Another Council Member Wants To Leave Naperville City Council

February 4th, Naperville city council member Patty Gustin announced she was running as a Republican for a seat on the DuPage County Board in District 5 in the June 28th primary. Now, exactly one month later March 4th, another Naperville city council member, Jennifer Bruzan Taylor, announced she is running as a Republican for state representative in the 41st District in the June 28th primary. She joins council member, Paul Leong, also looking to escape the Naperville city council by running for the Illinois House 81st District. If any win their primary, they would run in the November 8th election.

Taylor has been on the city council less than one year, barely enough time for a second cup of coffee. Four council members were elected to the council in 2021, with Taylor coming in fourth place, beating the 5th place candidate by a mere 57 votes: far from a strong vote of confidence.

When Taylor ran for city council, she had a laundry list of commitments to voters including:

  • Promote local business
  • Protect public safety
  • Responsible development
  • Keep Naperville moving forward
  • Ensue everyone has their voice heard
  • Make Naperville prosperous
  • Protect small business and help them survive
  • Create new public/private partnerships to invest in local business
  • Create uses for empty store fronts
  • Address traffic issues
  • Advocate for attainable housing
  • Reduce permit and impact fees
  • Increase the number of staff in the police department
  • Insure NPD has the equipment they need

This list may have helped her get elected to the council, however if Taylor is unable to defend accomplishing this list, it likely will prevent her from getting elected as a state representative.

Taylor has narrowed her focus on this upcoming campaign to three issues:

  • Reforming the Department of Children and Family Services
  • Public safety
  • The economy

The best way to predict the future is to look at the past. Taylor can’t rely on what she said she was going to do, if she hasn’t done it.

Show 17 Comments


  1. Jim Haselhorst

    It is not surprising to see these three council members running for other county and state elected offices. They were all supported by former councilmen Wehrli and Coyne in their council elections.

    It has became clear that the Republican party in Naperville is more interested in winning elections then actually getting government officials elected that will do the jobs they are elected to do.

    Republicans seem to be currently suffering from an identity crisis that they seem to believe will be solve by “winning” elections rather then getting people elected that will implement good governance and do what is best for the community and not serve the best interests and agenda of the GOP.

  2. Roger

    Oh what a bunch of baloney Haselhorst.

    • Jim Haselhorst

      Are you denying that the Republican party and its members in Naperville had anything to do with these three members of city council getting elected?

      Or are you denying that the latest two members have not served even a full year in their current council position before looking to leave?

      Or are you claiming these latest members have actually played a significant role in enacting any council policies during this time that was in anyway salient to city governance? If so please provide a list of these significant accomplishments.

      The most significant work these last two have done since being sworn in is self promotion. Clearly they only choose to get elected to council to further their political “careers”. And only do what is in the best interest of Naperville residents when it does not conflict with what is in their own best interests.

      The only reason I would like to see them complete their terms and not be elected to another office is to keep them for taking this same attitudes to an elected positions were it would have a wider negative impact on the citizens of this state.

      Oh and Roger, if you want people to take you seriously and as being sincere, it is best accomplished by putting yourself out there, providing full disclosure of who you are and what you stand for rather then using media outlets in a way that allows you to remain anonymous.

  3. Kevin Coyne

    Jim, Janet Yang Rohr did the same thing….ran for State Rep right after being elected to school board fir first time…was it ok then but wrong now?

    Local Democratic Party orgs and activists supported all of the Ds on council. Why does it matter that R groups snd activists supported Leong and Taylor?

    Please list the pre-election accomplishments of Ellman, Rohr or any of the other recent D victors’ whom have been elected to higher office recently. Jennifer’s resume squashes all of theirs.

    I think the identity crisis lays on the left. It’s amusing how many D candidates are already running ads touting support for police after years of voting against them and throwing them under the bus. Amazing how their political ideology changes with the latest polling.

    • Jim Haselhorst

      Seriously? Your comparing (equating) a School Board member with a member of Naperville City Council? Why not throw in Naperville Park District Commissioner as well?

      The reality is that school boards do not set land use policies. They do not set building codes and other statues (ordinances). They do not govern Naperville Police and Fire Departments or any other public safety organizations. They don’t govern over the two major Enterprise Departments of our City, the Electrical and Water utilities. The don’t set retail sales tax, food and beverage tax, home rule sales tax, real estate transfer tax, etc. They don’t engage in public funding through bond issues, government grants, TIFs, etc. In short, while these other local government organizations do govern a special segment of our community they do not really provide either the exposure, experience or opportunities to improve a community that city government provides.

      The fact is members of the various city commissions, committees, boards, etc, while advisory in nature, have greater impact on community development, growth, quality of life, etc then any of these other local government organizations including county government.

      Nice attempt at trying to change the discussion, but this thread is about people getting elected to local government for the sole purpose of using these offices as stepping stones to build up their resume’ for their political careers rather then doing what they were elected to do.

      As I pointed out none of these new members of city council (that you as a card caring member of the GOP promoted, financed and endorsed for city council) have actually done anything significant as a city council member during the less then a year they have held office. And I am not at all surprised you would take this opportunity to throw shade at the more recently elected members of city council that are focused on doing what they were elected to do and not get elected to some other office, considering you did the same thing to them when they were running for city council (i.e. not surprise you haven’t changed your spots).

      As to the Democrats, liberal, lefts, etc not supporting law enforcement that is simply a bunch of political BS and you know (or at least I think you are smart enough to know it considering you are not just another dumb Trumpster since the candidate you support was not Trump in the GOP primary).

      Yes, they did a poor job in selecting a political slogan, when they went with “defund the police” but this movement was never about actually defunding law enforcement, it was about shifting funding within law enforcement from hiring more police officer to hiring more trained professionals in de-escalating domestic situations. A rational idea considering that roughly 50% of all the calls local law enforcement handles are domestic in nature. Doing this puts a person on the scene of these domestic disputes that can offer more then simply arresting someone (which is all that a police office can really do). And arresting someone actually does more to escalate these situations then de-escalate them. So there really has not been any political ideology change just a change in GOP rhetoric.

      Having a police department with the diversified set of skill professionals and using them in the proper environment or situation (parking enforcement, criminal investigations, public relations, street enforcement and yes domestic disturbance) is what enhances public safety not arresting everyone and letting the courts sort it out. As the old saying going when all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail.

      In fact you yourself, on city council, have voted for and supported the police department hiring more of exactly these kind of skilled professionals. Ironic that you should choose to slam democrats (“the left”) for supporting something you yourself have voted for.

      Finally as to county board elections and candidate qualifications, the simply reality is it requires more to get elected to Naperville city government (and most of the surrounding city governments) then it does to get elected to a county board or county government. Just looking at the sheriff offices in county government you can see that. There is not a single elected sheriff in any county that can hold a candle to the Chief of Police in Naperville or any other city with a populations close to that of a county. You get professionally run government by hiring professionals to run government not by electing politicians that are more focused on their “political careers” then on doing the job they were elected to do.

  4. Kevin coyne

    Jim I’m not going to dive into your long winded and personal attacking rant. But in summary, yes I seriously do put school board elections on par with city council elections and so would anyone else that understands local government. The school boards control the largest part of our tax bill and have the largest say over how our kids are educated and protected at school. I’m surprised you would belittle the role in such a cavalier fashion.

    • Jim Haselhorst

      I would challenge the claim that the school board controls the largest part of a citizen’s tax bill. Yes, they control the largest part of the property tax bill but that is only one part of the many taxes citizens pay. The amount the school board gets in funding through property taxes is paled by the amount citizens pay to the city government thru the monthly electrical, water, waste water and trash bills.

      As you pointed out, the school board only impacts part of our community, the public education part, which while important, does not impact the quality of life in our community nearly as much as building codes, land use ordinances, public safety, street maintenance, etc. And as you should also not over 60% of Naperville household do not have children (senior, single, empty nester, etc)

      Finally your own actions tell your true view of which is more important since you spent a lot of time trying to first get elected to city council and then stay on city council. And now trying to get elected to county government. During this whole time you have never once tried to get elected to any school board and you are one of those 40% of households in Naperville that actually has a child, a child actually in school.

    • Asafonie Obed

      Is this why your pushing Shannon Adcock to the SECA board? She had a failed school board race so now you want to promote her elsewhere? I see you’ve also taken a page from her book by deleting comments on your post of those who don’t agree with you. I’ll be sure to use your words against you.

  5. Kevin Coyne

    Just because a household doesn’t have children doesn’t mean they don’t have skin in the game as to how the school districts perform. Our strong schools drive our property values and, to be blunt, are a large reason why many with school age kids have not fled our poorly run and over taxed state. If our public schools ever fade here I believe the negative impacts would be sweeping.

    Jim, I didn’t run for President of the United States either…that doesn’t mean I don’t think its important. I predict school board races in coming cycles will gain dramatically increased attention in coming cycles for a host of reasons. The development questions have driven a lot of attention to council over the years. There are not many of those cases left to decide (we have don’t have a whole lot of land left).

    • Jim Haselhorst

      There are roughly three dozen cities in the Chicago area besides Naperville, none of which have schools even close to as good as those in Naperville and these communities have not seen a mass exodus because of “our poorly run and over taxed state”. This has been the standard political slogan of the Republican party in Illinois for decades but the fact is the situation is about a lot more then just schools, taxes and state government. Again if these all that mattered in making these decision Naperville itself would not have such a large population of senior citizens. They would all simply move to Florida were there are no taxes or Mississippi were the cost of living is the lowest in the US.

      If there were going to be a mass exodus the past couple of years would have been the most likely time for this to happen because of all the businesses going to Remote Work which allows employees to live anywhere in the US and still do their jobs. If it were all about the schools these people would have move to communities in other states that have far better schools then Naperville.

      The only reason there was an increased interest in school boards this last couple of years was because of mask mandates and remote learning not because of school curriculum.

      My prediction is that in a couple of years there will be even less engagement with local school boards then before the Pandemic. The only real reason parents go so involved in school board decision recently is because remote learning meant losing the “daycare” utility that in school learning provided parents and once the risk of that happening again has gone so will the interest by all these parents about what is happening in these schools.

      Again you yourself, with a child in these schools, did not consider being involved with what was happening important enough to run for a school board position or even regularly attend school board meetings. And please don’t use that lame “I didn’t run for governor either” line to marginalize the importance of this point.

  6. Kurt Dorr

    You need to get out more Jim. Illinois is losing congressional seats in each census and will continue to do so to Sun Belt states. Fact is, Illinois is becoming more irrelevant every day to states like FL and TX.

    Shannon Adcock would be a great addition to any board in Naperville. At least she’s not a drunk that could have potentially killed someone. Funny how you lefties never mention that. I guess it’s ok to appoint a drunk to a Naperville Board since she meets the “DEI” mandate, but whoa God forbid we appoint someone that we don’t like politically!

  7. Jim Haselhorst

    Districts are apportioned by populations and there are a variety of reasons for state apportions per populations to change beside people moving out of state. For example the US population has been growing at a rate of around 10% each census. If a state with a large population, like Illinois, grows a significantly slower rate or ever stays the same it can result in the lose of districts. In fact the population of Illinois has been growing on every census including the 2010 census. The 2020 census is the first census that actually shows a population decline.

    Illinois isn’t the only state losing a district. West Virginia and five other states are losing districts. Colorado is one the the state along with Texas, Florida and three other states gaining districts.

    So concluding Texas and Florida are gaining in relevant based solely on congressional districts makes not sense. Florida does not even have a city in the top 10 by populations with Miami racking 41st. And there is no denying that large cities dominate politics.

    As to Shannon and the liquor commissioner, not sure why you brought this up on this page because we had this conversation on Facebook. Do you really want to repeat it here?

  8. Pedro

    Grammar Altert –> City Council Watch Dog, it’s ensure, not insure. Criticisms must be grammatically correct before they are considered.

    • watchdog

      Pedro, it’s ‘alert’, not ‘altert’. Just trying to help.

  9. Pedro

    City Council Watch Dog,

    You got me! Great catch! Your the best! – Pedro

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