Eleven candidates with four city council positions in play. We know for sure that at least two and as many as four candidates will be new to the city council. Incumbents running for office include John Krummen and Benny White. Two current council members are not running for re-election, Kevin Coyne (decided not to run) and Judy Brodhead, term limits finally ousted her from the council.
This is the sixth city council election that Watchdog has endorsed candidates, and of the six, this is the weakest group of candidates. It should have made it easier to select the best four, however this was not the case. The top two were easy, but the next three were grouped closely together, meaning that one of those three did not make the top four.
I asked nine candidates the following two questions:
- Regarding current and previous issues, which current council member do you most closely align with, and which council member do you least align with?
- Knowing that you want what is best for Naperville, if you get elected, which three of the other 10 candidates would you like to see join you at the dais?
I did not ask the two incumbents (Krummen and White) since they have already developed a track record on the council. Of the nine I asked , only one (Vasavi Chakka) did not respond; it’s possible she did not see the email.
Two candidates gave clear and concise answers, Ian Holzhauer and Mark Urda. One candidate, Jennifer Bruzan Taylor, chose not to answer which council member she least aligns with, and which three candidates she would like to see join her on the council, by saying “she will not run a negative campaign”.
Candidates said they most closely align with, Paul Hinterlong, Pat Kelly, and Judy Brodhead (all three tied)
The current council member candidates said they least align with is Kevin Coyne.
The candidates most selected by other candidates to join them on the council are Holzhauer, Urda, and White.
The candidate coming in 5th for the endorsement, just missing the top four is Allison Longenbaugh
Watchdog’s choice for 11th best candidate is councilman John Krummen. He was the mouthpiece for the ugly Smart Meter debacle, and unfortunately for John he has created a “credibility gap” for himself. It doesn’t mean he won’t get re-elected, because it’s difficult to unseat a sitting council member even being 11th best.
Another candidate most likely to get elected, but not getting a Watchdog endorsement is Jennifer Bruzan Taylor. Her marketing effort to get herself elected was outstanding, but looking at her ideology, regarding her position on issues is a major concern.
Leadership dimensions important for endorsement include:
- Demonstrating courage – willing to voice unpopular opinions.
- Building trust – being truthful in a direct and constructive manner, encouraging candidness in others.
- Thinking critically – asks questions, looks beyond the obvious, anticipates the ripple effect of decisions
- Driving change – moves ideas forward, can be assertive and compassionate.
Based on those four leadership dimensions, Watchdog is endorsing the following four candidates for city council:
- Benny White, his track record speaks for itself, and his integrity is top-notch.
- Ian Holzhauer, good listener, open-minded, focused on keeping Naperville family-friendly.
- Vasavi Chakka, brings a needed, and different perspective to the council, focused on unity and balanced growth.
- Jim Haselhorst, knowledgeable about Naperville, politics, and issues, definitely would be the city council swizzle-stick.