League Of Women Voters Of Naperville Wants Change For Filling Vacancies On Municipal Boards And Commissions

There was a time when the League of Women Voters wanted nothing more than to secure the right to vote. Over the years what they have wanted has expanded to include progressive public policy positions including:

  • Gun control
  • LGBT+ rights
  • Universal health care (Affordable Care Act)
  • Abolition of the death penalty
  • Opposing school vouchers
  • Reproductive choice

just to name a few.

Now their latest quest is to change the process used to fill vacancies on municipal advisory boards and commissions saying it “is not sufficiently open and transparent”, specifically the 40 positions up for appointment or reappointment on May 30th.

The current process has worked per city code where appointments to Naperville’s boards and commissions are made by the mayor and then confirmed by the city council. If it’s not broken, there is no need to fix it. It’s not as if the mayor is a dictator;  appointees need to be confirmed by the council. Why add another level of bureaucracy to accomplish what is already working? These are not paid ‘positions’, they are strictly volunteer.

Keep it simple, keep it efficient, it works.


Show 20 Comments


  1. Gerard H Schilling

    Now that we have a conservative mayor these socialist want to change the rules.

    • Joan Murray

      But Scott wherli claims he is non-partisan. Only the gullible actually believe he is.

      • Jim Haselhorst

        Belief in the idea that a person who is conservative (or liberal) can not be non-partisan is part of the problem in this county. This concept in and of itself insures that all elections will devolve into divisive political rhetoric.

        When I was young members of congress, both conservative and liberal, worked together on true compromise solutions to our nations problems. But since Reagan and his success in getting elected using divisive politics (he start the Republican In Name Only cancel culture within the GOP) this has become the new standard of acceptable behavior by politicians.

  2. Jim Haselhorst

    Questions about how these positions are filled has been around for many years, its not a new issue. But there are a few facts that don’t get the attention they should in this discussion.

    First these are advisory positions, that have no authority to establish city government policies, regulations or ordinances. A few have authority to enforce established ordinances, but most only provide advise, nothing more.

    Second these a voluntary unpaid positions. The people holding these advisory positions get nothing in terms of compensation and several are actually required to undergo periodic re-training or re-certification, which can take them away from their paying job for days.

    Third, all of these board/committees/commissions are required to comply with the Illinois Open Meeting Statue, which mean public notice of meetings are required and the meetings must be open to the public (unless the an agenda item to be discussing meeting the closed meeting requirements). Only matters falling under the close meeting guideline can be discussed in a closed meeting all others must be open to the public.

    Forth, all these voluntary city advisory organizations are required to provide public access to their meeting minutes for past meetings and agendas for future meetings.

    Fifth, the process for selections and appointment to these city advisory positions are done in the same manner as at the county, state and federal levels. If this process is transparent enough for these other government organizations then it is transparent enough for city government.

    Sixth, the names of potential candidates to fill these positions is publicly released in ever city council agenda at least a week in advance. Given everyone interested ample time to act as they feel necessary to either prevent or promote a candidates nomination.

    Seventh, being nominated by the mayor is not a slam dunk to getting council approval. The council’s decision to not approve is something we have seen with some of the mayor’s past nominations.

    Finally, making this process more complicating to supposedly improve transparency will only increase the chance of something happening which will delay filling vacancies with the result of these advisory bodies not having the members needed to meet the quorum requirements of the state to hold a meet. And not holding meetings means one less chance for citizen participation in government and possibly create problems for some city employees (i.e. pension boards, review boards, etc).

    There simply is no good reason to change this process, especially considering no one being able to provide a single example were the current process has failed to be transparent enough to give citizen ample opportunity to be part of this process.

    • Watchdog Admin

      Jim, your thoughts are well organized and very helpful. Thank you,

  3. Stop Pandering to Radical Activists

    The appointment process has worked well for 100 years. It did not go sideways until last year when a partisan councilman leaked names of candidates being considered by the mayor to political activists knowing full well his doing so would create a complete circus. How about the City keep the current system in place but censure councilmen that violate the confidence of the mayor before names under consideration are publicly released.

    it’s also worth noting that the LWV played as big of role as any in creating the before mentioned circus. They are the last group that should be running this idea.

    This is the definition of a 1st world problem. The city should focus its time and resources on real issues….not pandering to grandstanding from the politically disingenuous.

    • Jim Haselhorst

      I agree radical politics, both conservative and liberal, are the major problem with our political environment today. But you got a few things wrong.

      First the council member accused of having “leaked” the names of nominees actual did not such thing. They simply shared information that was contained in their copy of the city council agenda provided to them and latter published online. The city posts a copy of all city council meeting agendas online one week before the actual meeting. So anyone that is paying attention can become aware of the names of nominees a week before the meet. Also nominees are told in advance as well.

      Second state statue actually requires that only items listed on the agenda can be acted on during any council meeting and that this agenda must be published (publicly posted) at least 48 hours in advance of any meeting. This is more then enough time for anyone paying attention to organize the type of political action we saw a few years ago over some nominees.

      Third, your comment indicates you feel some confidence was violated. There is nothing confidential about open meetings of the city council. If this had been a closed session meeting agenda then maybe you could make this claim, but it wasn’t. And using a close meeting session to avoid any “political action” in this situation would violate state statue. The State Statue is very clear on what discussions can be limited to closed sessions and what must be discussed during open meetings.

      Have some members of city council demonstrated a stronger commitment to political ideologies then the best interests of the City of Naperville and our community as a whole? Yes, sadly they have. I say sadly mostly because anyone that knows the history of the long struggle in this country to make local elections (and governments) non-partisan and why people dedicated their lives to making this happen would be heartbroken by these efforts to make local government and elections partisan once again.

      Unfortunately, a few decades ago some elements of both the conservative and liberal politics decide if they could not get what they wanted on the federal or state level they should push to do it on the local government level. Both groups are guilty of misrepresenting these clearly highly nationally organized partisan political actions as “grassroots” efforts. They are not, they are just desperate to “win at all cost”. These groups do not really care about our community, they only care about getting media attention for their political agenda. They only care about themselves and their own best interests.

      • Safe suburbanite

        The naperville radical activists on the right and left are the issue. Unfortunately one of the right radical
        Activists was just elected to council. These problems seem more common now with all these PACS and “social welfare groups” in town who bring big money and money from outside naperville into town.

        • Jim Haselhorst

          I agree there has been a significant shift in local politics which involves large amounts of funds for campaigns coming from outside of our community in the latest elections.

          I do believe that Chirico did many good things for our community during his time as mayor, more positive then negative. But one big negative was introducing “career politician” campaign fundraising practices into city elections. He actively targeted large donor companies from outside of Naperville and held fund raising events more like those of career politicians. This was the main reason for my opposition to his running for mayor in the first place.

          When for years you have elections for local office were not spending more then a few thousand dollars to get elected is the norm and suddenly you have a candidate, that within months of announcing they are running for office, has a campaign fund with over $50K dollars to spend, that is a radical change in local election behavior.

          It is things like this that get people screaming about getting “big money” out of elections and calling for campaign finance reform laws that limit the amount that is spent as well as place restriction on allowable sources for these funds. Term limits are a backdoor solution to this problem that has not really born the fruit most people were hoping for.

          I personally support campaign finance reform that limits spending to a small fraction of the annual base salary of the office being campaigned for as well as eliminating the ability of campaigns to accept donations from anyone that is not a registered voter. Further, limit the total amount any single donor can give to a campaign for any specific run for office. Say for example the maximum amount any signal registered voter could donate to a candidate running in the 2024 election would be $2000. When the funds were donated would not matter (this year, last year, etc) only what election they are spent to finance would matter.

          Another change I would like to see happen is any PAC that has funds they have not obligate by the end of each year would have to be donated to a charitable foundation (obligated for donation to charities by January 1st and donation completed within a couple of weeks as well as not to another PAC or issue related non-profit). This would keep them from building up big “war chests” during the years between elections, further limiting campaign spending.

          I do not see anything in any of these changes that violating any ones constitutional right. They do not prevent anyone from exercising these rights only placing reasonable limits on them, like we do with free speech for example with respect to hate speech.

  4. NaperLadies


    Why is it the LWV never discusses ethics reform in IL? Why is it Laura Ellman, Anne Stava-Murray, or Yang never mention it? Mike Connelly and Grant Wherli discussed it countless times in local town hall meetings. The three current worthless elected officials from our area never broach the subject. What are they afraid of? I never see local gadfly’s Dianne McGuire or Nancy Turner discuss it either.

    Why do they avoid the subject?

    • Jim Haselhorst

      Politicians talking points come mostly from three sources. The issues that are constantly being discussed in the media, communications from their constituency and political consults/strategist.

      Ethics reform at the state and local level in Illinois is not an issue that gets discussed much by voters or media discussion, it is something that (in Illinois) the political strategist tell the GOP and it officiasl to keep pushing on because of Madigan. The further Madigan gets away in the review mirror the less even they will be discussing this issue. But in other states where their “Madigan” is a Republican the Democrats discuss this issue a lot.

      So it not so much a matter of fear, as it is a matter of what voters want to hear from the people they elected (the talking points they were elected on). Come next election how many of these talking points they actually took some action on its what voters will rate them on not old or new issues they have failed to address or discuss.

  5. Anonymous


    I can’t believe Naperville spent $400,000 on new clothing for fire fighters because of “forever chemicals.” Stupidest thing ever. Do any of those idiots read anything besides Mother Jones and that left wing conspiracy group Environmental Working Group? The city should not cave into to this stupidity and rescind this dumb decision

    • Jim Haselhorst

      So are you part of Naperville’s Volunteer Fire Department? Because I am sure that if you were and you insisted on wearing the older less protective and safer gear they would be more then welcome to let you do so.

      Remember Naperville’s fire fighters have a union which has a lot to say about what the city it obligated to provide it members under the terms of their contract.

  6. Anonymous

    Nice dodge Jimmy. You don’t even attempt to address the science, which says a lot.
    Funny how the lefties are all about the science when it was COVID. Again, why does the Union hack get to dictate crappy science?

    • Jim Haselhorst

      What dodge? The gear in question contains chemicals that are carcinogenic. That’s what the science says!!! I thought since you raised the issue you would have done your homework, reviewed the science and be aware of this fact.

      Yes, Naperville could challenge this science by refusing to replace this gear creating a serious legal liability for the future should any firefighter develop cancer as well as with the union for not fulfilling the city’s contractual requirement to make sure they provide firefighters with safe equipment.

      The millions in taxpayer dollars these legal liabilities would create are nothing compared to the cost of simply replacing the gear now.

      But, hey, glad to see your sticking to your guns of trying to marginalize the views and statements of anyone you disagree with rather than engaged in a rational, informed discussion of the issues. Have you considered a job with Brietbart, the NY Post or maybe NewsMax, since they do prefer to hire people that practice your type of “open mindedness” and zeal for the “truth”?

  7. Anonymous

    You clearly didn’t read the article. If you did, you would know the science says no such thing. You obviously have no clue what you are talking about. The risk to firefighters is not what they wear but what they breathe. You need to educate yourself.

    • Jim Haselhorst

      Actually I didn’t read just one article on the matter, I read several. Since one article might skip or marginalize a detail that is in fact important to the issue being discussed.

      The PFAS/PFOA materials used in this gear have been extensively studies. And yes, these studies concluded that they can cause cancer, kidney disease and several other health issues.

      I know, your going to say, but they are solid materials that are not absorbed through skin, eating or breaths. Yes & No. All materials “outgas” to varying degress depending on environmental condidtions. In the case of these materials, which are regularly exposed to high temperatures, outgassing, is significant.

      These higher then normal temps both weaken and break the structural bonds between the molecules that keep them together causing them to outgas and form into a vapor long after being removed from the environment that triggers the outgassing process. So they can be ready breathed in by the person wearing these materials long after leaving a fire, say while seated in a fire truck returning to the fire station.

      Again, understanding the issue frequently involves doing more then simply reading one article.

      • Anonymous

        And again, you fail to understand the science and the lawyers behind this scare tactic trying to drum up more lawsuits, but I’d expect no less from you. Horrible waste of tax dollars. The fire department would be far better off making sure their firemen didn’t breath in toxic smoke from fires (which is of far greater concern) than some nebulous BS about forever chemicals. But then again you don’t understand risk assessment.

  8. Jim Haselhorst

    So exactly what scientific reports have you read that say these chemicals are not toxic? Where is the link to these reports? I ask because I have not been able to find a single scientific study of these “forever chemicals” that says they are safe.

    Sorry but if you are going to deny decades of scientific studies and then claim I do not understand the science (as a trained and educated scientist) then it is your judgement and statements I have to treat as “nebulous BS”.

    As to risk assessment I have both training as a scientist that work with hazardous chemicals and waste on a daily for almost 10 years. As well as experience in both business and statistical analysis of risk assessment in lab and business environments. Have you ever constructed a decision (Logical probability) tree? I know how to both assess risk as well a mitigate it.

    But nice try using your usual tactic of marginalizing and attempting to bully anyone that disagrees with you and supports their argument with actual facts and scientific data, which you lack.

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