’s the real result of the referendum.

Oct 202019

Naperville has had its share of city council members that have said unusual things with odd requests, however the City may have the beginnings of its first rogue council member, that being Theresa Sullivan. During the October 15 city council meeting, council member Sullivan came out of nowhere questioning and wanting to change agreed upon parliamentary procedure. Watch and listen to Sullivan as she interjects something she doesn’t like about the council’s procedure and Mayor Steve Chirico quickly puts a lid on it and moves on with the business at hand:

This was definitely not the time to present the idea. You know that thing in your mind that tells you something is a bad idea. Somebody needs to get Sullivan one of those things. She has a propensity to act as a loose canon, against expectations and instruction, and pursue her own interests which is a definition for ‘rogue’.

A better time to bring up the idea would be under ‘new business’, but no, she blurts out the idea during an inopportune time. How long before she continues to express things she doesn’t like about parliamentary procedure, such as:

  • Why should the majority vote rule.
  • Why does the mayor sit at the middle of the dais.
  • Scrap parliamentary procedure and let chaos be the order of the day
  • Shouldn’t a council member be in motion when making a motion.
  • If a council member is missing from a meeting, why not allow a coin flip determine that person’s vote.

Sullivan is one of the new kids on the block on the council, along with Patrick Kelly, maybe it would be in her best interest to invest more time in learning how things work on the council and why they work, before trying to change what has been determined to be best practices. It definitely would be in the best interest of those she was elected to represent.

Oct 122019

It’s that time of the political cycle again, pre-election, when politicians pop-up their heads like whack-a-mole, hoping to secure enough votes to get re-elected. The current mole to pop-up in Naperville is former councilman Grant Wehrli. He has been sighted (where else) cruising up and down Wehrli Road admiring street signs named “Wehrli Road”. No doubt that Grant is a legend in his own mind. He has created the myth that he has accomplished something in Springfield, however no one seems to know what that ‘something’ is.

Keep Grant Wehrli In Springfield

Since Wehrli can’t point to anything he has accomplished in Springfield, other than getting his expense reports submitted on time, his strategy is to manufacture something, in this case it’s introducing a House Bill which for all practical purposes has recently been submitted by another House Representative; banning Red Light Cameras.

When Wehrli was on the Naperville city council, he was one of the ‘yes’ votes for approving RLC’s pointing to their safety features of preventing accidents, however when their cost exceeded the revenue they generated, he voted to get rid of the RLC’s. He was no longer concerned about the safety feature.

Naperville City Council Shocked By Their Own Vote

To call Grant Wehrli a hypocrite is an understatement. Look up the word ‘hypocrite’ in the dictionary, and you’ll see a picture of Wehrli. The only reason to keep him in Springfield is to keep him out of Naperville. If he loses his Illinois House of Representatives election, he undoubtedly will turn up in Naperville like gum on your shoe on a hot August day trying to get elected to something.

The problem is what to do with Wehrli. Having him in Springfield is not good, having him back in Naperville is worse. If only there was a third option. Maybe he could be encouraged to relocate. How difficult would it be to get a road named after him in Two Dot, Montana; Grant Wehrli Circle has a symbolic, poetic ring to it.

Oct 052019

Quick, name two Naperville city council members in 1999. O.K, so you got former Naperville Mayor George Pradel correct, but you’re drawing a blank on a second council member? Twenty years from now, all the current city council members, other than maybe Mayor Steve Chirico, will be a distant memory, if a memory at all. That’s the point, there will be an entirely new crew on the council. City council member names will become just footnotes in history, but ramifications of their decisions will live on for generations (Fox Valley Mall). What might Naperville look like in 2039, what will be the top two issues the city council will be grappling with, and what will the council look like. It might look something like this:

With the ongoing, passionate effort of Naperville’s former one-term council member, Becky Anderson to turn Naperville into a sanctuary city, Naperville’s population will be pushing 3.2 million people, with busloads of people arriving daily at Anderson’s Book Store; their only requirement is to buy a book and taking an oath not to purchase books from Amazon.

Naperville will continue to pride itself in having no homeless people, however Ogden Avenue, 75th St., Naper Blvd and Washington Street will be lined with street dwellers with each given a Bic lighter during Christmas season providing the city with low cost holiday lighting.

Naperville will have an ordinance requiring no building be less than 150 feet high. Single family homes will no longer be allowed, unless occupied by 50 people or more.

Mayor Haywood U. Buzzoff will try to maintain order in council chambers by pounding his 20-pound gavel whenever he hears something he doesn’t like, which is most of the time. Public forum will allow speakers only one-minute to make their point, with four speakers speaking simultaneously at the podium.

Term limits will have been repealed by a council vote of 9 to 0. Council members will include Paul Bear, Bindar Dundat, Chubbina Fatzarelli, Marion Haste, Manny Lous Skruz, Ramsey el-Kaboom, R. Azmustbedraggon, and Doctor Billie Bong Bong.

The two hot issues for the 2039 city council  continue to be the Fifth Avenue Development, and whether or not the council should vote to proceed or table the issue until the following month, with the second hot issue being whether or not to approve the sale of recreational marijuana within city limits. Naperville continues to be the only city in DuPage county not to allow the sale of cannabis, but also the only city in the United States not to allow it. With the recent approval by Vatican City and Santa’s Village at the North Pole allowing the sale, Naperville wants to wait for more information before voting on the issue.

The inky shadows in the corridors of the Municipal Center will continue to be the ideal environment for deal making, and Naperville city manager Vinnie Goombotts will continue the city managers tradition of doing a great soft shoe and moon walk out of council chambers and out of the Municipal center.