Considering all the problems in the world, the country, and the state, if Naperville’s biggest problem is artwork on the Century Walk, then we must be in pretty good shape as a city. The Naperville city council meeting July 20th lasted for 69 minutes with 30% of the time focused on financial support by the city for the Century Walk.
Mayor Chirico brought up the topic during the “New Business’ portion of the meeting. He wants a 3-year financial commitment for Century Walk to be included as a ‘city obligation’ as is Naper Settlement, DuPage Children’s Museum, and the Naperville Municipal Band.
Currently Century Walk receives $50,000 yearly from the City as an obligation to maintain public art. The mayor wants to add another $100,000 taking the total up to $150,000. Bottom line is that there are too many unanswered questions remaining, including one huge question, which will be addressed in Watchdog’s August 8th posting.
The mayor asked for a show of hands to support the request to bring the topic to the next city council meeting. The “vote” was 5 to 3 with councilman White being absent. The five included Chirico along with council members Gustin, Hinterlong, Leong, and Taylor. The three not supporting the request were council members Holzhauer, Kelly, and Sullivan. If one of the five would not have supported the mayor’s request, the “vote” would have tied at four apiece meaning the requirement was not met and would not pass.
For almost 20 years Naperville’s Brand Bobosky has been nearly synonymous with Century Walk, currently as its President. Newly elected councilwoman Jennifer Bruzan Taylor received support from Bobosky for her election to the council, which she won by the narrow margin of only 57 votes. Taylor’s website shows Bobosky stating, “we support Jennifer Bruzan Taylor for Naperville city council because we know she will represent all the citizens of Naperville, not just special interest groups”. That begs two questions, 1) is Taylor representing all the citizens, and 2) is the Century Walk, not a special interest group?
Could that be a conflict of interest on Taylor’s part? Should she have mentioned it prior to the ‘show of hands’? Should Taylor address the ‘conflict of interest’ during the discussion of Century Walk at the next council meeting? Just as Century Walk is looking for a financial commitment from the city council, could Century Walk also be looking for a favorable vote from Taylor.