April’s Confederation meeting was my favorite meeting of the year. It is the one time, every year, when we invite the members of the City Council to sit down with the Confederation membership. We meet in an informal session, and they each talk about what they see as important in the community, and what we can all do, neighbor-to-neighbor, to make our town the best it can be. We call this meeting, “off-the-dais,” because the rules of order that apply are based on common courtesy, not formal process.
While there are a number of very vocal naysayers who would like you to believe otherwise, two-way communication is alive and well in our community. There will always be issues where there are different points of view, and we would not be human if we always agreed. The key to our discussions is a level of mutual respect, fact based dialogue, and an open and respectful process. Understanding that there will always be another issue and that it is better to look forward, and not always in the rear view mirror at what has been, are crucial to developing a constructive relationship.
Even though I was unable to attend the meeting as I continued my recovery from surgery, I heard very good reports on what we accomplished. I would like to thank Councilmen Chirico, Hinterlong, Krause, McElroy, and Wehrli; Councilman Elect Wentz; Mayor Pradel (who joined for coffee before leaving for another commitment) and city staff and department heads for taking the time to join us, as neighbors, to inform, educate, listen, laugh, and continue to build on the foundation of community progress.
Nowhere other than Naperville does this model work, and we thank our community members for their commitment and focus on building a town we can be proud to call home.
May will be my last meeting as your Confederation President. My role within the NAHC will evolve and I will continue to be involved. I would like to thank our board, members, and community for their commitment to Naperville and for being good neighbors.