Naperville City Council, Spending Thousands To Save Hundreds

Sometimes it makes no sense, but that’s why it’s government. Naperville department heads are requesting hiring a total of eight new employees, however the Naperville city council is questioning whether or not this is necessary. The council appears to be in agreement with six of the eight new hires which includes:

  • An assistant for the sustainability director
  • A senior civil engineer and utility specialist
  • A network engineer and a security engineer for the IT department focusing in security.
  • A building inspector

The two positions in question are:

  • A communications specialist, and
  • A human resource person specializing in training

How to solve the dilemma? The go-to answer for city officials is to hire a consultant to the tune of $100,000 to come up with the magic answer. That begs the question, why not dispense with the 6-figure outlay of expense for a consultant, and simply use that money toward hiring/staffing the two positions in question?

Why is it that city officials always want to hire a consultant to do what they should be doing which is to take the information at-hand and make a sound decision? Is it because they lack the confidence to make the decision, or is it because it takes them off the hook for making a ‘bad’ decision? Hiring a consultant is the ‘bad’ decision.

Trust the department heads to request genuine needs, trust finance director Rachel Mayer to add her perspective, trust city manager Doug Krieger to oversee the process, then trust that eight city council members and the mayor can weigh the options and information and make a wise decision.

It’s not life and death, and they’re not splitting the atom. Do what they were elected to do, which is to make decisions, and move forward. It’s not that difficult.

Show 8 Comments


  1. Gerard Schilling

    An assistant to the sustainability director is adding insult to injury. Get rid of the director as this is nothing more than a woke position in the first place and a total waste of OUR tax money! These bureaucrats just can’t stop growing their fiefdoms and spending our money!

    • Mark Urda

      Focusing on sustainability actually saves the city money through improved energy efficiency which in turn helps improve the environment. Both of these are good outcomes and the City is wise to invest in personnel and the N.E.S.T report.

  2. The Joker

    Sustainability director is a joke. Right up there with Benny White running for Mayor. Kim White is the worst too.

    • Mark Urda

      Anonymous comments are definitely a joke. Personal insults on the Whites is just tacky and sign of what is wrong with politics today.

  3. Jim Haselhorst

    Governments have been doing this for decades. It is a standard operating procedure. They started doing it because people and companies kept suing them when they made a decision they did not like or a media outlet started making claims to increase their visibility.

    By hiring an independent third party to review a situation and provide recommendations elected and appointed government officials insulate themselves from being sued or accused of being illegally/impartially influenced in making these decision.

    So, yes, this is a waste of money, but one resulting from people and companies that sue governments when they don’t get what they want or media outlets looking to increase their popularity.

    In short it is the result of the society we have let ourselves become and thus have no one but ourselves to blame.

    • watchdog

      Doing something for decades doesn’t make it right. “Standard operating procedures” are quickly becoming no longer standard operating procedures. If it must happen, then hire a consulting firm for $100, not $100,000. There is always someone willing to work for less, especially when the results are not important. Protect tax payer’s money.

      • Jim Haselhorst

        I did say, and clearly indicate, that I did not think this is the “right” thing to do, but it has become something government officials believe they need to do. Government organizations as well as corporations and other private organizations, because of our current social environment, frequently find themselves doing things they believe they need to do, ever if it is commonly viewed as a choice of the lesser evil.

        And if it is not the “right” thing to do, then whether it is $100K or $100 it is a potential failing to protect taxpayer dollars. But is it always a failing to protect taxpayer dollars just because we agree it is not a “right” thing to do? Is it a failing of a fiduciary duty if spending $100K will prevent the city from having to defend itself from legal challenge(s) that will cost it $1M? Sometimes expenses that are not “right” are unavoidable.

        Again standard operating procedures are not about doing what is “right” but what is in the best interests of the majority the stakeholder in an organization. And for government organizations taking steps to avoid potentially expensive litigation is what is in the best interest of this organization’s stakeholders.

        Finally, just because one person thinks something is not important does not making it unimportant to everyone. And it only takes one person to believe it is important, very important, to make something “unimportant” very costly for the city.

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