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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

A brief history of the State of the City Address


Back in 2001 when Naperville Mayor A. George Pradel was in his second term, the Rotary Club of Naperville recognized member Rotarians for their public service when the club met at Cress Creek Country Club. Former Naperville Mayors Peg Price (1983-1991), Chet Rybicki (1975-1983) and Sam Macrane (1991-1995) joined the man known as “Officer Friendly” who went on to serve as the only 5-term Naperville Mayor (1995-2015).

Mayor Price forever will be credited for starting the State of the City Address in 1989, now an annual event for the current mayor to recap the past year’s events with a look toward the future.

“Jack Romaine (a member of the Rotary Club of Naperville at the time) was president of the Chamber back then,” Price reminded PN in 2019. “Jack came up with the idea of State of the City to benefit the Chamber.”

According to Price, the first State of the City Address was held at the Sheridan (where the Chicago Marriott is now). One time the address was at the “N” Building when it was under construction. The event, usually a luncheon, also has traveled back and forth to the Holiday Inn Select, Lisle Hilton, Chicago Marriott and now Embassy Suites. A breakfast event was held at Tellabs. One time during Price’s term as mayor, Romaine even coordinated for Naperville to host its State of the City in Chicago, she said.

The State of the City luncheon is hosted by the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce. The 2024 State of the City Address, “The Big Lift,” by Naperville Mayor Scott Wehrli, is set to begin at 11AM Wed., May 8, at Embassy Suites Chicago-Naperville.

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PN Ombudsman
PN Ombudsman
An ombudsman is Scandinavian in origin dating back to Viking times; and refers to a community representative; usually acting independently on behalf of an organization, body of elected officials, or civic group. Thanks Scandinavia for inventing ombudsman.