Should Naperville Throw NCTV a Lifeline

At the last council meeting, the City heard an outpouring of support from many in the community for NCTV. NCTV is in dire financial straits and faces closure if substantial resources are not received from somewhere. Everyone from coaches to current and former NCTV board members to former Mayor Chirico appeared to ask the City to help NCTV.

No doubt NCTV does a great job and appears well managed. It’s been a big part of the Naperville community for many years. Naperville is a better community with it…yet the Watchdog has many concerns.

Nothing was said at the hearing suggests NCTVs financial issues are short term. Are these changes to federal funding going to improve anytime soon? That’s doubtful. News and news outlets across the board are facing pressure. The reality is the Internet and social media has changed much about our society…including how we find out who won the big football game and what happened at the last council meeting. If the City helps now, this really looks and feels like a long term commitment.

Real estate tax bills are not sexy to talk about. But they are the single biggest issue facing residents and are the primary culprit that push residents out of town. They are what makes it so difficult for young professionals to buy property here and they cause the affordable housing issues our officials constantly raise.

Controlling taxes requires restraint, discipline, and officials who will put all residents above political expediency. What kind of decisions have Naperville residents been getting from council?

• It sits on tens of millions dollars of high value commercial real estate surrounding 5th Avenue apparently just to avoid hearing angst from a handful of residents committed to seeing nothing ever built there.

•  It’s needlessly walked into expensive litigation over gun stores involving a local ordinance made almost entirely moot by State law (not to mention the millions in exposure it created by this ridiculous prosecution involving a $100 pair of used iPods). Both cases are completely ridiculous.

• We see many tens of thousands of dollars dumped on Holzhauer’s hideous entry signs which look better suited for a class C Las Vegas hotel pool bar than for an entry point to a top American suburb.

• We see Council continue to entertain all these DEI related expenditures from the Director to DEI classes. Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth despite the reality that these puff expenditures have been found everywhere to be wholly ineffectual. Corporate America – and even a great many colleges – have largely stopped spending on DEI programs. Why is Naperville  still even talking about spending on this?

We know how this NCTV movie ends. No matter what the issue, Council always folds when these big resident rollouts happen during hearings. NCTV will get their money even if it means yet another creep upward on everyone’s tax bills (the Watchdog notes that this concern doesn’t impact our tax exempt councilmen).

The Watchdog can live with this lifeline on 3 conditions:

1. The schools and sports leagues calling for the lifeline share the pain. Most of the outcry is coming from coaches and leagues that want the kids covered on local TV. Each should be required to commit to long term sponsorships of NCTV.

2. The City end needs to come from SECA. SECA was created in large part to cover large Sumner events. Ribfest is gone and the Last Fling is dramatically downsized. There should be money somewhere in this fund to use for NCTV.

3. Any councilman voting to do this needs to be required to come up with at least one item in the City’s gargantuan budget to cut. It’s easy to spend other people’s money. Let’s see if we have a councilman or two who can save, rather then spend, our money. How refreshing that would be from this group.









Show 3 Comments


  1. Jim Haselhorst

    First the most dominate portions of property taxes in Naperville comes overwhelmingly from the school districts. The city’s portions is very small (almost none existent) by comparison and about the same as that of the Park District. So any effort to put the blame for high property taxes on the city is complete BS!!!

    Why aren’t you harping on the Park District for it property tax budget? Where is your demand for greater fiscal responsibility by the Park District for its property tax spending? Did you know that almost all the the Park District’s operating costs are covered by user fees? So why do they need such a large property tax budget?

    Second, the overwhelming majority of the city’s financing comes from user fees (fees for water, power, licenses, etc). The next largest chunk comes for various sales taxes (food & beverage, retail, home rule, etc). The property tax portion of city financing is the smallest piece and compared to surrounding cities very modest.

    Finally, I don’t know if the city should provide this emergency funding for NCTV, but if it did, based on your own list of optional city expenditures, it would be one of the city’s better decision. As to SECA funding for NCTV, it is already getting funding from this organization. And SECA funding has not increase a single penny in over a two decades despite costs going up over 65% during this time.

    So why don’t you find something truly important to focus on, like McBroom’s admitted waste of city resources on immigrant housing options, which he claims he only did as a joke. And stop beating dead horses like this one, Ian, Benny, Top Golf, etc

    • Wally Greer

      I’m beginning to think Jim Haselhorst is on the spectrum.

      • Jim Haselhorst

        Ah yes, the old tactic of if you can make a productive comment that adds to the conversation on an issue then engage in personal attacks on people that do because they said something that offended your “woke” snowflake mindset.

        I will never stop calling people like you out.

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