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Monday, March 4, 2024

Naperville public meetings with update on boards and commissions guide


Above / Currently the parking deck at the Naperville Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle Street, is undergoing repairs, one level at a time. If planning to visit the Municipal Center for City business, be mindful that spaces to park are limited. Plan ahead. Note also the 24-hour drop box has been temporarily located in the circle near the fountain. (PN Photo, July 13, 2023)

Naperville Mayor Scott Wehrli

At the conclusion of the second City Council meeting in June under “New Business,” Naperville Mayor Scott Wehrli mentioned his working with City staff since May 1 to produce a new guide for the City’s boards and commissions.

“I have one item, an update on where we are with boards and commissions,” Wehrli said, noting valuable input from the League of Women Voters, saying the guide will be going out in its final draft to City Council for review. “It covers everything… And it will be very much contributory to our transparency in this process.”

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After the document is published, Wehrli said, current applicants will be notified via email and asked to review what they applied to do. That effort will be followed by “a communication blitz on the fact that we’re open for business and taking applications,” Wehrli added.

The updated “City of Naperville Boards and Commissions Guide” is now posted on the City’s website available in a PDF file format. Printed out, the handy guide featuring 18 current boards and commissions totals 15 pages. Every board and commission is described with expectations for its volunteers, including time commitments and other valuable appointment information.

Kudos to all the folks who contributed to the well-organized and easy-to-read document.

Become acquainted with all boards & commissions

My acquaintance with appointments to boards and commissions dates back to 1993. I had just begun working in the PR department at Naper Settlement at which time I received a crash course defining the distinctive differences between the Naper Settlement Museum Board (a City board) and the Naperville Heritage Society (a nonprofit organization known to connect visitors to Naperville’s rich history at the 19th century outdoor museum village.)

Back then, signs at the entrance to the City posted the population at 89,000.

Our family was new to Naperville and our neighborhood was still developing where the old Book Farm used to be. When some issues regarding stop signs became a bone of contention among a few homeowners, Mayor Sam Macrane, whom I’d met at Naper Settlement, suggested we “attend tab.” I’ll always credit the then-mayor with educating me that “TAB” was the short acronym for “Transportation Advisory Board,” a well-attended and active board back when our City quickly was growing. For many months I attended then-Saturday morning TAB meetings, getting a taste of the commitment many of our fellow Napervillians were giving to their community.

The recently updated guide also includes acronyms that stand for the title of boards and commissions as well as short ways to address the Open Meetings Act (OMA) and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that might apply to serving.

Considering that appointments by previous mayors to boards and commissions have turned into hot topics from time to time, no doubt some critical thinker will find something to add, change or clarify in these updated guidelines.

Meetings, meetings & more meetings

Our city has long been known for its can-do spirit of volunteerism. Dating back more than 190 years, folks who settled here, many generous and innovative risktakers, have contributed their skill sets before and after hours to help build this vibrant community.

Here’s hoping this new overview of boards and commissions will attract dedicated volunteers with skill sets that will make a difference for the future.

In addition to the City’s boards and commissions, our community supports many nonprofit foundations, charitable organizations, special events, annual festivals and other activities managed by all-volunteer committees that welcome folks to contribute time and talents.

City Council meets / 7PM First & Second Tuesdays most months

Today at 7PM Tues., July 18, the Naperville City Council will meet in Council Chambers, located in the Municipal Center at 400 S. Eagle Street. Click here for the agenda and find ways to watch the meeting live, streaming online or later in the archive.

Boards & Commissions meet / Third Wednesday (Note cancelations)

On the third Wednesday monthly, several boards and commissions have regular meetings scheduled at the Municipal Center. This month, the Riverwalk Commission will host a special open meeting that invites the community to review preliminary plans for the Riverwalk extension from Hillside Road to Martin Avenue.

Building Review Board Meeting / 2-3:30PM Wed., July 19 / Council Chambers / CANCELED

More than 20 years ago, under the leadership of Riverwalk Commission Chairman Cliff Preston, folks met in Meeting Rooms A & B to discuss the development of Fredenhagen Park and how it connects to the Riverwalk 2000 extension from the Washington Street Bridge to the Hillside Road Bridge. After a successful local fundraising campaign for the project of merit, Fredenhagen Park with Exchange Club Memories Fountain was dedicated in May 2004. On July 19, 2023, under the leadership of Riverwalk Commission Chairman Pat Kennedy, residents are welcome to see renderings and provide public input regarding plans to extend the Riverwalk from Hillside toward Martin Avenue. (PN Photo, July 13, 2023)

Riverwalk Commission Special Meeting / Open House to review preliminary plans for Riverwalk Extension / 4-7PM Wed., July 19 / Lower Level NEU Room, located off the hallway that leads to lunchroom. Public input is welcome. (Note that the Riverwalk Commission meets monthly at 7:30AM on the second Wednesday in the lower level lunchroom, eight days following the group’s Planning, Design and Construction meeting.)

SECA Commission (Originally an acronym for Special Events & Cultural Amenities, it’s now Special Events & “Community Arts”) / 6-8PM Wed., July 19 / Meeting Rooms A-B, Lower Level / CANCELED

Naperville Pubic Library Board of Trustees / 7-9PM Wed., July 19 / Nichols Library Community Room, 200 W. Jefferson Avenue.

Planning and Zoning Commission / 7PM Wed., July 19 / Council Chambers / Click here for the agenda and find ways to watch the meeting live, streaming online or later.

Many residents begin volunteering on the boards they serve before business hours. Other folks give time until late in the evening. Thanks to all!

To follow all upcoming government meetings, visit the City’s Government calendar. 


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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.


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