Moving on

After voting last Saturday, I sat by myself in the back of the Naperville City Council chambers, where I have spent some of the most memorable evenings of my life, first as a plan commission member and now as a City Councilman.

The big, dimly lit room was quiet and peaceful, nobody giving long-winded speeches or lobbying, flattering or insulting us. The silence Saturday provided time and space to think about some of the policies and plans I hoped to make happen in the next four years.

But that is not going to happen. Six new councilmen and Mayor Chirico will be running City government. I’m sure they will do fine. They’re smart, good people. Congratulations to them.

Speaking of good people, there’s nothing like unexpectedly losing an election to find out who your real friends are. Many of them were with us election night, counting the results, and two more, Alice Wood and Suzyn Price, showed up unexpectedly at our front door Tuesday night after the results were in.

I also appreciated warm telephone calls Wednesday and Thursday from Steve Chirico, Janice Anderson, Steve Rubin, Jim Hughes, Don Wirth and J.R. Wydra. Many others sent emails, and two people came up to me after the Wednesday City Council meeting to express their support. It’s all helping a lot.

Unsung heroes Frank Banach and Brian Bates also deserve shout outs. Frank drilled signs into the frozen ground, while Brian used his artistic skills to class up the campaign.

Thanks also to my children—Mike, Laura and Brendan—for their help, but thanks most of all to their dear mother, aka my wonderful wife, Kay. She worked hard even when tired. This campaign helped me appreciated her even more, so there’s that.

I also want to thank everyone who reached out to help us with the campaign. Whether you made a donation, or walked a precinct, it’s all appreciated. We could not have made it to election day without you.

What’s next? I hope to spend more time doing public policy and media consulting. What’s that? You can learn more by connecting with me on LinkedIn. See you around!

4 things I’ll do in the next 4 years

I hope to be re-elected on April 7 – there is important work ahead and I am up to the job.  Naperville is changing. The days of rapid growth and seemingly endless abundance are over.  We have more people with low incomes, and we have homes and commercial areas that look worn down.  We cannot… Continue Reading

What about flooding?

With so many people running for City Council, some important issues are going to get lost in the shuffle.  I understand it but don’t like it.  Especially discouraging is the lack of discussion about flooding. This is really two problems: one is storm water flooding, when water floods your yard and then gets into your… Continue Reading

Candidate forum report

It’s been said, “You can’t tell the players without a scorecard,” and this is certainly true with 19 candidates running for City Council. The Homeowners Confederation leaders wisely split their traditional forum into two, with me and several others having our turn Thursday. Some observations: * There are some excellent new faces, people who will… Continue Reading

Early voting info for Naperville residents

Dates and times: Naperville voters can cast ballots starting on March 23 at Naperville City Hall, 400 S. Eagle St. Early voting extends until April 4. Election day is Tuesday, April 7. DuPage County residents – Cast your ballot at City Hall, in the lower level meeting room A: Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. –… Continue Reading

Steve Chirico for mayor

For almost a month now, I’ve been calling voters, seeking their support and hearing their concerns.  Several have asked me who I support for mayor.  Now I’ll tell you. Replacing a living legend is not easy, but I think Naperville will be best served if Steve Chirico is elected mayor. I urge you to support… Continue Reading

Not a lazy Sunday

Great weather, nice people.  Sunday was a good day.  First I went to a brunch organized by Derke Price and Keri-Lynn Krafthefer, two top flight attorneys from Ancel Glink Diamond, a firm that specializes in municipal law.  Derke and Keri-Lyn have been a big help to me since I got involved in local government. After… Continue Reading

Good service, fair prices

People want good value from the City, and most are surprised to find out that the City portion of their property tax bill has gone down three of the past four years. We refused to raise property taxes when values were declining. We have reduced the number of people who work for the City by… Continue Reading

Protecting trees, saving money

Great article in the Naperville Sun/Chicago Tribune about City’s efforts to protect ash trees from the emerald ash borer, a tiny beetle that has killed millions of trees throughout North America the past several years. Shortly after being elected in 2011, I attended a seminar put together by the Naperville Area Homeowners Confederation, where I… Continue Reading

Busy, busy

Thanks to the Naperville Township Republication Organization for hosting a candidate forum Saturday.  There are some good people running for City Council. Also Saturday was the annual Emerald Dinner, masterminded by Lynda Reilly and hosted by the West Suburban Irish, a group my Danish-American wife describes as “affable.”  Lynda did her usual great job. The… Continue Reading

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Vote April 7 for Joe McElroy

#2 on the ballot

Parade photo by Ron Hume; family photo by Brian Bates

A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available on the Board’s official website ( or for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, IL.