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Naperville nightlife

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Downtown Naperville has taken on a Rush Street type of environment according to one member of the Naperville Downtown Liquor Subcommittee. Increased patronage has brought out security concerns. The issue of overserving also as been raised.
Do you see a change in the atmosphere downtown at night? Is it troubling? Do you patronize downtown Naperville at night? Or do you get out of Dodge before it gets dark?

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You have no idea what you're talking about . Citizens GET to have referendums on whatever elected officials deem necessary. Elected officials that respect the public allow input. Hiding behind the term "representative government" is a joke. You don't know what it means. You mean representaitve democracy-look it up. You make no sense.

Why not allow input? Apparently, transparency is another term you don't understand. Hiding behind nine elected officials may be fine for you. Not for me.

We don't get to have referendums on everything. We have a "representative government". The referndum was 2 weeks ago and called an ELECTION.


As much fun as it would be to see DF strolling the sidewalks, I'd rather never see him again. If I had to see him, I'd like to see about $1m taken out of his large bank account and see him hanging with Huber on top of the transformer near Show Me's.

Now that Tricky Dick Furstenau has been shown the door and got his honory sheriff badge revoked, maybe he can dress up like Dog the Bounty Hunter and restore peace downtown. I can see him in his vest, gold chains and mullett backhanding all the drunks, then making a "citizens arrest". DICK THE BOUNTY HUNTER!!!!!! This could be better than Female Forces......

U R right ---- the voters agreed!

ALl 12 of them!


Let me be more clear, who cares if the Children's Museum is a 501 or not? A bail out is a bail out. When expenses get cut, hobbies and charities get cut first, that's just a fact of life. If we are to bail out charities, why are we picking certain ones? Surely there must be other charities that are assets to the community. That's my point. Why are we favoring certain groups with public money?

Your argument about the election is interesting. I agree that even though the turn out was low, the voters spoke. But what did they really say? I don't think you can connect the election specifically to the Museum. I voted for Miller. He voted for the bail out. Did I lose? What I'm saying is that the bail out should have been a referendum. Like the Carillon should have been. This Council would never do that because they beleive that they are running a republic and only their opinions count. I don't think the bail out would have passed a referendum. Why, because voters these days tend to vote no on anything that raises taxes or spends MORE public money. What do you think?

Finally, am I to assume that the comment about "our budget" means that you work for/with the Museum. If so, isn't that a little conflict of interest?

The City returned the Mayor and the majority of the council because no one pays attention - and the truth about how this PRIVATE organization (charity or not makes no difference whatsoever) was handled (behind closed doors with about 24 hours notice before being voted in) isn't even looked at by local news like the Sun. If you ask 100 Naperville Residents about the Museum "deal" 90% will have idea what you are talking about.

The only story from the past 4 years most people remembered was the Furstenau lawsuit story. That was public enough that most people at least had some idea of what he had done, and they booted him. IF the news organizations put half as much effort into uncovering the truth behind deals like the Childrens Museum and the Smart Grid deal and so on, name recognition and half true self promotion wouldn't have gotten them in either.



You maketh no senesth.

Try another path grasshopper.


1) Children's Museum is not a business. It is a Charity.


DuPage Children’s Museum is an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which relies on business, foundation, government and individual donations and sponsorships to cover about 40% of our budget each year

2) The city "bailed out" the museum because it is an asset to the community. And the community reurned the mayor and the sitting council ( except for "Dick" ) to office because it agrees.

Good schools aren't part of the City Council discussion as this group has no say at all in what happens in the school - same with parks, the park district is not run by the City or the Council. The festivals, as you've pointed out, are run by different organizations and their volunteers - the only thing the City has to do with that is providing security and police protection, but the City has always paid for that, either through SECA as it is now or directly as it was years before. The argument has been that these private volunteer run festivals should be paid for by those who run it instead of the tax payer. Hardly saying the festivals themselves are a waste, but tax's inflicted to pay for it are at best questionable.

Finally, that nice Childrens museum you say makes up part of this community - that is where we can argue waste. Is it nice, even great to have a Childrens museum in town? Sure it is, but keep in mind, that is a private enterprise as well. If it is indeed part of what makes this community great, wouldn't you expect it could support itself? OR, if it couldn't, wouldn't you think it was again private parties and industry that should be "baling them out"? It isn't a government program. I think having a Childrens Museum is very nice, but the back room deal that bailed it out was at best poorly done, and at worst an infringement on public funds for private use.

Other private industries are nice for kids too - we have stores and day care facilities and laser tag etc. etc. - All nice for kids, and day care could be called essential, but if the businesses fail, they fail - the City doesn't bail them out. Make no mistake, but City bailed this museum out not because of their deep concern for the Children, but because of the Council Members personal political connections to the board members. THAT is where the problem comes in.

I don't know La C - she might have been a fantastic council member, or a terrible one, but 90% of what she says about the issues with this City and with this Council is right on.


Who said these things were "waste?"

I think they're good things. I just dont think that taxpayers should bail them out. That's where your puffed out chest and emotion come in. They need to be self sustainable. Also, let's referendum these things going forward-like Wheaton did with the Theater. We have too many small people making too many big decisions for us.

Por ejemplo...
El Smart Grid.
El Carillon
La Children's Museum

Furtenau is out, may he rest in peace.

Who lost what?

You are totally clueless.

These things you think are "waste" - the rest of us feel are investments in the community. Good schools, nice parks, fun summer festivals run by volunteers, a museum for kids - All of these are what makes Naperville nice. Yes, they cost money - but most of us think that they are worth it. Elections are how we decide who will make those decisions.

The voters didn't ( and still don't ) agree with you - That's why you lost. No excuses about money.

JQP and TB,

I think that the salary and benefits are a large part of why people run. I agree that it's mostly people's wanting to serve-which is good. Here's my take. They make about $1,000 a month in salary. Guys like Fieseler, so he says, use the money to help others. I believe him. I thinks he does well enough that he doesn't need the money, and he's been for dropping the pay and benefits. Others, that's a nice car payment. But the benefits are where the money is at. From what I hear, most of them take the health insurance. That is worth much more than the $11k. Would dropping the pay and benefits deter people from running? I don't know. Let's get rid of them and find out.

Again, ding dong, the witch (Furstenau) is dead. Great day for Naperville. That, and GP for only four more years. He's bad, but mostly harmless. Miller's run was a disappointment. Krause second-yuk. Seriously folks, that's a stupid man.

QP -

Perhaps the money isn't the motivating factor. My personal belief is that those who wish to serve do so out of pride, self esteem and arrogance more than anything else. Sure, there's some service-oriented aspect to it, but I think it's mostly for self-satisfaction.

While not completely agreeing with SE Side, I think he's correct in saying that those organizations that traditionally get money from the city (whether its the Carillon or the fasts) have more motivation to vote, especially on low turn-out days such as today. That being said, if anyone disagrees with how the city doles out the money there's one easy way to change that – get off your lazy ass and vote!


Southeast Side wrote:

The city council and mayor get paid a pittance - certainly not worth the hours and aggravation, but they do get paid something.

And yet we have twelve people vying for four council seats in the election. Since the money is such a pittance, I doubt it's much of a motivating factor, which leads me to believe that the benefits could be sharply curtailed and we would still have no shortage of people wanting to serve.

Then go puke somewhere. How naive you are. Are you telling me that the Children's Museum people aren't all voting for the Council candates that bailed them out? Same for the Carrillon board. Now way. I'm guessing every single one of them, volunteer and paid staff are voting for them. They saved them. The Library? Maybe not.

I am part of the community, I volunteer, have run for office once, and lost-not enough cash to go around. I'm just not walking in the same meadow as you. You know the one-with the unicorns, sparkles, rainbows... volunteers.

The election turn out is traditionally so low, that just having the people they buy off (Jaycees, Exchange Club, Municipal Band, Carrillon board, Children's Museum board) , and the people that they tell who to vote for, wins the election.

Seriously? You seriously believe that the folks who give countless hours of VOLUNTEER work are being "bought off"? These UNPAID volunteers, as well as the school, park and library boards, who give hundreds of hours of their time to their community are being "bought off"? The city council and mayor get paid a pittance - certainly not worth the hours and aggravation, but they do get paid something.

These folks all give of their free time to make the community a better place. Maybe they are not always perfect, but there is only ONE reason for any of these folks to do what they do - because they want to help their community.

And somehow you losers who pretend that complaining on the internet is a "public service" and you can somhow believe that only YOU have the city's best interests at heart. Well, I call Bull$**t. You complaining weasels only care about one thing - MONEY. You live here, but you don't belong to the community. You just whine and complain. Your only "solution" is to turn Naperville from Bedford Falls into Pottersville. Pardon us if we don't agree - we must be "bought off".....

Seriously you make me sick to my stomach.

La cuc,

The real question is why part-time employees like the Council and Mayor get:

A)Paid so much
B)Get full medical coverage (hey ----- both Krause & Pradel have taken us for over $150,000.00 each just for medical)
C)A pension contribution.

Anononon -

I don't know about power trips, but would the council or the populous support a food and beverage tax simply to increase the general fund? I highly doubt it. But they'll support the tax if they think it was for culture. It's all smoke and mirrors. Just don't tell the citizens that “culture” includes otherwise profitable fests and over-priced bell towers. Oh and the "culture" also enriches the city's general fund.


La Cuc -

I have nothing against the NPD OT for the fests, as long as the SECA funds for the OT goes back to the NPD and not the general fund. I like the safety the real cops bring as opposed to rent-a-cops.

Fests like Ribfest provide hundreds of thousands of dollars to charity, so they can afford the police OT. The SECA money does nothing more than subsidize the charities.


A little off topic but I learned yesterday that Adam Hearn, the Black Finn stabber had his case upgraded by the States Attorney from agg batt to attempted murder. Look for Hearns picture on the IDOC Inmate Search web page in about 8 months, after he is convicted and bused to state prison. Now that was one heck of a beef that started out with a smoke in a bathroom.

You guys are right on. It was meant to fund projects that benefit them and their friends. These festivals should be self funded. But they are not. The City demands that Naperville Police get paid to attend events-so cops can make OT, while the Council whines about OT costs. Why not private security? Call the cops when the two drunks fight after too much Miller Lite. Does that "buy" votes? Absolutely.

The election turn out is traditionally so low, that just having the people they buy off (Jaycees, Exchange Club, Municipal Band, Carrillon board, Children's Museum board) , and the people that they tell who to vote for, wins the election.

Here's the true test. If a politician that sues the City in a frivolous lawsuit, and costs the City $1M, which in turn means my services get cut, wins the election, I give up. Also, here we have a Mayor that gets a pension, is working on another, and votes for pension reform. Anyone concerned about that? I am.

I do know all of the above TB ..... but what is it really for? Excellent question - a power trip for some councilmen perhaps, a way to buy votes with tax dollars maybe? You name it, but for the most part, it is anything but charitable.

Anonononon -

Did I miss a “non”? Sorry....

You forgot to mention that the SECA money comes from the food and beverage tax, goes to Ribfest and Last Fling (plus others) and that the fests use the money to reimburse the city for police OT related to the fests. The city doesn't return the SECA money from the fests to the police budget to pay for the OT, but instead puts the money in the general fund thus allowing them to use the SECA funds (in a round-about way) for whatever they desire.

So what's the SECA (slush) fund really for...?


Naive thinking, Anon. It's not enough to just fear injury or death, you have to be able to show that you believed it was imminent. An unarmed person breaking into your house doesn't show imminence unless he/she is armed.

Your bravado is noted, but not necessarily wise.


La Cuch: Ricardo Fistenau is just a mean person....period. All he cares about is himself. This showed during his idiotic lawsuit. If you ever get the oportunity to watch him in action at Hooters, it is creepy.

It's easy - if HE likes something, it's great .... if it is for someone (anyone) else, it's not. The world revolves around this guy - a legend in his own mind. He likes money too - his own that is - but no one else needs any.

If you'd listen to Dick Last-to-know, you'd think it was like the red light district in Amsterdam.

Let's see, he doesn't like bars, no drinking, no music, no dancing, and no banks.

He likes Hooters and Show-Me's, and the show Big Love on HBO.

But Hooters and Show-Me's are bars, they have multiple women in them, and so does Big Love.

I can't find the connection, someone help me.

Downtown Naperville is pretty tame and will always stay the calm and quiet city we love.

No Anon: Sam never got caught doing something stupid or illegal by the police....where did you come up with that one Einstein?

You are talking about the SECA fund are you not? There was a LONG and tedious Council workshop on this very subject last week, I believe Monday. If you want to know how the City Spends this add on tax, it is available on the City's Website, and you can watch it from start to finish. It's interesting to watch your City Council decide who deserves tax money and who doesn't .... along with how much and how worthy the cause. If I remember right, the Rib Fest got something in the area of 170,000 with which they reimburse the City for it's services, though I confess to not remembering the exact number. It is well in excess of 100,000 though, of that I am certain.

The SECA fund was set up to pay for things like the City's portion of Rib Fest and Last Fling - but it has grown to a fund of something around $3,000,000. Having this group of Councilmen decide the fate of over 3 million dollars is more than a little bit horrifying - and well worth the time it takes to view the meeting.

Southeast Side,

Blah, blah, blah. By some stroke of genius you think no one else knows about the food and beverage tax?

So what does the city do with all of the money it collect from the downtow food and beverage tax? AND Does the special tax reimburse the city for all of the increased costs to the city in the downtown zone?

It either does or it doesn't, And if it doesn't then the tax should be increased or the extra services should be trimmed back.

they should pay a special tax that would reimburse the city for the cost of the extra police presence needed because of their business operations. The general taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for increased police protection

Downtown business ALREADY pay special tax to foot the bill for extra police.


On October 7, 2008, the city implemented such a defined area food and beverage tax at the rate of 1.5%, per ordinance 08-188. The tax is in addition to the existing 1% food and beverage tax applicable throughout the city since 2004. This additional tax applies only to businesses located in downtown Naperville.

Do you jokers ever do any research??

Nothing to see here. Move along. No, really, there is NOTHING to see here. Comparing Naperville to Rush Street is just silly.

Can we have a return to core principles... like freedom? Restaurant and bar owners should be free to run their businesses without excessive taxation. They should not be constrained by some absurd limit on liquor licenses, as though the city council has superior wisdom on what is the 'right' number of watering holes for Naperville. Let the free market deciide.

We already have laws against disorderly conduct. Enforce them. The taxpayers don't need to be paying overtime to 'prevent' disorderly conduct. Does anyone really think a cop can dissuade a drunk from being a drunk? By definition they are not thinking rationally, so why would the presence of a uniform affect their behavior one way or another? It's enough that the police come quickly when they are summoned.

We have to get away from micro-managing every aspect of the city. Height restrictions on buildings? Who do these regulators think they are? What say we let the landowner do whatever he/she wants with the land THEY OWN. Don't like their aesthetics? Too bad! It's not your property!


Anon: go change the grease in the deep fryer.....that cooks the french fries.

OMG, all of these supposedly high paid and well educated Naperville people actually think a deep fryer is a machine. Clearly there is less of a relationship between wealth and intelligence than was previously thought...

Anon" go change the grease in the french fry machine...


All I have to do is say I feared grave bodily injury or death. That is the same legal standard our highly educated, highly trained, highly drilled, highly equipped, and highly protected police officers use to justify their own lethal use of force. I'm just an untrained, unprotected civilian defending my home, my family, and my life so it would be reasonable to expect police officers to have to meet a much higher legal standard when it comes to lethal force than someone like your or me.

Very educated response Anon. Better hope the guy breaking in has a weapon or when he cops show up (no doubt from your gunfire) you'll be taken in for manslaughter due to your use of excessive force.


I meant LEADS and NCIC by the way.

Hey, jqp:

How about the city just take over the restaurants! That way ALL the profits, and not just taxes, can be spent on phallic towers and childrens' museums!

I think that anon and spade in this case have one thing in common - they have both caught doing something either stupid or illegal by the police. No one expects the criminals to like the police, so posts like these are a given whenever they are brought up.


There are some things that we just have to tolerate in society. Police Officers are one of those things we have to tolerate as somewhat of a necessary evil. In a more perfect society we wouldn't have a need for police, but we can save that intellectual argument for another time and another thread.

BTW, if some jerk wants to go ahead and break into my house while I'm at home I'll be too busy shooting and reloading to waste my time calling the police. They can come out with the meat wagon and mop things up when I'm done.

The same argument can be made for tax on gasoline, cigarettes, and many other things. Sure we could do away with all of the taxes and just levy huge fines on the malcontents that cause the problems. The only reality is that most of the time the malcontents are a bunch of low life's that can't even afford to hire their own attorney so we end up footing the bill to ensure they get a fair trial too. So putting a tax on drinks or the establishments that serve drinks is at least focusing the additional tax burden on the demographic group causing the problems as opposed to all of the other establishments downtown that don't serve and don't contribute to the problems or the crime.

Wow Sam, You sure are full of yourself.

Just to be clear I've never been arrested for anything so I certainly am not part of any "problems downtown".

In my time I've seen plenty of people with "liquid courage" and I've also seen plenty of police officers who were bullies who hid behind their gun and star. Recently some have been rooted out. One high profile case in Chicago and another one in Bolingbrook come to mind. That does not mean we have identified and gotten rid of all of the bad cops who should never have been placed in such a position of public trust.

The fact that both of these bad apples examples served for several decades just further supports the argument that police departments are not voluntarily getting rid of bad cops and are actually covering up and protecting these jerks. Properly and honestly uncovered and exposed all of the bad cops would be many times bigger and a far more costly scandal to resolve than what we have seen in the last decade with the clergy.

The cover up continues because police internal affairs report to the police chief and they investigate their own... arguably with less vigor, possibly with different standards than is applied to "civilians" along with a lot more discretion in terms of benefit of the doubt and discretion to prosecute. Only when internal affairs is operated by the states attorney's office or overseen by the judiciary is anything going to change or improve.

BTW, your statement about "a french fry machine" illustrates your own lack of intelligence more than anyone else.

Downtown has been vibrant and successful for a good time now. Why is it that someone is always wanting to tax the area more and more for one reason or another? Sooner or later the taxes there will reach the tipping point and we'll get a ghost-town for a downtown.

Anon, I don't know what to make of your anti-cop rant. But I have a question, will you still call 911 if someone is breaking into your house? And when they respond will you tell them what authoritative jerks they are?


Sam, LMAO. You are exactly right. So next time the cops are talking to them, we can only hope they mouth off and talk their way to jail. There is nothing funnier than a couple of 20 something smaks like these two getting booked, printed, photographed and locked up all the while taking about how they have a lawyer that will sue your pants off, own your house, car etc. I will tell you even the liquid courage is not enough to keep me from thinking only sissies threaten anyone with a lawyer. There is a problem in downtown after about 9:00 pm. But I think the police have it well in hand. I think nothing needs to be done down there but keep adding data to LEEDS and NICIC. Besides, everyone loves the pretty faces that are being added into the law enforcement computer systems.

This is a problem looking for a solution-as usual for our Mayor, City Council and Police. There is nothing to do, so let's invent some issues. Bars and restaurants are good, and... it's what we have!! We aren't going to change that. Let the market determine the make up.

To both Anonymous's: It s obvious that neither of you have the guts or brains to be police officers. It's pretty clear you two tools are part of the problems downtown...you clowns have probably lipped off to the cops when you had a belly full of liquid courage, and had to pay the price. I am glad we have guys like you in this world though, we always need people like you to run the french fry machine at McDonalds.

"Where in the training book does it show cops have to be jerks to do their job?"

For Naperville cops it is mostly a case of too little too do and getting paid too much to do it.

When we factor in the fact that all a cop really possess is authority and it goes to most cops heads eventually. Which means they don't know how to back down even when they are wrong or make a mistake. They are just desperate to be in charge and in control at all times.

So give a young kid a badge and a gun, pay him too much, let the authority go to his head and it's pretty much a guarantee that eventually he is going to start acting like a jerk. Then you can add in the ones who were natural born jerks even before they were given a badge and a gun and we have a Drew Peterson wanabees.

The one good thing is that since all of these jerks are concentrated in the police departments the rest of us have fewer jerks in the regular work force to deal with.

Do you know what one cop who is a jerk says when he meets another cop who is a bigger jerk?

Good morning Sarge!

You make some good points, though wouldn't increasing the downtown tax still negatively impact the businesses that do not contribute to the problem?

As a more targeted alternative, how about a tax on alcoholic beverages served downtown?

I agree with Anonymous above. IMO, the cops downtown are big time jerks. I have a friend that was railroaded by them and they were complete jerks about it. My friend took them to court and the case was dropped after the cops were made to look like fools. Where in the training book does it show cops have to be jerks to do their job?

I think what the downtown needs is to make Dick Furstenau an "honorary" sheriff, give him a horse and a ten gallon hat, then let him patrol the downtown area on the weekends....he can backhand anyone that gets out of line...male or female.


I'm all for a cost-benefit analysis, but I don't think it should be based upon the tax revenue from all of the downtown merchants. There are a large number of downtown establishments that quietly operate without any kinds of problems or crimes. Neither the citizens at large nor the establishments not contributing to the increased problems or crime should have to foot the bill for increase police protection. Instead a cost-benefit analysis should be based upon the tax revenue generated by the types of establishments that generate the kinds of problems and crimes that warrant an increased police presence.

If the analysis doesn't indicate at least a break even cost of providing salary and benefits then one of several things should happen:
1. increase the downtown tax
2. create a special tax for these kinds of establishments
3 require private security proportional to occupancy permits
4. start decreasing the number of liquor licenses

I think the purpose of the heavy police presence downtown is to keep a lid on things and to prevent, as much as possible, what happens there from spilling over into residential Naperville. That said, it would be interesting to do a cost-benefit analysis to see if the extra police presence pays for itself in tax revenue from downtown merchants.

Anyone who thinks Naperville has taken on a Rush Street type of environment obviously hasn't been to Rush Street for a while. And Naperville doesn't even begin to hit anywhere near what goes on up on Division.

Just to illustrate the difference anyone can pull a FOI on downtown Naperville and Rush Street and do their own comparison on amount and types of crime. In comparison Naperville is pretty tame. One thing is for sure, in Chicago an restaurant area this tame wouldn't have any where near the police presence we see in downtown Naperville. Even Division Street doesn't normally have as many police officers loitering around waiting for something to happen as we see in Naperville.

Does downtown Naperville occasionally have a bad apple causing trouble? You bet. Nearly all of the bad apples we hear about are from out of town, with a few exceptions. Some level of trouble goes with having this kind of entertainment district. The alternative being to revoke all the liquor licenses and see downtown turn into a ghost town... something that won't be happening any time soon.

Overall, downtown Naperville is a pretty sedate environment, especially when compared to what it could be like. All things considered the amount and type of "trouble" shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. The only thing I find troubling is the excessive number of police officers assigned to the downtown area at night.

Downtown establishments should be given the option to either hire their own private security without any arm twisting to hire off duty police officers or they should pay a special tax that would reimburse the city for the cost of the extra police presence needed because of their business operations. The general taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for increased police protection while these businesses make hundreds of thousands of dollars profit.

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