Above / Early in-person voting begins at the Naperville Municipal Center on March 20 and is available daily until April 3, 2023. Scroll down to the bottom of page for hours and locations other than City Hall. Links to most candidates’ websites also are featured down there.
Please note: The request for PN voter opinion originally was posted March 17, 2023. Thanks to everybody who has been sending two cents or more. Additional letters will be added between 6PM and midnight, Sun., March 19, 2023. It’s time to unplug for a break.
VOTER OPINION – LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
In early March, readers began inquiring about the opportunity to send letters to the editor related to the nonpartisan 2023 Consolidated Election. We needed to think about it. And we did.
Since Early Voting begins March 20, letters to the editor now will be accepted for consideration for publication here until midnight, Sunday, March 19, 2023.
Follow the KISS principle and “Keep It Super Simple” whenever possible, always less than 300 words in support of candidates deemed qualified. Letters are subject to editing. We cannot promise publication of every letter. Already we have received some letters still under consideration. Due to the negative aspect of letters not in line with finding good reasons of support, this post was not continued.
Early in-person voting begins March 20
Twenty Early Voting locations for the 2023 Consolidated Election will open in DuPage County starting Monday, March 20.
This is the first consolidated election in DuPage County where ballots will be 100 percent paper. We’re providing optimum access to DuPage’s 610,000 voters, including Vote-by-Mail, Permanent Vote-by-Mail, more Early Voting locations, and 273 polling places on Election Day, April 4, with the option to vote anywhere.
Mayors, city councils, and school boards are among the significant local offices on the ballot in the consolidated election. I encourage voters to make their voices heard in how their own communities are governed.
Specific days and hours of Early Voting locations can be found at www.dupagecounty.gov/Election/Voting/EarlyVoting/.
As Election Day (April 4, 2023) nears, voters who have put off applying for a mail ballot should consider voting in-person during Early Voting or on Election Day. Voters who have received mail ballots are urged to complete them and return them as soon as possible.
—Jean Kaczmarek, DuPage County Clerk, Wheaton, IL
Support Josh McBroom for Naperville City Council
Naperville is ranked as one of the top ten best places to live in America. A status like this can only be accomplished by people like Josh McBroom. Josh has been a member of the Naperville community for over 20 years and I am proud to call him a friend, mentor and fellow Naperville parent who I know is capable of balancing his family life while caring and successfully espying the needs of every family of every dynamic in Naperville.
Josh has always been an active coach in kids’ sports, is President of the KidsMatter Board, served on the Linden Oaks Board, is a Naperville Park Board Commissioner and supports not-for-profit organizations such as A Special Place (“ASP”) that focuses on enriching and enhancing the lives of special needs individuals and their families. I have worked with Josh on several civic endeavors over the years as being an independent mental health advocate myself and his empathy, compassion and knowledge of Naperville and his concern of putting the safety and well-being of others at the forefront, especially children, makes him abundantly qualified to serve on the Naperville City Council.
It is glaringly obvious that us parents are looking through a devastating kaleidoscope lens of tough times facing our children. There are many challenges we are facing regarding social media, drugs, substance abuse, mental illness, cyber-bullying and all the twists and turns that cause the upheavals within the family and community circle and because of all of these hurdles, it’s only getting worse. Choosing Josh would be putting a gift in Naperville’s lap. He has a tremendous card catalog of resources and experience just by years of volunteerism and he has a noble character that allows him to serve the capacity of a large community such as Naperville because of his devoted expertise as a father of three boys and being a husband to a wife who has a background in Special Education.
Josh’s Naperville life has been surrounded by influences of other families and organizations who pursue the best for our children with wholehearted dynamism. I have the confidence of being a mother of two, mental health advocate and long-time acquaintance of Josh to ask all of you to please join me in supporting Josh McBroom for Naperville City Council.
—Heather Jurkowski, Independent Mental Health Advocate, Naperville Resident
Support Scott Wehrli for Mayor
As the Executive Assistant to Naperville Mayors, A. George Pradel and Steve Chirico, I’ve seen Naperville grow into the vibrant city it is today. During my two decades in the Mayor’s Office, I worked closely with the Liquor Commission on which Scott Wehrli has served on for nearly thirty years.
Scott’s a good listener and he always looks out for what is best for Naperville. He’s a visionary and a problem solver who always proceeds with a positive attitude. Scott Wehrli is an honest, trustworthy person who will work to keep Naperville a safe community you are proud to call home. I fully endorse Scott Wehrli to be the next Mayor of the City of Naperville.
—Emy Trotz, Executive Assistant to the Mayor of Naperville, 1999-2019
Wehrli vs. White
Why are you listing only Scott Wehrli in Positively Naperville and not giving Benny White equal advertising? A lot of people in Naperville are backing Benny White!
—Lisa Eales, Naperville Resident
Editor’s Note / PN does not post, link or print candidate info without official news releases and permission. We don’t make assumptions that folks want to be mentioned here. Scott Wehrli officially announced his candidacy in July 2022, about the time Mayor Chirico said he would not seek a third term and prior to any candidate’s picking up petition packets. Advertising comes with a cost to help us pay for print production and distribution as well as the whistles and bells on this website. And we welcome all advertising from folks who inquire. We don’t solicit advertising. That said, if you use the search tool at www.positivelynaperville.com and use your candidate’s name, you’ll see most candidates have been mentioned many times.
Naperville’s Unique City Council Opportunity
Voters deliberate whether to vote for Scott Wehrli, Benny White or Tiffany Stephens for Mayor, but it doesn’t have to be a “yes” or “no” decision. Choose all of them.
Like I did, Scott learned many of the best City government practices from our mentor, Mayor George Pradel. Scott will lead the City like George did. Scott has, as a Park Police Officer protected us, defended our City when rioters tried to burn down Nichol’s Library and our downtown. Scott’s vision for Naperville is grounded in respect for all our citizens. His community and business experience proves he knows a Mayor leads in fairness to all, sacrificing none.
After working alongside Benny for 6-years as a City Council member, I expect that Benny’s vision for our City will be dominated by National and State priorities. I don’t agree with that City vision, but Benny does round our perspectives.
And I know Tiffany loves our City, especially its kids, and rightly worries about the drugs and disrespect our youth confront every day.
So, let’s not exclude any of these candidates. Let’s keep all of them for the greater good of our City. Together they present inclusive opportunities, not exclusionary choices.
Tiffany Stephens should serve on City commissions that focus on protecting our youth. Benny White can continue on Council to interject the external issues that could influence Naperville’s better growth.
And we must trust and vote for Scott Wehrli to be our Mayor who can be trusted to always put Naperville first!
—Patty Gustin, Naperville Resident
DuPage County Board Member – District 5 – Opinions are my personal opinions.
Naperville Needs McBroom and Bansal
There are many strong candidates running excellent campaigns to serve our community on our City Council. However, two candidates that continue to standout are City Council candidates Josh McBroom and Meghna Bansal.
We should not elect candidates to a role as important as City Councilman who lack experience and the “know how” for the job. Bansal and McBroom are the only non-incumbents running that already have experience holding elected office. As finance professionals, they both have sophisticated real world experience managing money and reviewing budgets and financial statements. Most importantly, they have demonstrated thorough commitment to our community through extensive community service and by holding leadership roles in numerous Naperville nonprofits.
Josh McBroom and Meghna Bansal are ready to serve our community! Let’s elect these two wonderful candidates. They will be well qualified and experienced additions to our council dais.
—Kenn Miller / Nancy Quigley / Suzanne Hart / Lt. Bill Collins (Ret.), Naperville Residents
Vote for Patrick Kelly
In the City Council Election, please VOTE for Patrick Kelly! Thank you.
Madhu Uppal, Community Activist, is honored
Madhu Uppal recently was nominated for Chicagoland ‘s Top 20 Women of Excellence 2023 Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to society.
The Awardees were selected by the Award Jury from a number of nominees and were honored at the Third Annual International Women’s Day Celebrations, hosted by Indian American Business Coalition (IABC) and The Global Eye Magazine on March 4, 2023, at Naren Patel Auditorium, in Hillside, IL. This prestigious honor is given to a woman who has excelled in her field and who has made a difference in people’s lives.
March 8, The International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day March 8 also marked a call to action for accelerating gender parity, celebrating women’s achievements, and raising awareness about women’s equality. Our theme is “DigitALL:Innovation and technology for gender equality.”
The role of Women leaders like Madhu Uppal are the catalyst for events such as the Chicagoland Top 20 Women of Excellence and this is the third year we are hosting this event to honor our unsung heroes. Medstar Laboratory has been chosen to host this prestigious women’s event as they truly believe in diversity and 80% of their workforce are women.
—Shree Gursamy / Dr. Vijay G. Prabhakar / Neil Khot
Elect Experienced Candidates with Local Voting History
Naperville voters have been offered an array of strong choices for Naperville City Council. Many of the 11 candidates have been elected to other offices, served on important local nonprofit boards, or been appointed to prominent City boards and commissions.
To me, before I consider a candidate, I check their voting records as well as if they’ve ever served on a board or commission where their opinions and attendance have been recorded. At this time, candidates Ashley South and Rebecca Malotke-Meslin offer no such track records.
And surprisingly, their own local voting histories are either non-existent or sparse for candidates that seek to be elected to serve on City Council.
It’s one thing for voters to take a chance on inexperienced candidates if not enough qualified candidates are in the mix. It’s entirely something else to support candidates who seek your vote when they are not even regular voters.
I suggest voters consider stronger and more established candidates. I will be the first to consider supporting Malotke-Meslin or South if/when they gain experience after appointments to city commissions, and prove themselves in the future. For now, their lack of experience and voting history should be non-starters for voters.
—Janice Anderson, Naperville Resident
Scott Wehrli for Mayor
As an 18-year-resident, I moved here for all the things Scott Wehrli stands to support for our city.
What really impresses me is that Scott is a business owner who has created jobs. He knows what it’s like to wake up in the middle of the night concerned about his employees and making payroll. It’s that type of caring and character that improves morale and productivity in any organization through good times and challenging times. I just keep hearing more good things about Scott Wehrli. He’ll get my vote!
—Art Littlefield, Naperville Resident
Beware of misleading mailers
Recently thousands of Naperville voters received a patently misleading mailer, implying through omission that more than half of the local candidates running for office have designs on banning books and “literary classics.”
Thankfully, there are no such candidates. Exactly zero. No local candidates have voiced support for banning books.
This mailer, sent by a group Naperville Forward, is a complete fabrication. Our libraries are not being pursued by any person or groups, let alone candidates, to ban any books. Nor is any book ban controversy before the Naperville Library Board.
It’s one thing to engage in some puffery during election season. It’s something else entirely to deliberately lie. The mailer was an absolute attempt to deceive voters, incite outrage and concern the public.
The 12 candidates endorsed in the Naperville Forward piece are running for Mayor, City Council, both 203 and 204 school boards, NPD Board of Commissioners and COD Board of Trustees.
Hopefully, our community and the 12 candidates supported stand up to repudiate the message in the mailer and add that this type of politics will not be tolerated in our city.
—Kevin Coyne, Naperville Resident
Jodi Trendler for Naperville City Council
Vote for Jodi! Why?
Naperville’s Council-Manager form of government is designed for city council members to have vision and leadership. Jodi Trendler is the most qualified candidate in this attribute by leading the creation of the Sustainable Naperville 2036 Report.
Also, Jodi is endorsed by the Daily Herald Endorsements: (Patrick) Kelly, (Allison) Longenbaugh, (Jodi) Trendler and (Nag) Jaiswal for Naperville City Council (dailyherald.com) (Use your library membership to read).
I have seen many Council members come and go. Jodi Trendler (jodi4naperville.com) is one that will be remembered for vision and leadership.
—Jeff Gross, Naperville Resident
Longenbaugh for City Council
I have had the pleasure of knowing Allison Longenbaugh for 13 years and wholeheartedly endorse her candidacy for Naperville City Council.
Allison is a tireless advocate for all of Naperville’s neighborhoods. The proposed development at 5th Avenue Station pulled Allison into local political issues and she knows first-hand the importance of City Council hearing and valuing residents’ concerns. Her knowledge of the issues facing the city has multiplied over the last four years because she attended every city council meeting, researched the issues on the agenda (often by incorporating the site in question in her daily runs), and broke down both the issues and resolutions for her followers on The Rundown on Facebook. Allison does her due diligence and will make evidence-based decisions in the best interests of all of Naperville. Her knowledge of Naperville’s issues and her 30-year career working across JP Morgan’s multi-disciplinary teams make her ready for the dais on day 1.
Allison’s priorities include delivering excellent city services, being a responsible steward of tax dollars, overdue infrastructure needs, balanced and sustainable development that works for neighborhoods as well as the tax base, and always being transparent in her diligence and thought process as she arrives at the best decisions for Naperville, residents, and local businesses.
Lastly, Allison is a strong supporter of all public servants in Naperville and has attended both the Naperville Police and Fire departments’ citizens academies. Both the Naperville Professional Firefighters and the Daily Herald endorsed Allison for City Council. Vote for someone who will work tirelessly to keep Naperville the best place to live in the United States. Please consider using one of your four votes to send Allison Longenbaugh to Naperville City Council!
—Lynn Gosselin, Naperville Resident
Benny White for Mayor
We have been active members of the Naperville community for over 30 years. We have known Benny White, candidate for Naperville mayor, for six years while he served on the Naperville City Council.
Watching Benny in that role, it is evident what an extraordinary leader he is. No matter what issue comes before our community, he listens to all stakeholders before carefully and finally weighing what’s best for the community. He’s always prepared and works towards resolution.
Above all else, Benny is a man of great integrity and compassion. He has unified our community during some of our most difficult times. He is calm, he doesn’t overreact, he is a true leader.
Benny was instrumental in getting our city’s mission statement changed to include “diversity.” We were in the council chambers when the new mission was read to include, “while creating an inclusive community that values diversity.” It was one of the most meaningful moments for our community.
A West Point graduate, Benny has served his country and held public office as an Indian Prairie District 204 School Board member before joining the Naperville City Council. He has the experience, leadership, skills, strength, and vision to lead our great city forward as our newly elected mayor.
—Nick and Lyndsey Kokoris, Naperville Residents
2023 City Council Election for Allison Longenbaugh
I strongly support Allison Longenbaugh for the upcoming Naperville City Council election. Allison is a dedicated community leader who researches current issues, visiting neighborhoods and listening to stakeholders, and then offering an informed commentary on Council meetings and issues on her social media. She is fair, open-minded, and curious. Anyone who has seen her speak can readily see her warmth, enthusiasm, and significant knowledge of the City and its operations. She truly will be able to hit the ground running.
Allison’s long corporate career as a process and procedure subject matter expert will serve her well as Council faces significant challenges financing major water and infrastructure improvements, maintaining our world-class fire and safety departments, and finding the best solution to the upcoming electric provider contract expiration. She is committed to preserving Naperville’s excellence for families and businesses, while embracing our future as a welcoming and sustainable place for all to thrive.
—Thom Higgins, Naperville Resident
Scott Wehrli is leader needed now
Naperville was established in 1831. It may be difficult to believe, but that’s six years before Chicago was founded. While Naperville may be one of the top 5 most populous communities in Illinois, it’s often thought of as a small town. As you walk down Main St., enjoy the Riverwalk, or a summer concert at Naper Settlement, you will undoubtedly pass people who have lived here for generations.
My brothers and I went to Elmwood, Lincoln Jr. High, and Naperville Central High School. We played Park District Soccer, Park District Baseball, and were Cub Scouts. As children, we participated in Safety Town by riding our big-wheels in the Memorial Day which at the time was led by Officer Pradel.
Our experience as kids formed who we are today. I say this because, I believe those of us who have benefited so much from what Naperville has to offer owe it to our community to lead. That’s exactly what Scott Wehrli is doing. As a local business owner, he has been deeply involved in many parts of Naperville for decades. He serves on the school boards for North Central College and Marmion Academy. Lastly, Scott was appointed by Mayors’ Macrane, Pradel, and Chirico to the Naperville Liquor Commission where he’s served 29 consecutive years.
Naperville was built on four core values: Family Education, Economic Development, and Safety and it’s the responsibility of our leaders to create opportunities for all residents. Without a doubt, the needs of our citizens are different today than they were 40-50 years ago. That’s exactly what Scott represents. He stands for a modern vision forward, but with an important reminder of the progress we’ve made.
It is an honor to call Scott a friend and mentor. He is the leader we need now and for years to come.
—Derek McDaniel, Naperville Resident
Support for Malotke-Meslin
I strongly support Rebecca Malotke-Meslin for Naperville City Council. She is an experienced and effective leader who is an asset to our community. Rebecca is committed to building and preserving a Naperville where every resident is seen, heard, and valued.
Rebecca is the only candidate who has worked for a municipality, which is a unique experience that allows her to understand and appreciate the behind-the-scenes of city services. She has the ability to easily connect with residents, business owners, community leaders, and city employees to build meaningful relationships. These relationships become the foundation of understanding and compromise, making it possible to move policy forward.
Rebecca and her husband, Jason, are 11-year residents of Naperville. Together they are raising their two school-age children in District 203. She spent the last 14 years of her career as a school administrator before starting her own business in 2022 as a leadership coach and consultant for women leaders.
I know Rebecca to be the type of person who calls out injustice, and stands up for those who are disenfranchised. She recognizes that as our community’s population grows more diverse, leaders must respond with more ways to reach out, engage, and include residents in community affairs. I know she has the best interests of our residents in mind when making decisions and if elected, she will be committed to carrying out the City’s 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.”
Rebecca has my vote, because she is putting “Community First.”
—Diana Torres Hawken, Naperville Resident
Vote for Scott Wehrli for Naperville Mayor
Let me proudly salute my police Officer and police Sergeant friends and colleagues for their well-informed and enthusiastic endorsement of Scott Wehrli for Mayor of Naperville through the Naperville Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #42 and the Naperville Police Sergeants Union, MAP Chapter 363.
These front-line, nationally-accredited public safety servants are on duty in challenging roles 24 x 7 x 365 and are committed to preventing crime and discorder, investigating and solving crime and maintaining Naperville’s low crime rate and high quality of life for residents, businesses and visitors.
Although all candidates SAY they prioritize public safety and security, Scott Wehrli lives it, and that’s why he has earned the respect and support of the real-world professionals “in the arena.”
Be sure to show your support. Vote for Scott Wehrli for Naperville Mayor.
—David Hilderbrand, Retired Captain, Naperville Police Department, Naperville Resident
Updated March 18, 2023 / Any additional Opinions and Letters to the Editor considered for publication and received before midnight March 19, 2023, will be posted above this sentence. The order of LTE may be rotated from time to time from now until the Consolidated Election on April 4, 2023. Thanks for reading. And continue to scroll down this post for links to local government bodies where links are hyperlinks to direct readers to meeting archives.
Watch how locally-elected officials govern
The following highlighted governing bodies are linked to online posts on official websites where the public can observe past meetings saved in archives:
Naperville City Council
Naperville Park District Board of Commissioners
Naperville Unit School District 203 Board of Education
Indian Prairie Unit School District 204 Board of Education
Watch upcoming meetings as they stream live, too. —PN
Get to know the candidates running to serve
Naperville City Council
City of Naperville 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.
Naperville Mayor / Three candidates listed in ballot order are Benny White, Scott Wehrli and Tiffany Stephens, are vying for the four-year seat of Naperville Mayor on the Naperville City Council.
Naperville City Council Members / Eleven candidates currently are vying for four four-year seats on the Naperville City Council. Listed here in ballot order are Nag Jaiswal, Rebecca Malotke-Meslin, Josh McBroom, Jodi Trendler, Patrick Kelly, Nathan “Nate” Wilson, Ashfaq Syed, Meghna Bansal, Ashley South, Allison Longenbaugh, and Madhu Uppal.
Naperville Park District Board of Commissioners
Naperville Park District Mission: We provide recreation and park experiences that promote healthy lives, healthy minds and a healthy community.
Naperville Park District Board of Commissioners / By Dec. 12, 2022, four candidates had turned in petition packets to serve three four-year seats on the NPD Board of Commissioners. Candidates are Christopher Jacks, John Risvold, Rich Janor and Mahboube “Michelle” Haghighi.
Naperville School District 203 Board of Education
Mission Statement: Our mission is to educate students to be self-directed learners, collaborative workers, complex thinkers, quality producers, and community contributors.
School District 203 / By Dec. 12, 2022, six candidates had turned in petition packets to run for three four-year seats on the 203 BOE. Candidates are Joe Kozminski, Kristine Gericke, Barbara Higg, Gilbert Wagner, Ronald Amato and Melissa Kelly Black.
Indian Prairie School District 204 Board of Education
Mission Statement: The mission of Indian Prairie Community Unit School District 204 is to inspire all students to achieve their greatest potential.
School District 204 / By Dec. 12, 2022, three candidates had turned in petition packets to run for three four-year seats on the 204 BOE. Candidates are Justin Karubas, Mark Rising and Catey Genc. Though no contest will be needed here, it’s important to watch school board meetings and get to know the issues and the candidates.
College of DuPage Board of Trustees
Mission Statement: The mission of the College of DuPage Foundation is to obtain and steward contributions to expand educational and cultural opportunities for the College of DuPage Community.
The main campus of College of DuPage is located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. COD Centers also are located in Addison, Carol Stream, Naperville and Westmont.
College of DuPage Board of Trustees / Three candidates are running to fill two six-year seats. Candidates are Haroon Atcha, Christine M. Fenne and Andrew R. Manno. Candidate information and official documents are available on the Illinois State Board of Elections website: www.elections.il.gov.
Local elections matter most…
Be prepared to vote where it matters most—locally. Vote where you can meet, greet and get to know candidates who make decisions with the biggest impact on Naperville. Become familiar with elected officials, public policies and budgets up close. Attend public meetings or watch saved meetings in the archive. Visit candidate websites. Contact candidates. Ask questions.
Early Voting in Naperville / March 20 – April 3, 2023
DuPage County residents can vote early at the following locations:
- City of Naperville Municipal Center in Meeting Rooms A and B, 400 S. Eagle St. Park in upstairs lot and enter through the main lobby doors and follow directions to lower-level meeting rooms. When voting is complete, voters must exit through the main lobby doors.
- Islamic Center of Naperville, 25W530 75th St.
- Fox Valley Mall – 195 Fox Valley Center, Aurora, IL
Hours for DuPage County Residents
- 8:30AM to 7PM Monday – Friday
- 9AM to 5PM Saturday & Sunday
Will County residents can vote early at the following locations:
- City of Naperville Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St. Park in upstairs lot and enter through the main lobby doors and follow directions to lower-level meeting rooms. When voting is complete, voters must exit through the main lobby doors.
- 95th Street Library, 3015 Cedar Glade Dr.
Hours for Will County Residents
- 8:30AM to 4:30PM Monday – Friday, March 20-24
- 9AM to Noon Saturday, March 25
- 10AM to 4PM Sunday, March 26
- 8:30AM to 7PM Monday – Friday, March 27-31
- 9AM to 3PM Saturday, April 1
- 10AM to 4PM Sunday, April 2
- 8:30AM to 7PM Monday, April 3
For a link to featured March meet & greets, video links to City Council & Mayoral forums as well as other candidate events, CLICK HERE.
Thanks for taking time to become an educated voter. Many opportunities to watch forums on Zoom, YouTube and NCTV17 are available. Considering the time hopefuls give to run for elected office and serve this community over a four-year or six-year term, it seems only fitting that voters could take five or six hours to get to know the individuals who will set public policy and approve budgets that will impact every homeowner and business in Naperville.
What do you think? Your interest in finding the most qualified and dedicated candidates before casting a ballot will make a difference in the future of this community.
Nonpartisan Consolidated Election Day is April 4, 2023
Polls are open on Consolidated Election Day from 6AM to 7PM Tues., April 4.