Does The City Of Naperville Have A Leader?

Does the City of Naperville have leadership; if so who’s the leader? Who could qualify? Is it the mayor, is it the city council or a particular member of the council, or would it be the city manager? What is leadership, how is defined? Leadership can encompass enthusiasm, execution, and energy, and what attributes can define each?

When you look at our possible leaders, does anyone exhibit the following characteristics:


  • Communicate effectively
  • Maximize relationships
  • Build trust
  • Manage performance


  • Think critically
  • Manage execution
  • Drive change


  • Demonstrate accountability
  • Demonstrate courage

While more and more elected officials in cities and towns have taken the courageous step to not enforce the mask and passport mandates, city officials in Naperville sit on their hands more concerned about accent colors on buildings, and a honey bee in somebody’s bird bath. Not a word about mandates.

Ask residents about what is important to them between an accent color on a building, a bee in a bird bath, a chicken in a back yard, or a mask/passport mandates, and guess what the answer is going to be, yet nothing can be heard from city officials other than the sound of crickets. Why not have a conversation? Let’s see who has the courage to express their viewpoint.

Recently the city of St. Charles refused to support a proof of vaccination mandate. It wasn’t a formal vote but all nine aldermen, including Mayor Lora Vitek, opposed showing proof of vaccination to enter businesses. City Administrator Heather McGuire told the council she received two messages in favor of the mandate and over 200 against it.

Every week more towns are rejecting the mandates including Elk Grove, Burr Ridge, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles, Orland Park, and Park Ridge. By the time this post is published, undoubtedly more towns will be on board. Just this week the States of Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania have jumped on the freedom train, while Naperville officials are focused on whether or not to allow food trucks to sell hot dogs, tacos, and ice cream, or weighing them down with burdensome regulation and extra expense.

Naperville needs leaders or at least one leader courageous enough to speak-up for the ‘little guys’, or in this case the majority.

Show 9 Comments


  1. Gerard Hubert Schilling

    Agree! We have gutless wonders running our city and in elected offices.

  2. Kurt Dorr

    Can I book Dana Being Dana? Or do I need to wait until she’s done being booked?

    Boy, Kim & Benny White’s picks have been winners!

  3. joe

    They are more interested in requiring new buildings to have charging stations

  4. Kendra Smith

    It will get worse when Benny and Ian run for mayor. They will totally screw up Naperville.

  5. Jim Haselhorst

    Doing what people tell you to do is not leadership, anyone can do this. Leadership is doing what is right for the community even when the community doesn’t like it or want it.

    Recognizing what a community needs, developing a plan to provide the community with this need, executing that plan and fulfilling that need is leadership. You may not agree with what has been determined to be a need, but your determination of the community’s needs not matching the needs determined by government officials is not a leadership failure on their part.

    There was a very loud and vocal presents on the Kroehler Mansion issue and elected official bowed to those demands. And what the community got is a building that will not be restored to the original design of the mansion, will not be available to the public and will provide only passing long views of this “history” for the bargain basement price of only $450K. This was a leadership failure.

    There was a very loud and vocal presents on the Opt In issue and the majority of elected official saw through this noise, ignored the threats and innuendo and opted to allow adult dispensaries to operate in Naperville. The result has been over a million dollars a year in tax revenue, no increase in impaired driving, no increase in adolescent use (actually a drop in use) and no increase in crime. This was a leadership success.

    Doing what an organized and vocal group of people want is rarely leadership and almost always a leadership failure. Just because a mob uses a democratic process to achieve forcing their well on an entire community does not change the fact that they are still a mob.

  6. Kevin Piket

    Jim, to be fair there was a very loud and vocal presence in favor of allowing adult dispensaries in Naperville including yourself…that issue was loud on both sides. If I had to guess, you thought it was a good example of leadership because they voted with your side of the argument.

    Leadership is about listening to all sides and then make a decision based on the facts. Feedback is a gift, it is up to you on how you want to unwrap it.

    • Jim Haselhorst

      Equally loud? At all of the council meetings on this issue there were a couple of dozen speaking for opting in compared to well over a hundred speaking against opting in (one meeting it was over 200). There was an aggressive campaign to inundate council members with emails against opting in, where people were provided a cut and paste letter with instruction and the email addresses of council members to send them too. There were PACs from outside Naperville funding rallies and yard signs against opting in. There were organizations busing in people that did not live in Naperville to speak against opting in. They provided resource to “professionals” to speak at council meetings against opting in. They provided teenagers with speeches to read at council meetings. I have to seriously question your idea of equal.

      As to why I consider this decision an example of good leadership, this was spelled out in my post. First council was told adolescent use would increase, but most council members saw through this an looked at the real data on this matter. Second they were told it would cause and increase in crime, again they looked instead at the actual data on this issue. Third they were told it would not provide that much tax revenue, it would be insignificant, which again was wrong.

      The majority of council members looked beyond the politics of this issue and ignored the personal attacks against them for voicing support for opting in (even from other council member supporting opt out.

      This was a very time sensitive issue, which is why when it became clear to the opt out movement that they could not get the votes for opting out they shifted to trying to delay the decision. They knew that delaying would result in adult dispensaries moving to neighboring communities and because of the limited number of licenses available for our region of the state, result in all the licenses being used leaving none for Naperville.

      I am curious, do you consider the council voting to opt in a leadership failure? Did this decision show a lack of leadership? And if so why?

  7. Kevin Piket

    Jim, I really don’t care about that issue at all. I didn’t have a horse in the race as it has no affect on my life either way. I was merely pointing out how I thought it was ironic that the example of “good leadership” in your very thorough post happened to be a topic that you were very passionate about and spoke in front of the council on many times. You don’t see the irony?

    • Jim Haselhorst

      Irony – “the expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.”

      Exactly how does this word in anyway applied to any comment I have posted? There is nothing ironic about my using and example of good leadership that happened to also result in a decision favorable to the position I held.

      I choose the two examples I used because they were relatively recent events that drew a large number of people to participate in a council meeting (council meetings rarely get large turnouts). The reason a large group was relevant was because I was talking about the importance of good leaders doing what is best for the community and not what is getting spoken the loudest by the largest group.

      There were other issues I could have chosen to use as an example- the Islamic Center, Nichol’s Library, the 5th Avenue project among others, but no matter which ones I chose I still would have an opinion on the issue whether publicly know or not.

      In each example I did use I gave specific outcomes – results of the decision made, that clearly demonstrated the either positive of negative impacts on the community and that is what is relevant, not my personal publicly stated position on the issue.

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