Respect for Residents
All resident voices will be heard, respected and considered.
Naperville is home to many longtime residents, multi-generational families, and to young professionals and new families that wish to plant roots and prosper here. Each of them should have a voice in how City decisions impact their quality of life.
I promise that I will welcome resident input, take the time to listen, and find ways to bring us together.
I would start with establishing a Young Resident Advisory Board – an opportunity for young adult residents starting out to advise Council and staff on issues like public WiFi access, traffic controls near schools, and the mix of amenities around town.
I would also host an annual town hall meeting – a State of the City for the residents, with ample time for resident questions and answers, ideas and suggestions.
I strongly support continued economic development – development that is sound and compatible with the surrounding neighborhoods and our community at large.
Each development proposal should be publicly vetted, not planned behind closed doors and unveiled. Three pending projects need to be critically examined: the Polo Fields, the Wagner Farm, and the 5th Avenue redevelopment. All as initially presented came with major issues that would significantly affect nearby residents, traffic, pedestrian safety and other issues. The residents must have a voice in the size and composition of major developments.
We also need to direct attention back to the redevelopment of Ogden Avenue – a commercial corridor that has been ignored. The City should not give away property in the 5th Avenue area for commercial development when there is plenty of commercial space to be developed on Ogden Avenue.
I will propose that we reform the Planning and Zoning Commission to designate representatives from at least 5 different areas of the City. I also think it is time for the City to write a new Master Plan – the last one was written in the last century and does not address many of the opportunities or issues that we now have.
Re-examine Government Spending, Taxes and Fees
We are fortunate that Naperville delivers high quality, reliable City services (i.e., police and fire, to water and electric and garbage collection). The taxes and fees for those services should be examined annually to assure that they align with associated costs and that they are the services that the residents want.
The last three years brought significant increases in garbage collection fees, electric and water rates, and the implementation of a temporary home rule sales tax that was extended and increased.
I promise to open the books to regular assessment for efficiencies and potential cost savings.
I also will find a way to give senior households some relief on the flat garbage rate – a single senior citizen living alone should not pay as much as a family of six for waste collection.
Plan for the Future of Naperville
Naperville is a dynamic community that can move forward while embracing its history and maintaining its sense of small town community. Embracing our history and small town feeling is not “being stuck in the past.” It is using our history and strong legacy of community involvement as the foundation for future planning and decisions.
The City Master Plan must be updated. We are a larger and more diverse community today. Advances in technology, transportation and commerce should be addressed, and most importantly, the voices of all generations should be part of the process.