Apr 062011

Victory 2011: It’s all in the numbers.

The elections for Mayor and the Naperville City Council are over and the votes have been tallied and when all the dust settled, it was a victory for the Citizens of Naperville.

Of major importance, the two weakest and most detrimental links in the Naperville City Council (Richard Furstenau and Councilman Jim Boyajian) will no longer be part of the Naperville City Council. Councilman Richard Furstenau was soundly defeated in the field of ten candidates finishing in sixth place. Of the five candidates who finished in front of Fustenau, three were non-incumbents. In fact Furstenau came in closer to last place than he did to second place finisher non-incumbent Steve Chirico. The citizens of Naperville not only spoke loudly via the voting booth, they shouted their collective displeasure towards hypocrisy. When a councilman professes to be the voice of financial conservatism from the dais, yet in the courtroom inflicts financial discomfort to the city he represents, then those words and actions don’t match. The citizens of Naperville spoke, and their words matched their actions on Election Day.

And soon-to-be ex-councilman Furstenau still doesn’t get it; after the elections while being interviewed on Naperville’s NCTV Furstenau said, “I want to take a look at the votes and precincts and it looks to me like there were some strange things going on with the voting, but I haven’t had time to analyze all the numbers yet.” Well the good news for soon-to-be ex-councilman is that he now will have plenty of time on his hands to ‘analyze all the numbers’, and frankly there aren’t many numbers (votes he received) to analyze.

Councilman Jim Boyajian chose not to run for re-election, which is without a doubt the best decision he has made while being a member of the Naperville City Council. We anticipate one of  soon-to-be ex-councilman Boyajian first tasks will be to follow in the footsteps of the tinman in the Wizard of Oz by looking for a ‘heart’. No longer will the Naperville staff at City Hall have to be subjected to verbal ‘beat downs’ during council meetings.

Two of our four endorsements for Naperville City Council were successful; first place finisher incumbent Grant Wehrli, and second place finisher Steve Chirico. Our top choice for Naperville City Council was Patty Gustin who finished fifth just a few hundred votes behind non-incumbent Joe McElroy who finished fourth. The top four vote getters will join the ‘new’ Naperville City Council.

Fortunately for Councilman Bob Fieseler, Naperville has yet to establish districts or wards, because if Naperville did have ‘the will of the people’ in place by having districts for this election he would also be an ex-councilman if he went one-on-one with newly elected Steve Chirico. So the fact that Bob Fieseler was trounced by a non-incumbent doesn’t speak well for Councilman Fieseler’s election results.

Though we did not endorse Mayor George Pradel, it was absolutely no surprise that he was re-elected for a fifth term over our endorsement and second-place finisher Doug Krause. What is interesting is that Mayor Pradel did not win with 70% of the vote as he did in the last election; this time he clocked in with 65% of the vote which is still a mandate, but he was less successful in this election. This may be due to a number or reasons including, 1) Naperville’s decline in the rankings of most favorable cities to live in, 2) Naperville’s decrease in population (this is never a good thing), 3) major budget problems, 4) citizen-voter dissatisfaction with the liquor commission decisions which is headed by Mayor Pradel, and 5) support of the Smart Grid.

It’s all in the numbers, and by any measure Naperville Election 2011 was a victory for the Citizens of Naperville.

Apr 012011

The Watchdog’s Choice for City Council is…..

The upcoming election for the Naperville City Council next Tuesday April 5th is an absolutely wonderful opportunity to inject some energy, clear vision, and common sense into the Naperville City Council. Three current members of the council are running for re-election; they include Grant Wehrli, Bob Fieseler and Richard Fustenau. Of those three only Grant Wehrli was selected as one of the top four vote-getters in the Watchdog pre-election vote, coming in third (71%) behind a fair and balanced candidate Patty Gustin (91%), clear-vision candidate Steve Chirico (71%) and ahead of fourth-place finisher common-sense candidate Charlie Schneider.

We support the results of the pre-election vote and enthusiastically endorse Patty Gustin and Steve Chirico, along with an optimistic endorsement of Charlie Schneider, and a guardedly optimistic endorsement for Grant Wehrli.

Patty Gustin can bring a wealth of knowledge about the inner workings of government to the council along with a high level of intellectual energy. She appears to be fair and balanced and has the ability to take a step ‘back’ for a more clear view and understanding of issues. Her openness and responsiveness is inviting and overall would bring an abundance of fresh air to the council chambers with regard to accountability and trust.

Steve Chirico presents a clear perspective and ability to grasp the complexity of challenges facing the city of Naperville as it grows. This was clearly seen during the recently held forums. His strong communication skills and strategic thinking ability along with his bias to drive change would help fuel the Naperville City Council to move in a positive direction.

Charlie Schneider comes across as a man of few words and a strong partiality towards common sense. Both of these traits are sorely lacking in the current Naperville City Council. He’s going to make his point straight, without getting involved in circular dialogues. Having Charlie Schneider on the Naperville City Council would most assuredly make the meetings shorter and most likely more understandable. He was also instrumental in placing the City Council term limits and districting referendums on the November 2010 ballot.

Grant Wehrli, the lone incumbent to be endorsed by Watchdog, is a no-nonsense Councilman. He has no tolerance for silliness and keeps things moving along. He is typically the only Councilman ready to start meetings on time and is often seen seated ready to rock’n’roll while his fellow council members come sauntering in ‘glad-handing’ towards their seat. He exhibits one characteristic richly lacking in his counterparts on the council and that’s his courage to voice unpopular positions on issues. His ability to manage performance and execution is also evident at Naperville Council meetings.

Occasionally he has filled in for the Mayor, and his propensity to pound the gavel appears to give him great satisfaction.

It should be noted that two incumbent councilmen did not receive Watchdog endorsement; Bob Fieseler (30% approval) and Richard Furstenau (11% approval).

The absolute simple bottom-line with regard to Councilman Richard Furstenau is that he must go. He presents himself as the shining light of fiscal conservatism, however he burdened Naperville taxpayers with court actions that completely drown out his words of being expense and budget conscious. When actions don’t match words, that’s a Watchdog endorsement deal-breaker.

Councilman Bob Fieseler brings many good characteristics to the Naperville City Council; however it only takes a few major mis-steps to negate whatever good has been accomplished.

There is a saying that goes like this, “I am 10% of what happens to me, and 90% how I respond to it.” I dare say that those receiving endorsements from the Watchdog are familiar with this saying, while incumbents not receiving Watchdog endorsements have no clue what it means.

Mar 312011

Naperville City Council’s ‘Final Four’.

The results are in for the Naperville City Council pre-election voting and when all the dust settled four candidates were selected as the top four to join the Naperville City Council. They included one incumbent (GrantWehrli) and three new members including Patty Gustin, Steve Chirico, and Charlie Schneider. The results for all 12 candidates are listed below. The number next to the candidate’s name represents the percentage of voters who included that candidate as one of their four choices.

Patty Gustin 91%
Steve Chirico 77%
Grant Wehrli 71%
Charlie Schneider 38%
Wayne Floegel 31%
Bob Fieseler 30%
John Krummen 19%
Joe McElroy 13%
Richard Furstenau 11%
Ben Gross 7%
John Adair 6%
Tiffany Stephens 6%

Thank you to all who participated with their voting preference for the Naperville City Council.

We will be posting Watchdog endorsements for the Mayor of Naperville, along with our endorsements for the four open positions in the Naperville City Council on Friday 4/1.

Mar 302011

It’s a New Day and a New Choice for Mayor of Naperville

The Watchdog voting results are in for the Naperville Mayoral race between incumbent Mayor George Pradel, and councilmen Mayoral candidates Doug Krause and Kenn Miller. By a slim margin of 5% the voters selected Doug Krause as their choice for the position of Mayor in Naperville. The voting percentage breakdown was as follows:

Doug Krause      41%

George Pradel    36%

Kenn Miller       23%

The margin of error when compared to the general election on Tuesday April 5th is 100%, however the margin of error for votes received by the Watchdog group is in this voter’s preference election is 0%. In comparison, a recently released preference listed by the Naperville Tea Patriot’s group, posted the following results when equated to percentages as follows:

Doug Krause      38%

Kenn  Miller       35%

George Pradel     27%

Obviously the most important point of interest is that in both listings, Doug Krause was the preferred choice for Mayor of Naperville.

We received an astonishing response from our voting group which on one hand is extraordinary, yet on the other hand this voting group takes a more than active interest in following the actions of local government focusing on the decisions of the Mayor and the remainder of the Naperville City Council. If our Mayor and the Naperville City Council exhibited the same level of passion for the betterment of our city and its citizens as do the voters who responded to this pre-election vote, the need for the CityCouncilWatchdog most likely would not exist.

Thank you to all who participated in this voting preference for Mayor of Naperville.

We will be posting the Naperville City Council election results on Thursday.

Mar 162011

Opening and closing statements from Kenn Miller made during a public forum in Naperville, Illinois on February 24, 2011.

Candidate #3: Kenn Miller

Opening Statement:

Closing Statement:

Mar 162011

Opening and closing statements from George Pradel made during a public forum in Naperville, Illinois on February 24, 2011.

Candidate #2: George Pradel (Incumbent)

Opening Statement:

Closing Statement:

Mar 162011

Opening and closing statements from Doug Krause made during a public forum in Naperville, Illinois on February 24, 2011.

Candidate #1: Doug Krause

Opening Statement:

Closing Statement: