Naperville Councilman Patrick Kelly Wavering In The Wind

How easy is it to sway Naperville councilman Patrick Kelly’s position on an issue? The answer is that it is very easy to have him question his own decision-making ability. To a lesser degree, the same holds true for Naperville council members Judy Brodhead and Benny White.

It happened again during the October 20th city council meeting when Kelly asked his fellow council members to revisit the council’s decision to not donate an exhausted city ambulance to Naperville’s sister city, Cancun, Mexico.

During the October 6th city council meeting, city council member Theresa Sullivan questioned the issue of donating the ambulance, worth $7,000 to Cancun. The vote to donate the vehicle was 5 in favor, and 4 against, however the vote required 6 ‘yes’ votes to make it happen, hence it failed by 1 vote.

The four voting against the proposal were Kelly, Judith Brodhead, Benny White, and Sullivan. Brodhead and White sat on their hands with their microphones off, and said nothing during the discussion. Sullivan presented a compelling case against the donation, and Kelly tagged along on Sullivan’s coattail.

Now Kelly wants to open the discussion again, while Sullivan is steadfast with her original position. It will take only one vote to reach the needed six votes to approve the donation, and Kelly is that one vote, confirming that Patrick Kelly has a weather vane for a backbone.

So what exactly was Kelly’s epiphany that’s causing him to reverse his vote. Maybe we will find out during the next city council meeting Wednesday November 4th, and why didn’t he know it before the original vote?

The issue isn’t what happens to the old ambulance. The issue isn’t really the $7,000 value of the tired vehicle. The issue is how the Naperville city council operates on issues. Do they fully comprehend the issue for which they are voting? Do they have any idea what their constituents want? Do they listen, do they care?

They probably do listen, a little bit. They probably do care, little bit. Maybe even more-so during an election year.

Show 6 Comments


  1. Patrick Kelly

    I figured this article was coming! The long and short of it is that I initially liked the idea of donating the ambulance, but Councilwoman Sullivan raised good questions, and I did not think the answers from staff at the meeting adequately addressed her questions. A number of council members discussed the issues with staff in between council meetings, however, and I became more comfortable with the answers and with what the process for donations like this will look like moving forward. Even for an expense as small as $7,000, I think having a well defined and transparent process is critical, and I am now comfortable that the process will be better moving forward.

    • watchdog

      As Paul Harvey would say, “Now for the rest of the story”. Thanks for adding the rest of the story, and setting the weather vane straight.

  2. Gerard H Schilling

    Sounds like a Biden answer to fracking to me. Why can’t politicians just for once know what they are voting for before voting against something? BTW when in life do you have a chance to change your mind after committing to something by a oath or vote?

    • Jim Haselhorst

      Most decision in life come with the ability to change your mind. Its just that there is always a cost, such a change is almost never free of charge.

      • watchdog

        Jim if one does his or her homework, there is much less a need to change one’s mind or decision.

        • Jim Haselhorst

          No one can ever be certain they know all the information relevant to making a decision. At some point we all decide we have all the information possible and make a decision. For this reason there is always the possibility that some significant piece of relevant information does not become available until later, after a decision is made.

          This the every reason why people are released from prison after being convicted. Because the jury made a decision based on all the available information, but new information became available that proves the convicted is actually innocent.

          It is never safe to assume once we make a decision, nothing can cause us to re-evaluate the decision and change our mind other then bull-head ignorance.

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