Naperville #1

Naperville is at the top of the charts again according to Naperville comes in high in virtually every statistic. Ours is a City with much to be proud of … and much to protect.

Through the years the Watchdog has been a harsh critic of council members. We hold council to a high standard … with good reason. Those who have taken on the responsibility of representing a city that is of the quality of Naperville should be held to a high standard. We should expect them all to be intelligent, diligent, reasonable people. We will not hesitate to point it out when any of them fail to meet this standard.

We urge voters to follow our lead. Stay on top of this group and our new Mayor. The Watchdog recently gave this group (or at least 7 out of 9 of them) very solid grades. But as we saw with Longenbaugh’s disastrous “it’s only $115,000” remark, things can change quickly on the dais, as can council grades.

Too often this council appears as a mini-Springfield. 4 Rs and 4 Ds with a largely moderate, nonpartisan sounding Mayor in the middle. We should call out partisan games and pandering to the steady stream of activist groups who now parade into our council meetings with regularity.

You will not find a top ranked city that is governed by progressive activists. Naperville would be like Portland, Oregon if the League of Women Voters had their way. Nor will you find a top city comprised of officials wearing red Trump hats. Let’s stay on this council and pressure them to focus on the boring ol’ management of the day to day affairs of one of America’s top cities.

National politics and partisan rancor should be left at the door.

Show 20 Comments


  1. Bill McCormick

    Thankful to live in Naperville. Safe. Good schools. Parks and amenities. Diverse and robust economy. Vibrant downtown.

    All that said, rankings are based on looking in the rear-view mirror. Past performance is not a guarantor of future results. I applaud The Watchdog’s efforts to hold our officials accountable.
    We must do the same at the polls. And it would be good to volunteer for those entities that address what we like most about Naperville.

  2. Jim Haselhorst

    Naperville has been consistently ranking in the top ten on Niche surveys in many areas for decades now. This is because Niche surveys are based on data that is the result of years of past decisions by various local government (not just city officials and council). To really understand what this means one has to actually take the time to read how this study makes this determination, what data it collects and how it is analyzed. Doing this makes it clear, it would take many years of very bad decisions by government officials across the board (county, city, park district, school board, etc) to radically change this ranking, which is basically the polar opposite of what this Watchdog post implies.

    For example, a major component of this study is public safety, which collects data on crime in our community. These rates are the result of decades of decision by city government on hiring, training, retention, etc of the highest quality of law enforcement professionals. Based on this data Niche’s ranking of Naperville in this area is among the best, which why our community does so good in Niche ranks for best city to live in, raise a family in and safest city to live in.

    If, however, you listened to what Kevin Coyne has to say about crime rates in our community for the last half a dozen years you would concluded Naperville is over run by crime. Thankfully Niche does not rely on Coyne for Naperville crime data.

    Since Bill McCormick mentions diverse, it is interesting to note that Niche constantly ranks Naperville near the bottom of its studies for diversity in a city. Yet some how this community thinks that DEI is a waste of city resources. Just think how much better ranked Naperville would be if it fixed its diversity problem.

    • Bill McCormick

      Jim Haselhorst, your reference to my comment was disingenuous at best since I clearly used “diverse” as an descriptor of Naperville’s economy.

      But since you brought up the subject of DEI, I’ll address that. Maybe someday a study would be useful. But not now. Naperville is not welcoming of racial minorities. Any parent of a black child can tell you that. High school discipline statistics, as reported by the Tribune, and anecdotal evidence of school treatment are consistent and supportive. Teaching LBGTQ+ acceptance? The schools do this thoroughly. Promoting racial harmony and reducing prejudice? Not so much.

      If we’re serious about improving DEI, let’s start with the schools. The data already exists. The will to act does not. A new DEI study will merely be an exercise in admiring the problem.

      • Jim Haselhorst

        First I will point out that the School Districts in Naperville are separate government bodies from the City and neither of Naperville’s school districts have DEI policies or staffing.

        Second DEI is about Employer/Employee environment not about the Organization/Client (i.e School/Student) environment, which is the relationship you’re talking about.

        Third until you have a DEI attitude in the work place you can not get equity in the student body. The School staff control the student environment and when they are busy watching their own backs the amount of attention they can give to watching the backs of their students is minimal at best.

        Finally, if you want to correct the equity problems with the schools you need to start with the school districts and district board meetings. Since this page is about city governance and not about school governance perhaps you could start by establish a similar “School Board Watch Dog” site to bring focus on the issues at Naperville schools the way this site does for city government.

        Its easy to find and point out the problems, the hard part is figuring out a workable solution and getting everyone on board to execute that solutions. But as they say the way to insure failure is to never try!

    • Bill McCormick

      @Jim Haselhorst:

      ? Societal problems do not align themselves with governmental structure; they merely exist.
      ? Money is fungible. The ultimate source for all government programs is the taxpayer.
      ? Based on Tribune data and personal experience, alternatives to a Naperville City Government DEI study would seem to offer a better return (i.e., greater utility). These alternatives include efforts to shape community values and to improve equity, inclusion and belonging (EIB) at community schools.
      ? Council has the authority to implement programs that target community youth. Such programs could be done in cooperation with community school districts (or not).
      ? A DEI study is not a pre-requisite to action. The school districts have no control over their racial and ethnic composition. An EIB study would be more useful, but not a pre-requisite.
      ? Condescension is never a good choice. Especially when one’s arguments are lacking in data and logic.

      • Jim Haselhorst

        My comments about DEI were in reference to school district staffing not student body. Again staffing affects student body environment, so DEI applied to school staffing will impact the student body.

        I made not comments about funding so I am not sure what the point of all your funding comments are about.

        Government policy do in fact impact social environment. Just look at all the recent social impact of government policies on issues like abortion, IVF, book bans, etc.

        Again the school district is a separate government body from the city. These separate bodies can not tell each other how to do their jobs. Yes, they can take action that might encourage other government bodies to act in certain way but they do not require change.

        Finally, if you look at both 203 and 204 website you will see they basically do have your EIB programs and they do not seem to be working based on comment by parent on this site and social media sites.

    • Joan Murray

      Spot on. Nobody sees Safe suburbs as a reliable not-partisan source. Safe suburbs and even josh mcbroom downplayed the high rankings of naperville safety before the last election. Mcbroom even
      went on AM radio with Dan Proft and mocked how the timing of these safety rankings came out right before the election…he alluded to a conspiracy that maybe JB was behind it. Well that’s a lot of self importance by mcbroom that he thinks JB is trying to meddle in Naperville city council elections to defeat him.

      Now mcbroom wants to take credit for the rankings. Typical politician

  3. Paul Ramone

    100% true. Woke comes from “Critical Theory.” “Critical Theory” is obsessed with the “Victim vs Oppressor” narrative. It doesn’t work. And most ironically, it most harms the “marginalized” groups it professes to “help.” Of course, in the end it’s all a cover story for bigger government, higher taxes, and politically corrupted groups. Everyplace where the benighted “progressives” ideas and concepts take hold, the result is ALWAYS the same: disorder, disorganization, chaos, and ruin. Does this stop “Progressives”? Never. No matter how much the their policies fail, they never stop because their policies consolidate power in their hands, and that is the end goal. Naperville MUST resist the big government, big taxes, political corruption of the benighted “progressives.”

    • Jim Haselhorst

      Progressives got Women the vote in this country. Progressives got black people the vote in this country. Progressives are also responsible for civil rights, social security, public schools, public libraries and many more things that provide us the quality of life we live in this country today but so many take for granted.

      I will point out that at the time of its founding, by Lincoln, the Republican Party was considers a progressive party and the Democratic Party was considered a conservative party. Political parties evolve just like the society they exist in. That change, that advancement and improvement process, is by definition a progressive process.

      Progressive thinking is a natural part of social evolution. A society that consists only of conservative (status quo) thinking is a society that stagnants and quickly falls behind all other societies until it becomes irrelevant and eventual collapses.

      Finally, higher education is completely about the progressive process and progressive thinking. These institutions around the world are among the most successful and sought after organization in every society were they exist, which is why progressive thinking is perused by so many other organizations. Other then higher education the most successful organizations are businesses that are always pursuing innovation, progressive ideas, and progressive (out of the box) thinking.

      Anyone that sincerely believes Progressive thinking is about “disorder, disorganization, chaos, and ruin” simple does not know or understand what Progressive thinking is about.

      As to big government, the US government has seen its greatest growth in terms of budget (spending, including deficient spending), organizations, staffing, political appointees, etc under Republican (conservative) administrations not Democratic (progressive) administrations. In fact the only time the US government has operated under a balanced or ever a surplus budget in the last 100 years has been under a progressive administrations.

      Progressive find the problems, figure out a solution, execute that solution and fix the problems. Conservative ignore problems, make excuses for them, blame others for them and do nothing to fix the problem because they want to campaign on them not solve them.

      • Sam Nelson

        Lenin and Mao were progressives. I guess they didn’t know what “progressive thinking was all about.” What a buffoon.

        • Jim Haselhorst

          Lenin advocated for a “form” of communism he called the “dictatorship of the proletariat”. There is nothing progressive about any form of dictatorship. Mao shared Lenin’s view in this saying “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun”. Mao was more about Totalitarianism the progressiveness.

    • Jim Haselhorst

      No one is talking about lowering any standards.

      Statements like this actually have an inherit racist tone to them by implying that only “whites” are capable of meeting high social standards.

      In reality meeting these standards has nothing to do with race and everything to do with policies that limit access and opportunity based on race. There are lots of diverse qualified candidates for almost all positions but policies can limit the chances these candidates will apply for the job.

      For example a city that only advertised position openings in publications & media outlets that do not include publication or media outlet more common in certain ethnic communities. This limits access to these hiring opportunities to member of these communities. Increasing the chance that qualified candidates from these communities will not become applicants for these openings.

      There are a lot of subtle ways a policy can unintentionally limit the applicant pool and filter out qualified candidates. Things like DEI programs and policies are intend to help identify these policies and change them so that a more diverse yet qualified applicant pool comes about whenever a position becomes open.

  4. Paul Ramone

    My comment referred specifically to the ruin brought about the ideas and concepts of “Critical Theory,” which are – Victim vs Oppressor framing of every issues, that “Oppressors” have rigged the game totally and completely, that there is no natural truth ONLY the accumulation and application of power, that you rank “victims” by their immutable characteristics, not their individual actions, and above all “Equity,” which “Progressives” mean the outcomes THEY want. If one can’t see the inherent disorder and chaos those ideas and concepts bring, and wrought, specifically in the twentieth century, then one isn’t trying very hard.

    Instead the response to my comment was, in essence, “Hey, Progress is good!” That’s a side-step away from the point I made, probably intentionally.

    DEI and “Critical Theory” are the operating system of “Progressives.” Those ideas and concepts do not work, never have, and never will. We should recognize it when we see it, turn, and run.

    • Jim Haselhorst

      Critical race theory is an academic concept that is more than 40 years old, taught at the college level and only in Law Schools as its fundamental tenant is that laws are the way racial prejudices are perpetuated. The core idea is that race is a social construct, and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies.

      This is a discussion about the history of the legal system and laws/policies in the US, like laws that required passing a test before being allowed to register to vote, separating children into dramatically different school systems base on ethnicity, sundown laws, etc. create and re-enforce racism. These are all examples of primary racial laws and policies many of which were addressed in the last century. But there are still secondary and tertiary laws & policies that indirectly target people base as a result of their ethnicity while not actually being based on ethnicity.

      These secondary and tertiary laws and policies are still a prevalent problem in the US today. A common example of a secondary policies that directly affects people based on their ethnicity without directly targeting ethnicity is the “legacy” college admission system. This gives the children of people that graduated from a college preferential admission treatment but since almost all colleges in the US use to have policies that prevented enrollment based on ethnicity, these colleges have a “legacy” population that is racially biased. This means that for people of certain races the “legacy” system is closed to them. Creating, in some case, a catch 22 situation.

      Since it is will documented that level of education directly impact a person’s future financial status this results in financial policies that are tertiary racial in nature by limiting access to thing like mortgages, retirement funding, healthcare, etc while again not directly targeting ethnicity.

      These secondary and tertiary “racial” laws and policies are not the figments of anyone’s imagination or ideologies, they are hard core realities in the US today.

      • Paul Ramone

        Critical Race Theory is a sub of Critical Theory, as is Critical Feminism, Critical Queer Theory, Critical Fat Studies, Critical Disability Studies, etc, etc. All are subs, children if you will, of the parent Critical Theory. CT dates back to Germany in the 1920s. It’s typically referred to as the Frankfurt School.

        Western intellectuals couldn’t understand why the Russian marxist revolution hadn’t come to Western Europe. They decided that it was because the culture of the western societies lulled the people into a state of “false consciousness” where they didn’t even know they’ve become co-opted. Hence Critical Theory. All the versions that came after it just applied the general concepts, as I outlined above, to whatever “issue” they wanted to “deconstruct.”

        Critical Theory is all about “deconstructing” “oppressive power structures,” Yada, yada, yada.

        If you ever wondered where the “morality” of the left came from, things like “political correctness” of speech, that jails were “oppressive,” that statistical disparities between groups is due to “Oppressors” being “oppressive,” mental institutions are oppressive, drug laws are oppressive, all of it came from Critical Theory, which was later lathered up with Post-Modernism via scumbags like Michel Foucault.

        It’s a tangled web they weave. But in short, you know it when you see it: Woke. It’s all from a corrupt theory and concept that, taken to its logical extensions in the twentieth century, killed over 100 million people. THAT is what they are flirting with when they say, “DEI is only a $150K salary!”

        Turn and run!!

  5. Jim Haselhorst

    You do realize everything you said in your post could also be applied to every conservative agenda, including things like the MAGA and Woke agendas, right?

    Trying to marginalize Critical Race Theory based on placing it in a general “Critical Theory” grouping says more about your personal political agenda then it does about the social issues surrounding the undeniable racist history of the the US.

    Gaslighting racism, trying to marginalize it and it generational repercussions, is exactly the type of behavior “superior races” have used to justify their treatment of “inferior races” thru millennia of human history.

    Your narrative implying that racism is some kind of mental condition suffered by people that are victims of racism is simply BS!!! Blaming the victim is never a good look.

    And no “dressing” your BS in some obtuse “critical theory” argument fortified with a bunch of academic sounding mumbo jumbo doesn’t make it sound less racist. But nice try!!

  6. Paul Ramone

    Calling someone a racist, sexist, xenophobic, transphobe, homophobe is not an argument. It’s a tactic used by people when they don’t want to think, learn, and/or take in more information. If you can just slander a person then you don’t have to deal with their point. In short, DEI is a moral, ethical, and legal disaster used intentionally to foster dissension and to divide people based on immutable characteristics. I’ll leave it there. But thank you for at least discussing.

    • Jim Haselhorst

      I did not say you were racist, just that you have bought into a racist argument. Lets remember it was you that start this stream by trying to marginalize the importance of DEI programs makes statement you did not even bother to support with anything other then claims that DEI programs are “immoral” (based on what?), “unethical” (again base on what?) and a legal disaster (based on suits filed by radical right organizations which have not been won?). You further, again without any substantiation, claim they are “intentionally” used to foster dissension and divide people.

      DEI promotes diversity, it does not set any “quotes”, it promotes equality, which is an undeniable social issue when looking at just pay data, and it promotes inclusion, since when is including anyone divisive?

      Claiming I called you racist when I clearly did not, is just another attempt to marginalize and just avoid addressing the issues I presented. Implying the I regularly accuse people of being sexist, xenophobes, transphobes, homophones, etc is a poor attempt to portray me as something I am clearly not. But then again accusing anyone that supports a “liberal” idea or view of practicing these things is a common defense mechanism among members of the radical right these days.

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