A Big, Blue & Gaudy Sign of the Times


It is always interesting to see which issues trigger the ire of residents. Sometimes it’s the little things…other times, such as in this case, its a big, blue, gaudy thing…namely the sign Naperville taxpayers just spent $100,000 to erect along the Naperville’s border abutting Bolingbrook.

The response to this new sign from residents has not been kind. Numerous social media posts have discussed this sign. The comments about the sign have been overwhelmingly negative.

The budget for this controversial sign was approved in October 2022. Some on council now were not there in 2022. One councilman who was there, Councilman Ian Hozhauer, vigorously pushed for a significant increase to the budget to accommodate the purchase of this sign and other “beautifications”. See clip below.

In recent years the City of Naperville budget has exploded in size and scale. This subject will be the focus of an article coming soon. In the grand scheme of things, the cost of this sign is a pittance. Its an immaterial part of the City budget. What makes it triggering is the apparent needlessness of it. It begs the question….

If they spent $100,000 on this, what else do they spend money on?

Our taxes are simply punishing. We swallow paying these high taxes with the expectation that the money being spent is spent on items the City needs to maintain our quality of life.

With this sign, we were all just given bright, blue evidence that all of the items being paid purchased are most definitely not needed to maintain our quality of life in Naperville.

Hopefully next time around, Councilman Holzhauer keeps our tax bills in mind before jumping to hand staff a blank check – and a greenlight – to spend our tax money on frivolities such as this unpopular sign.


See clip of Holzhauer here Signage

Show 10 Comments


  1. Gerard H Schilling

    This waste of money comes in second after the hiring of a DEI (Diversity Equity and Inclusion) director for a 100+ salary. Don’t know if our non-voting citizens realize the utilities and school districts just raised our rates and taxes 5+% effective Jan 1st. We have become economic slaves to crazy politicians and illegal aliens.

  2. Richard Swanson

    Why would Ian care about the cost? He doesn’t pay local property taxes.

  3. james haselhorst

    As I stated in an earlier reply on another watch dog post. This amount is nothing compared to the $450,000 given indirectly to a developer to “preserve” the Kroehler mansion.

    Anyone that has gone past this “development” in the last couple of years can see nothing has been done to restore or preserve this building other then the removal of parts of the building associated with the demolition of other buildings connected to it on this property.

    Naperville residents have nothing to show for this massive expense. When and if this “restoration” ever happens Naperville residents will have zero rights to access what their tax dollars paid for since it will be a private residence.

    This sign and other questionable expenditures, does not even come close to the waste on display at this “development”.

    I have zero doubt, that considering nothing is being done to protect this mansion, that it will be allowed to continue to deteriorate until it reachs a point were the developer will go to city council and claim it is no longer possible to save this building and it needs to be torn-down (as was attempted with the Nichols Library).

    As to increases in property taxes. I will point out that only a small fraction of the city budget is actually funded by property taxes. The amount of property taxes going to the city is actually less then goes to the Park District, which has one of the highest paid public servants in DuPage county as its head, a person that is paid more then the Naperville city manager. Further it is the school districts that are the dominate force behind significant increase in property taxes along with the Naperville Township Assessor who has made significantly raising property assessment values an annual event.

  4. Joan Murray

    We love the sign and we support DEI!

  5. Bill McCormick

    @James – your comment is a great example of whataboutism. Assume all the cited expenses are wasteful. Does that mean people aren’t entitled to comment about the Bolingbrook-facing welcome sign? (Which has a mini-cousin on the northwest bank of the railroad tracks as they pass over Washington Ave.)

    Spending money is what politicians do. It’s how they wield power. It’s up to “we the people” to keep them in check and we apparently don’t care enough to do so.

    Great site, @ Watchdog! Thanks for helping.

    • james haselhorst

      My comment is not whataboutism.

      The Mansion is an example of public ambiguity over city expenditures like this, that receive almost no comment, even though it was a much greater expense and was discussed in greater detail a multiply city council meeting. This gives the impression that taxpayers are okay with the city spending any amount for something that they can’t see or access. It only bothers then when they can see it, reminding them of the cost.

      From my experience less then 1% of Naperville residents watch city council meeting in one of the many forms it is available (besides attending they can be watched live on cable and online, as well as viewed anytime online). Even fewer actually read the meeting agenda. And I have yet to meet someone who has read the city check ledger showing actual expenditures between meeting that was not a previous or current city council or staff member.

      Every meeting the council uses the omnibus procedure to approve ten of millions of dollars in expenditures with absolutely no discussion. This is how expenditures like this happen.

      If you don’t pay attention close enough to voice your concerns until after the expenditure is approved (while you are still in a position to possibly stop it) then why do you even bother commenting after the fact. Do you really think the city council cares about the comments of a handful of residents after the fact?

      If people really care how city “politicians” “wield” this “power” then its up to “we the people” to keep them in check at these meetings, before these costs are approved, before this “power” is wielded.

      Waiting until after the fact is like crying over spilled milk. It might make you feel better but it changes nothing.

      Again, anyone seriously concerned about how the city spends the few property tax dollars they collect from a property owners needs to be more engaged by watching city council meeting, speaking out during public speaking periods during these meeting (send comment to council to be read at meeting, etc, emailing council member about concerns before the meetings (the agenda, ledger and other documents are accessible online prior to all meetings).

      Finally, things like this sign that get approved during the meeting can only be seen as an architectural rendering, since they don’t exist yet. And anyone that has seen one of these rendering then compared it to what is built know, these renderings always look way better.

    • james haselhorst

      Nothing in your posts have anything to do with the topic under discussion. There are other watch dog posts that these articles would be related to and they should have been posting in these more appropriate discusses.

  6. Bill McCormick

    Is your names James or Karen? ?

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