For years many Naperville city council members, including Patty Gustin have talked and talked and talked; they can’t put a lid on it. It’s no wonder that meetings drag on and on. However when some council members need to talk or clarify their position and anticipated vote on an issue, they remain silent. It happened during the October 6th city council meeting, when council members Judy Brodhead and Benny White voted to deny the donation of an old ambulance to sister-city Cancun, Mexico.
The vote to approve the donation needed six votes, however it failed by one vote, 5 to 4. The four council members voting ‘no’ to approve the donation included Brodhead, White, Patrick Kelly, and Theresa Sullivan. To the credit of Kelly and Sullivan, they had the courage and courtesy to express their reasons for the ‘no’ vote, however Brodhead and White sat on their hands with their microphones off.
The ‘rub’ is not that four council members voted ‘no’, the ‘rub’ is that council members Judy Brodhead and Benny White did not have the courage or common decency to explain their positions to the good folks of Naperville.
Ironically both Brodhead and White are educators by vocation, but neither educated residents why they chose to vote ‘no’, in essence they both failed to do their job resulting in a dereliction of duty.
Somebody had to make the call to the mayor of Cancun with the news of no deal. No body likes to break bad news to somebody, so the responsibility probably fell upon Mayor Chirico or city manager Doug Krieger, or it could have been a staff member. The least Brodhead or White could have done, would have been to volunteer to make that call, but considering that neither had the integrity to speak-up at the council meeting, chances are likely they both faded into the inky shadows of municipal center.
Council members do not always explain or comment on their votes so Brodhead and White making no comment is not unusual.
Personally I would prefer a council member not comment if they are just going to parrot or paraphrase a comment already made by another member of the council. It is simply a waste of time, that could be used to attend to other city business.
Not every council member needs to hear the sound of their own voice in council chamber to feel like they are doing the job they were elected to do and I agree with this position.
They were not elected to constantly make comments during council meetings but to make rational decisions on what is best for OUR community not others.
Jim, this issue required a comment, since it appeared to be a ‘shoe-in’ for approval, almost as if it was pre-determined. The majority said ‘yes’, the minority said ‘no’. Two of the minority made a comment. Would it have been that difficult for either educator to make a short comment, I think not.
Residents deserve the courtesy.