Sep 282019

Naperville councilman Kevin Coyne gives no quarter and has had enough of both the Illinois Democratic Party and the DuPage County Republican organization and wants to be the voice for conservative principals by standing tall, and making a difference for change.

Coyne decided to throw his lucky penny into the ring and make a run for the 2020 DuPage County Board election in District 5. After serving on the Planning and Zoning Commission, Coyne was elected to the Naperville city council in in 2015 and re-elected to a four-year term in 2017 with his current term ending in 2021.

Coyne seeks to replace James Healy who has been on the county board since 1996, that’s 23 years, that’s enough. Can anybody think of anything Healy has accomplished other than getting re-elected. Keeping Healy on the board, doesn’t make any ‘cents’.  Coyne, an attorney, wants to put his two-cents worth in and fight for pro-life and government reforms including reducing the size of government, reducing real estate tax levies, and most importantly supporting the Second Amendment and our constitutional right to bear arms.

He is a financial conservative which is exactly what taxpayers need. He’s open-minded to change if the evidence supports it, and he can turn on a dime if necessary. If taxpayers and residents had a dime for every conservative position Coyne has taken, it would amount to a huge mountain-size pile of silver dollars.

Coyne’s quarter-back leadership skills are powerful including demonstrating accountability, maximizing relationships, building trust, thinking critically, driving change and demonstrating courage, all of which were evident last February when he called out state rep Anne Stava-Murray, D-Naperville to resign after she said the City of Naperville has ‘white supremacist policies’. Coyne said her outrageous comment was a new low for ‘ugly rhetoric’

Coyne can’t lose, which means taxpayers and residents can’t lose. He either gets elected to the DuPage County Board saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, or he remains on the Naperville city council and won’t nickel and dime residents. Every penny he pinches benefits those he is elected to represent.

Sep 212019

Naperville prides itself for being first on all sorts of lists including best schools, best libraries, best places to live, most sesame seeds on bagels; Winterset , Iowa may dispute the last one.

Money Magazine recently published the best places to live, and Naperville came in 45th place. How did we go from being the best place to live and raise a family to not even being listed among the Top-Ten. How does this happen in such a short period of time.

In 2016, Naperville was ranked 10th among the Top-50 best U.S. Cities, now just three years later we drop 35 slots to 45th. What’s changed? We have the same mayor, the same city manager, but we do have two new council members, Patrick Kelly and Theresa Sullivan. Could they be responsible, it’s doubtful but possible. Or is it that we still have Patty Gustin as a council member. That would seem more likely, but still, dropping 35 slots like a 35-pound bowl of mashed potatoes with gravy onto the passenger seat of your new vehicle is terrible.

Two other Illinois cities made it into the Top-100 list including Bolingbrook at #85 and Vernon Township at #65. Quick, does anyone know where Vernon Township is located. Of course not, but there it is, just 20 slots behind Naperville. If we are dropping an average of 12 slots per year, by the year 2024 Naperville will disappear from the Top-100.

The Top-3 cities on the list include, #1 Clarksville, Tennessee (population 153,000), #2) Round Rock, Texas (population 124,000) and #3 Fishers, Indiana (population 92,000). Money Magazines parameters for its Top 100 cities included cities with populations from 50,000 up to 300,000. It’s possible if Naperville can whittle its population down to less than 50,000, or jack it up to more than 300,000, we could once again make it into the Top-10.

Maybe former council member Becky Anderson was privy to something when she wanted to make Naperville a “Welcomming” city (code for sanctuary city).

Sep 142019

The Naperville city council finally had the courage to make a decision on whether or not to allow the sale of recreational marijuana in Naperville and by a decision of 6 to 3, the answer for now is ‘no’; well sort of. Naperville’s 9-member brain trust (city council) is kicking the can down the road by considering whether or not to put the issue up for a non-binding referendum in spring or sometime in the future maybe, possibly, could be, etc.

‘Non-binding’ meaning the 9-member council can override whatever the 147,000 residents want. That gets us back to kicking the can down the road and that road leads to neighboring towns which could approve selling recreational marijuana before Naperville. North Aurora has already approved the opportunity.

No one has ever accused the Naperville city council of being too courageous regarding making timely decisions. In the early 1970’s Naperville city officials finally decided not allow Fox Valley Mall to be built in Naperville at the corner of Aurora Avenue and Rt. 59 because of traffic concerns. It was then built across the street at the same intersection when the City of Aurora approved the development and Aurora has been banking those sales tax dollars for the last 44 years.

All it took for the council to finally take the can-kicking action was 238 people signing-up to speak for 3-minutes each during public forum; that’s almost 12 hours of public forum talking; that’s getting into councilwoman Patty Gustin range. My first thought was they would have four people speak simultaneously with the loudest one getting heard the best. Somehow the council got through the ‘Patty Gustin Marathon’ (non-stop talking).

When the dust settled and ‘no’ to selling recreational marijuana was announced, it cleared the way for Naperville residents to purchase the item elsewhere, just not in Naperville. It was a great moment for North Aurora, and likely other nearby towns.

So while Naperville city officials continue to kick cans down roads, opportunities flow by. I don’t have a horse in the race. Three days a week I’m in favor of selling it in Naperville, three days a week I’m not, the other day of the week I need to give my head a rest.

However when I drive by Fox Valley Mall, I can’t help seeing sales-tax-revenue dollars pouring into Aurora and wondering if Naperville council members from the early 1970’s ever had the same vision.

One thing for sure, if you are a can salesman, the City of Naperville would be an outstanding prospect.

Sep 072019

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.

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”.

Jul 272019

Are Naperville city officials becoming more bold, by playing games with Naperville residents, or are residents becoming more bold by calling out city officials? Have you ever wondered, the order in which speakers are selected to speak during public forum, or during specific agenda items? Former mayoral candidate and Naperville resident Jim Haselhorst most likely has thoughts about both those questions.

Watch and listen to Haselhorst as he questions city staff about being first in line to sign-up to speak, but found himself buried behind numerous speakers before being granted his 3-minutes to make his presentation to the council:

He doesn’t get a straight answer other than the online registration to speak does not work, which begs the question, is Naperville’s IT department that inept, or does it only occur when it benefits city officials.

On-line registration to speak may be useless, but the three-minute time clock to cut off residents while speaking about issues that city officials might not want to hear is fully operational:

When determining whom speaks, and when, it appears that the City of Naperville employs the ‘Golden Rule’ which is he who has the gold makes the rules, and the city has the gold. According to Haselhorst it appears the method used may be orchestrated, rather than random or sequential. If that’s the case, then who is doing the orchestrating? Who is the ‘Wizard of Speakers’ sitting behind the curtain pulling the strings?

Why not keep it simple and make a rule that everyone understands; alphabetical order according to size, unless it’s a full moon, and then it’s on the count of three, the first one up to the podium gets to speak.