Dec 072019

Michael Jordan, Ernie Banks, Walter Payton; all MVP’s, all gone, but still the best at what they did. It doesn’t mean they weren’t replaced, they were, But the results of their efforts have not been duplicated.

It’s easy to identify MVP’s when they are high profile, not as easy when they are behind the scenes or in support positions. Such is the case with Naperville city council team member, Reggie Lynch. After 20 years of outstanding service with the City of Naperville, all in the position as administrative assistant to the city council, she will be leaving at the end of this month.

Reggie was hired by former mayor Sam Macrane, which may be Macrane’s most important contribution to Naperville. Mayors and council members come and go, and Reggie Lynch has been there to help them all. I’m sure it has not been easy for her to have numerous bosses, (council members, mayors, and city managers) over the years) but she has made it work, like a duck swimming effortlessly over the water, while churning under the water to make things happen.

As the Watchdog (she knows me simply as Bob) for almost ten years, I have had reason to interact with Reggie when I needed clarification or help getting some basic questions answered like any other resident, and she has always exceeded expectations. Always pleasant, always informative, always friendly, and always took the time to help. I never felt as though I was intruding on her time. She was inviting and always made people feel comfortable chatting with her.

To say that she has been a tremendous asset to the City of Naperville and its residents is an understatement. I wish her good health and happiness as she moves along.

Dec 012019

Have you noticed that sometimes Naperville city council meeting agendas list “Closed Session” prior to the regular open session meeting. ‘Closed’, why does it have to be closed? What goes on in there that we don’t know about?

I imagine it’s all sorts of things such as:

  • Who is going to get fired next?
  • What’s the latest law suit against the city?
  • How do we get residents to do something they don’t want to do?
  • I bet I can beat you at arm wrestling.
  • Don’t even think about trying to make me look like a fool.
  • Short straw has to read the proclamations tonight.
  • How do we keep a lid on it? (you pick the ‘it’)
  • We have 248 speakers tonight. Anybody want to play video poker during Public Forum?

‘Closed sessions’ make it appear something nefarious is going on in there, otherwise why would it be closed. If you walk by the room you can’t hear any yelling or screaming, nor can you hear the sound of furniture being thrown around the room. Every now and then with previous members of the city council, you could see them entering council chambers after a closed session, looking as though they had eaten some really bad food, or their hair was on fire.

Just as athletes need their own ‘safe’ place off stage like a club house or locker room, council members need a place to ‘loosen the tie’ or ‘get it together’ so closed sessions are needed or maybe therapeutic. Every now and then a council member will give us a glimpse of what happens in closed session. Watch and listen as Naperville councilwoman Patty Gustin, possibly speaking in code, gives us such a glimpse:

I say, “good for Patty Gustin’; her openness is refreshing. And as for councilman Paul Hinterlong, a plumber by trade, apparently he still has the gift of using his tools.