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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Consolidated Election Campaign kicks off for City Council / What’s the best way to get to know candidates?


Above / During every campaign season numerous local organizations plan public forums in order to inform voters where it matters most, right in the hometown of 145,000-plus residents, Naperville, Illinois. Every election cycle some forum attendees suggest there’s got to be a better and more efficient way to educate the electorate. (PN File Photo)

Update, Jan. 22, 2023 / Another calendar of upcoming “meet the candidates” events has been posted on this website. Thanks for paying attention to opportunities when candidates are available to tell their stories, answer questions and raise support. Click here for public events on the latest “Get to know candidates now to be educated voter on April 4, 2023.” 

Update, Jan., 9, 2023 / Thanks for visiting this post. It’s been busy this first week of the New Year. Since we always delay publishing until after the first week in January to avoid being tossed out with the holiday wrapping paper, we’ve been pretty much underground the past few days while putting together the first printed publication of 2023. Thanks to all for your patience.

To keep up with candidate “meet and greet” events and other election-related dates and current candidate information, for now kindly visit Mark-calendars-for-Things-related-to-consolidated-election-on-april-4, 2023. When a new page is posted, we’ll let you know.

Again, thanks for reading. Note also the Mayoral/City Council candidate list below has been updated to reflect only current candidates running in the nonpartisan Consolidate Election.

One more thing… Last month we invited organizations together that previously had held public forums in Council Chambers to have a conversation on how to better serve the community and the candidates during campaign season, mindful that trying to schedule events can be stressful and time consuming. We are grateful that 12 individuals gave their time to attend the meeting in City Hall to provide input.

Our aim was to help coordinate public forums as well as meet and greets in the spirit of cooperation and joining forces. Regretfully, we discovered some of the individuals representing their organizations were not interested in collaborating at this time. Thanks to all for your time, encouragement and interest. —PN

Original Post, Nov. 21, 2022 / Note: Most recent update appears first.

City Clerk Pam Gallahue joined City Manager Doug Krieger as he closed the window to the City Clerk’s Office at quitting time. PN appreciates that they are good sports. (PN Photo)

Update, Nov. 28, 2022 / The list of Mayoral and City Council hopefuls from Nov. 23, 2022, remained the same when the 5PM Nov. 28 deadline arrived and City Manager Doug Krieger began closing the window to the City Clerk’s Office. No other individuals filed today to run in the nonpartisan Municipal Election. A Primary Election will not be necessary.

City Clerk Pam Gallahue said the lottery for ballot placement is scheduled for 12PM-noon on Tues., Dec. 6, in Council Chambers, located in the Naperville Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle Street.

Candidates for the nonpartisan City Council include three Mayoral candidates Scott Wehrli, Benny White and Tiffany Stephens; followed by 11 City Council candidates in order by signing that include Ashley South, Ashfaq Syed, Nag Jaiswal, Allison Longenbaugh, Nathan “Nate” Wilson, Josh McBroom, Rebecca Malotke-Meslin, Jodi Trendler, Patrick Kelly, Meghna Bansal and Madhu Uppal.

The window to the City Clerk’s Office was closed at 5PM, Mon., Nov. 28. Next up is the lottery for ballot placement to be held at noon, Tues., Dec. 6, in Council Chambers. (PN Photo)

Update, Nov. 23, 2022 / A check with the City Clerk’s office just before 5PM closing time, Wed., Nov. 23, revealed another hopeful had filed petition packets mid-afternoon for Naperville Mayor.

The 14 hopefuls for the nonpartisan City Council now include three Mayoral candidates Scott Wehrli, Benny White and Tiffany Stephens; followed by 11 City Council candidates in order by signing that include Ashley South, Ashfag Syed, Nag Jaiswal, Allison Longenbaugh, Nathan “Nate” Wilson, Josh McBroom, Rebecca Malotke-Meslin, Jodi Trendler, Patrick Kelly, Meghna Bansal and Madhu Uppal.

Again, the deadline for all hopefuls to turn in petition packets is 5PM Mon., Nov. 28, 2022. The nonpartisan Consolidated Election is Tues., April 4, 2023.

Kindly note that this post will be updated to keep a running tally of all candidates that file for the nonpartisan municipal election until 5PM, Nov. 28, 2022, in hopes to keep every reader on the same page. —PN

The City Clerk’s office is located on the main level of the Naperville Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle Street.

Update, Nov. 21, 2022 / The City Clerk’s Office opened at 8AM today and will be available until 5PM to accept petition packets from Mayoral and City Council candidates running to serve the Naperville City Council in the nonpartisan Consolidated Election to be held on Tues., April 4, 2023.

The desktop sign reminded the 13 hopefuls in line that City staff cannot answer questions regarding any matter related to candidacy. The first filings were completed within 10 minutes.

Candidate filing will continue from 8AM to 5PM on Tues., Nov. 22; Wed., Nov. 23; and Mon., Nov. 28.

City Manager Doug Krieger observed the event, saying that he does not expect a Primary Election (necessary if more than four candidates run for one seat or more than 16 vie for City Council) will be held in late February. However, the City will host a lottery on a December date to be decided by the City Clerk to determine candidate positions on the ballot.

The 13 hopefuls who began filing at 8AM included Mayoral candidates Scott Wehrli and Benny White; followed by City Council candidates in order by signing that included Ashley South, Ashfag Syed, Nag Jaiswal, Allison Longenbaugh, Nathan “Nate” Wilson, Derek McDaniel, Josh McBroom, Rebecca Malotke-Meslin. Jodi Trendler. Patrick Kelly and Meghna Bansal.

Later in the day, Madhu Uppal became the 12th candidate to file a petition packet for City Council.

Again, the deadline for all hopefuls to turn in petition packets is 5PM Mon., Nov. 28.

Naperville municipal nonpartisan election begins

Back in 2014, then-Councilman Steve Chirico turned in his petition packets to run for Naperville Mayor, with his wife Julie by his side. After serving two 4-year terms, Mayor Chirico opted not to run for re-election. (PN File Photo)

Original Post, Nov. 20, 2022 / Tomorrow morning at 8AM another City Council campaign begins when candidates begin filing petition packets in the City Clerk’s office.

By 5PM Mon., Nov. 28, our community will know the number of City Council candidates running in the nonpartisan Consolidated Election taking place on April 4, 2023.

Up this year are the offices for Mayor and four City Council members. All five seats are for four-year terms.

Four of the five seats to be filled are open, left empty by Mayor Steve Chirico (who is not running for a third term), Councilman Paul Hinterlong (term limited after serving three 4-year terms), Councilwoman Patty Gustin (recently elected to DuPage County Board) and Councilwoman Theresa Sullivan (announced she will not run for re-election).

Each of the five seats brings one equal vote to the dais of nine individuals elected to serve the Naperville City Council, including the Mayor.

And all nine City Council members are expected to embrace its mission “To provide services that ensure a high quality of life, sound fiscal management, and a dynamic business environment, while creating an inclusive community that values diversity.”

Thanks to all who wish to serve honorably

We are blessed that many Naperville citizens are eager and willing to serve. Some suburban communities fail to have contested elections, while some others don’t have enough candidates to fill all the empty seats.

Since 1969, Naperville has operated under the Council-Manager form of government as provided by state law. Under Council-Manager leadership, a professional chief administrator is responsible for all city operations. Appointed by the City Council, the City Manager also executes the policies established by the nine-member Council.

Whether or not all individuals who took petition packets file them also will be known on Nov. 28, a time when it will be determined if a Primary Election will need to be held on Tues., Feb. 28, 2023.

In addition, candidates running to serve Boards of Education in School Districts 203 and 204 as well as candidates aiming to serve the Naperville Park District Board of Commissioners will be filing petitions beginning weekdays Dec. 12 through Dec. 19. More about those nonpartisan Consolidated Election races later.

(PN File Photo)

Planning & Scheduling Nonpartisan Public Forums

During the last Mayoral Election in 2019, just about every organized group and service club in town planned a “candidate forum,” inviting and expecting all the hopefuls and the media to attend. In addition, the media and many local groups, including this publication, put together written candidate Q&As to be published for voter review.

Because of the large number of forums, attendance from the viewing public oftentimes was low. What’s more, sometimes candidates had last-minute conflicts due to work or family commitments. Life happens.

2017 City Council Forum (PN File Photo)

Limiting the Number of Forums Might Be More Attractive

From one forum to the next of many, several of us regular attendees wondered how to make these time-consuming forums more effective and better attended for all concerned as a showcase for healthy debate and good ideas.

In the can-do spirit of uniting, some of us thought it might be a good idea to combine forces from the get-go when planning and scheduling public forums. Perhaps all the sponsoring organizations seeking to educate voters could put their heads together to collaborate, schedule and present fair, informative forums that attract broader audiences with potential voters to attend and/or watch.

This memo is being sent to the Naperville Area Homeowners Confederation, League of Women Voters, Indian Community Outreach, NCTV17, City of Naperville, public unions and others in hopes that we can meet to work together to combine efforts and/or co-sponsor a set of forums.

When the City Council forums conclude, groups also will host forums for the Naperville Park District and local school boards. Stay tuned. (PN File Photo)

Before the campaign season revs up after January 1, 2023, an open meeting will be held in an attempt to attract all forum planners, trying to avoid time-consuming and sometimes stressful duplication of efforts.

Perhaps by working together in advance of the busy campaign season when individual candidates will schedule their own fundraisers as well as meets-and-greets, we can set the stage and the tone to be better informed about all candidates who want to set public policy, approve budgets and serve our community.

All ideas will be welcomed and considered. And perhaps we’ll be led to a better understanding of why every vote counts, especially in local elections.

Thanks for reading and giving the idea of streamlining the schedule of public forums some thought and consideration.

—Stephanie Penick

Post last updated, Nov. 28, 2022


PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.