There are nine city council members in Naperville, with the mayor being one of the nine. Three responsibilities separate the mayor from the other eight; 1) the mayor leads the council meetings, 2) the mayor is the liquor commissioner, and 3) the mayor selects board and commission members. It’s been working rather smoothly for quite some time, until the last city council meeting, when the council was asked to approve the mayor’s appointees for new board members. watch and listen as Naperville councilman Paul Hinterlong questions the approval of one appointee:
Hinterlong wasn’t questioning the person’s integrity, or years of city service, he was simply wanting others (common folk) to have a chance to participate. Good for Hinterlong to be a voice for those who are left out.
Now watch and listen to new council member Jennifer Taylor as she agrees with Hinterlong noting that fresh ideas and perspectives are needed.
This was followed by new councilman Paul Leong pointing out that choosing new people for board and commission members allows training ground for future leaders.
Councilwoman Patty Gustin joined those three in supporting opportunity for ‘new’ folks to participate rather than recycling longtime city government people.
In this specific case, the longtime city person is former Naperville city council member Judy Brodhead. She was termed out (May 2nd) in the last city council election (April 6th). Less than 44 days after after being shown the door out of municipal activities, the mayor wants to bring her back in, thereby eliminating the opportunity for someone new to participate.
The vote to approve the mayor’s appointees was 5 in favor and 4 against, with the 5th and deciding vote being made by Mayor Chirico, in other words, he voted to approve his appointees. Wow, didn’t see that coming.
The other four approving the mayor’s appointees included, Benny White, Theresa Sullivan, Patrick Kelly, and surprisingly new council member Ian Holzhauer. If anyone, would know the importance for instilling new ideas and perspective to city government, it would be a newly elected council member. How quickly they forget the road they traveled to get involved and then elected.
The ‘ good old boys’ club prevailed, in this vote, however congratulations to council members Paul Hinterlong, Jennifer Taylor, Paul Leong, and Patty Gustin for standing up and being heard for voices that are unheard.