Enough is Enough

Naperville’s last council meeting was again swallowed by activists calling for the wholly pointless and ineffectual Ceasefire resolution. Despite the mayor and councilmen repeatedly saying for weeks they would not entertain this resolution, scores of activists again abuse and manipulate Naperville’s very liberal public comment policies to effectively shut down talk on any other city issues. The majority of said speakers are not even Naperville residents.

Roughly 1 minute was spent discussing the 15 felony gun arrests at TopGolf.

Virtually no other city business was thoroughly discussed after 2 hours of blathering about Gaza. What in the world can Naperville’s council do to impact Israel’s strategy towards Hamas and terrorism? The answer is nothing.

Mayor and council, you are being bullied. Your passive acceptance of this abuse of City rules does not just inconvenience you. Every single person who has real city business is greatly inconvenienced by this.

Senior citizens. Single moms paying babysitters. Businesses paying professionals by the hour. Your own staff who have worked a full day and who don’t need to sit through hours of this pointless and selfish rambling.

Stop appeasing this self indulgent mob. Cap speaking on non agenda items to a half hour and move all of those comments to the end of the meeting so the rest of the public does not have to sit through it.

The City does not look accepting and tolerant by continuing to indulge these scores of speakers…it looks weak. Numerous other government bodies have rules to stop what is occurring. Naperville should put its tax paying residents first and adopt similar rules.

Stop trying to appease the unreasonable.


Show 10 Comments


  1. John Georgias

    As a constitutional scholar, I often side with freedom of speech and right to protest as without the ‘protest’ of our founders we would not have this great nation. HOWEVER, the bill of rights is to protect us from our government and not for activists to take away the rights of the citizens of Naperville to be represented by their govt officials. The first few ‘episodes’ were tolerable, but the city council must now move on to issues affecting the citizens of Naperville. This must happen in the next meeting!!

  2. Bill McCormick

    Haven’t done the research, but in addition to the suggested measures, could council require speakers:
    – to register in advance to speak
    – to either
    >> be city residents
    >> establish a direct nexus to the city to justify their time allotment (with the city attorney recommending sufficient nexus to council for a vote)?

    • Jim Haselhorst

      Restricting speakers to only Naperville Residents has two problems. First some issues before the city council affect other government organizations who’s boundaries extended outside Naperville city limit and therefore non-Naperville citizens. Denying these citizens the right to address a government body on an issue that will effect them would never survive constitutional challenge. Second such a limited would violate the state constitution and regulations on open meetings.

      Since the whole point of the public forum agenda item is to provide citizens away to communicated directly, face to face, with their elected official any restricting speakers to “direct nexus” requirement would create a subjective metric that could be used to prevent legitimate issues from be brought before council.

      Yes, something should be done to limit the impact of these kind of obstructionist behavior on the city councils ability to conduct business. The current issue is not the first time city council has faced this type of disruption. The most obvious solution is often the best and most effective. In this case that would be to move the Public Forum Agenda item to the end of the meeting agenda rather then it current position of before any city related business is conducted.

  3. Joan Murray

    I am also a constitutional scholar myself and nowhere in the constitution does it discuss the rights of citizens of naperville. City business has been completed at each meeting. Nowhere in the constitution are citizens freedom of speech limited. This council and mayor have already made it more difficult to contact the city council and mayor, now others want to limit the speech of others they don’t agree with. I’m not surprised as this is what they normally do.

    • Sam Nelson

      Completely agree. The hypocritical local right wingers don’t like the content of speech they, so they want to use government to limit it. Remember those who call for limits as they someday may run for local office and we will be sure to not vote for them.

  4. Roger Stewart

    Whole heartedly agree with this commentary. It’s past time to put an end to this nonsense. Why can’t we limit comment to Naperville residents? The City Council needs to take back their meetings and move on with city business.

    • John Georgias

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment Roger!

  5. Steve

    I have to agree. There is a fine balance between protecting the public’s freedom of speech and preventing extremists from abusing it. I think the direction our council is going will thread the needle. Allow 30 minutes of public comment before the city business and the balance of public comment after city business. Seems fair.

  6. Jim Haselhorst

    It should be noted that the city council had the legal authority to limit public speaking on any agenda item to 30 minutes. The city council has rarely used this authority, but it can, at its own discretion do so at anytime.

    The US Constitution does protect free speech, but is does not prohibit certain limits on that free speech. Since the issue at hand is not a current agenda item but a issue being raised during the public forum, there is no action being taken by the city council that makes allowing speech on this issue a time restricted matter.

    So it would be well within the authority of the city council to limit the number of speakers on a specific issue to a total time limit of 30 minutes. Since most speakers use their 3 minute allotment this would meaning limiting speakers on any single issue to 10 during the public forum agenda item.

    The simplistic solution, as I have mentioned before, of course is to move the Public Forum agenda item to the end of the council meeting agenda, after all city business has been completed. This would also eliminated the need of city council to vote to extend the meeting past its scheduled ending time in order to make sure city business is completed.

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