A forum for comments about Naperville news and issues.

April 2009 Archives

A swine flu outbreak that began in Mexico and is quickly spreading around the world has jumped into the headlines this week.

While the outbreak is relatively small, many fear it will turn into the long-feared flu pandemic that could compare with the 1918 flu, which killed millions worldwide. No one has yet died in the United States, but dozens are suspected to have died in Mexico.

Other recent disease scares have failed to live up to dire predictions, including the avian flu scare a few years back and the previous swine flu scare in the 1970s. Do you think this threat is overblown, or are you concerned? Are you going to take any special precautions?

What's on your mind? Talk about it here.

On Tuesday night the Naperville City Council approved a budget for the 2009-10 fiscal year. Councilmen Bob Fieseler, Richard Furstenau and Grant Wehrli voted against the plan because it includes salary increases for city employees.

City employees are slated to receive merit increases of 1.5 percent. Last month the council reduced the amount from the previously recommended 2.25 percent, saving the city $637,447 on employee raises.

Previously, the city laid off 20 employees and eliminated 23 vacant positions, saving $3.2 million. Other major areas of cost-savings are $1.8 million in the vehicle replacement fund and $1.1 million in reduction of overtime. In addition every department had to cut costs. These cuts were meant to alleviate an $11 million deficit.

With all this in mind, do you think city employees should be getting raises?

Calling it a good compromise and a reasonable solution, the City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve School District 203 and the Naperville Park District's request to convert a portion of the West Street garden plots into athletic fields.

The plan calls for the development of two multi-purpose athletic fields, parking, landscaping and trail areas in the southern portion of the West Street garden plots; development of support amenities such as water spigots and accessible plots in the new northern plots; relocation of approximately 216 garden plots from the southern portion to locations in the northern garden plots area and expansion to DuPage River Park and grading in the northern plots to improve drainage and increase usable areas for gardening.

This has been a contentious issue since it was proposed, with gardeners claiming they have spent years developing their plots and starting in a new location will set them back years. But athletic teams claim they need the space to allow all the children who want to, to participate in youth sports.

Now that the decision is final, what do you think? Is it a fair compromise? Did the gardeners receive a fair hearing?

During the first two months of operation, the city's red light cameras caught 1,906 violations at North Aurora Road and Route 59. Averaging 32.6 a day in February and 32.03 in March, it would seem that time and growing familiarity have not cut down on violations in any substantial way.

On Saturday, the city held its first hearings for those who wished to appeal their tickets, and 12 people showed up in person and 18 more did so in writing. They offered up a variety of excuses, but all ended with the same result. The appeals were denied, and the drivers were out a $100 file plus a $25 administrative hearing.

Is it worth it to appeal a red light camera ticket? Do you think it is possible to get a ticket overturned? Do you think the cameras are doing their stated job, i.e. increasing safety at the intersection?

Representatives from the Exchange Club of Naperville, the city and Naperville Park District have been discussing the possibility of moving the 22-year-old Ribfest to the Nike Sports Complex on the city's north side.
Ribfest is currently held in Knoch Park, but after this year, the site used for the festival will be reduced by 5 acres when the lease between Naperville Cemetery and Naperville School District 203 for land adjacent to the park expires.
Among the concerns identified with the use of Nike are parking, the July 4 fireworks display and the availability of an emergency shelter.
What do you think of moving the event to Nike Park? Is there a better venue in town?

A recent survey shows that 54 percent of Americans plan to use their tax refund to pay off bills, up from 35 percent last year. Only 5 percent planned to go on a shopping spree.

Many people have traditionally treated their tax refund as free money to do something fun with, but this year it seems that has changed. With the lousy economy and people worried about losing their jobs, everyone wants to get themselves in better financial shape to weather the storm.

How about you? If you are getting a refund, are you being sensible with it or are you treating yourself?

At its Wednesday night meeting, the Naperville City Council approved a one-year trial period for Joe Hornbaker to operate a hot dog cart downtown.

Hornbaker said he is willing to pay his fair share for operating a downtown business, including the food and beverage tax, and the downtown special service area tax. But the Downtown Naperville Alliance is concerned that Hornbaker will take away business from other venues and won't pay his fair share.

Do you think the hot dog cart has an unfair advantage? Do you think such a business is a valuable addition to the downtown?

The results are in, and it was a good night for incumbents. In every race except College of DuPage board of trustees, every incumbent running was re-elected.

With many residents outspokenly calling to "throw the bums out" in the various races, how do you explain the success of the incumbents? Is this a case of the silent majority who stayed out of the debate speaking at the polls, or of residents voting on name recognition?

Does this mean most residents are happy with things the way they are?

Elections don't get anymore local than today. With 11 candidates for Naperville School District 203, 12 in Indian Prairie School District 204, 13 for City Council, 13 for College of DuPage board, seven for Naperville Park District board and 75 for local townships, it's likely you might even know one of the candidates. This election affects you even more than the last one. These candidates are your neighbors, friends and maybe even family - all vying to make the decisions that will affect your life not only as an American but as a Naperville resident.

What was your voting experience like today? Tell us if you had any problems or if you had a particularly pleasant experience. We're watching all day long to make sure elections are fair and to give you updates on who's ahead of whom. We're counting on you to keep us informed.

As we do on occasion, I am throwing this one open for whatever you want to talk about. I'd ask though that we talk about something other than schools, which has several threads going already. Other than that, whatever you want to discuss, have at it.

Naperville Potluck

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from April 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

March 2009 is the previous archive.

May 2009 is the next archive.

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