Let’s Cut Back On Useless Work

Kudos to the Naperville city council for cutting back on expenses. The council continues to make valiant efforts to find ways to trim expense. There are only so many ways to continue to trim the ‘fat’.

Maybe it’s time to cut back on useless overlapping work. I say start with the Historic Preservation Commission, in fact, why not just abolish it. Even though the expense involved is minimal, the fact that 11 commission members waste time serves no purpose, other than 11 people saying they are on the Historic Preservation Commission; impressive yes, but serving no purpose.

According to the city’s website, “the Historic Preservation Commission reviews and make recommendations on applications for Certificates of Appropriateness (COA’s)”. Sounds good and straight forward. However prior to the Kroehler Mansion COA appeal, there were 16 CAO’s for demolition, 12 were denied by HPC, 8 were appealed to the Naperville city council, and all 8 were approved. Now with the Kroehler appeal being approved by the city council that makes it 9 for 9 with appeals being approved by the council.

Watch and listen as resident Tim Messer makes the statement to the city council:

That begs two questions:

1) Why didn’t the other four denials appeal to the city council for approval with a 100% chance of being approved?

2) Why not simply abolish the commission and have all COA’s present directly to the city council for approval , with all being approved?

Obviously there is a disconnect between what the Historic Preservsation Commission is charged to do, and the Naperville city council’s interpretations of its own guidelines.

It’s a complete waste of everyone’s time.

Show 8 Comments


  1. Grant W.

    But what about those nifty business cards…would have to find another use I suppose. Maybe all those fishbowls in the restaurants are lonely…maybe scratch paper.

    • watchdog

      Thank you Grant W. It’s always good to hear your take on situations.

  2. Jim Haselhorst

    This is nickel and dime stuff when there are still serious dollars on the table that could be eliminated.

    For example if the Naperville Park District were eliminated by ballot referendum and rolled into the city then the highest paid civil servant job in DuPage County could be eliminated. Along with a Chief of Police that oversees only around half a dozen full time Park Police Officers.

    There are major admin redundancies that could be eliminated. The vehicle maintenance and motor pool that would go away. The office space that would be eliminated and would become available for public use.

    These are just a few of the cost reductions that could be realized by rolling the Park District back into the City government that would save millions annually. Not to mention saving the costs related to maintaining, supporting and conducting elections for Park District Board members.

    There are untapped synergies here that could significantly reduce the property taxes of every Naperville resident. It is a idea that should be seriously discussed and considered.

    • watchdog

      It’s not even ‘nickel and dime’ stuff, since the HPC is voluntary. It’s more about not wasting time and energy, since the council does not typically uphold the recommendation of the HPC.You have to ask yourself, ‘what’s the purpose’.

      • Jim Haselhorst

        Since they require city staff support, which is not volunteer, it is nickels and dimes as well.

        • watchdog

          Jim, I stand corrected, even though at this moment, I am sitting.

  3. Ron A.

    I don’t disagree with your observation that the City Council, or PZC, could be relied upon to do the same work as the HPC. But, if I’m not mistaken, the HPC is made up of volunteers, so I don’t believe that it would save the City any money.

    • watchdog

      The idea of abolishing the HPC is not to save money, it is meant to save time and work, that appears meaningless, since appealing to the city council reverses the recommendation of the HPC.

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