On the surface, everything is pristine in ‘family-friendly’ Naperville, great schools, wonderful shopping excursions, top-notch restaurants, award-winning library system, state-of-the-art athletic programs, etc. But when you get below the surface, where the drain pipes reach into the sewer systems, it gets dirty at times as in dirty tricks against residents.
Over the years there have been some major issues, most notably the forced installation of so-called Smart Meters for electric, on the homes of residents, resulting in the residents being hand-cuffed and arrested for the simple act of protecting their homes and families. It made national news and ultimately cost the City of Naperville (taxpayers) huge dollar-settlements from lawsuits.
But the one issue that still eats away at residents, involved Naperville city officials not honoring the will of the voters in a land-slide referendum to change the way residents and businesses were represented.
Until the referendum in 2010, the city council members were elected by ‘at large’ representation, making it easier for less-than-competent council members to be re-elected, meaning council members could ‘hide among the trees’ as long as they could be among the top-four vote getting candidates.
In 2010, residents overwhelmingly voted by a nearly 2:1 ratio to approve District representation (28,236 to 14,593). Each of five districts would elect a representative in addition to three council members and the mayor would serve at-large. It required a ‘yes’ vote to make that happen. The referendum read as follows: “Shall the City of Naperville elect part of the council at large and part of the council from districts with staggered four year terms and biennial elections?”
City officials weren’t happy with the vote, so they finagled a do-over vote on the issue, which was written as follows: ” Shall the City of Naperville elect the City Council at large instead of part of the council at large and part of the council from districts?” In essence a ‘yes’ vote this time meant the opposite of a ‘yes’ vote on the original referendum.
The City of Naperville’s dirty trick worked. Confound and confuse voters. No district representation. The City’s actions were despicable. The process was rigged. The City may be family friendly, but it’s not voter friendly.