March has its Final Four in basketball, and Naperville has its Final Three in the mayors race. Naperville mayor Steve Chirico decided not to run for re-election, which he most likely would have won for a third term if he was so inclined. He gave us a great eight years of strong leadership.
That opens the door of opportunity for mayoral candidates councilman Benny White, newcomer Tiffany Stephens, and lifetime resident Scott Wehrli. Watchdog’s choice for mayor was easy, first of all by eliminating one; Tiffany Stephens. She is an advocate of the Joe Biden strategy of winning an election by not campaigning. It worked for sleepy Joe, so it could work for her, though I seriously doubt it.
She started out by needing approval to run by Naperville’s Electoral (three-member) Board, when the issue of residency was challenged. By a vote of 2 to 1 she was approved to remain on the ballot. She was represented by an attorney, making it so she didn’t have to speak much, leaving it up to someone else to present her case. Once confirmed on the ballot, she all but disappeared from campaigning, including not participating in mayoral candidate forums. If she was elected, Naperville doesn’t need a mayor who is a no-show during city council meetings. A candidate is either in it to win it, or simply a spectator. Stephens appears to be a spectator.
That leaves Benny White and Scott Wehrli. Both appear more than qualified, both look great in uniform, White in the military, Wehrli with local law enforcement, both have handsome looking families, , both participated in mayoral forums providing politically correct answers to bland questions; so is there any differentiation?
White has experience on the city council, while Wehrli has experience in owning and building a company; bingo, that’s the difference. That is what has made Mayor Chirico successful as mayor, and there is no reason to think that Wehrli would not be successful. Wehrli was born and raised in Naperville, has been active in numerous non-elected Naperville groups and activities, never running for public office.
Watchdog endorses Scott Wehrli for Mayor of Naperville. He is the right person, for the right job, at the right time.