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posted: 8/22/2012 12:08 AM

Naperville delays district map approval for a month

Not all councilmen happy about delay

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Naperville residents and potential 2013 municipal candidates will have to wait another month to learn the official boundaries of the five created election districts.

Several council members were prepared to waive the first reading and approve the maps prepared by a committee of city staff members using 2010 census results and special geography software. But Councilman Doug Krause tabled the issue until the next scheduled city council meeting Sept. 18, saying the city wasn't ready because residents were focused on more pressing issues, like children returning to school.

A move to table an agenda item immediately cancels all future discussion until the next scheduled meeting. Councilmen Robert Fieseler and Joe McElroy agreed the maps should stay on first reading because the issue is too important to skip a step in the process.

The nearly monthlong delay angered several council members.

"There's no one here to speak about it. This topic has been well-vetted and it's time to move on," Councilman Grant Wehrli said. "At some point in time we've just got to shoot the buck on this one. Now to hear it's because kids are going back to school? I don't think so. As a proud father of two, my kids or wife couldn't care less about this stuff."

Councilman Kenn Miller said the citizens' general apathy to the issue, which resulted in a "goose egg" attendance figure at the most recent public meeting on the issue, is all the more reason to move on.

"We all agree on the design of the maps, so if you're waiting to see if there's other input, I'm not sure you're going to get it," Miller said.

Beginning in 2015, five city councilmen will be elected from districts and three councilmen and the mayor will be elected at-large. Until now, all council members have been elected at-large.

The committee of city staff members constructed the map of the five proposed "compact and contiguous" districts that voters backed during the November 2010 election.

In recent weeks a group of high-powered residents has already come forward with a plan to overturn the 2010 election results by placing a referendum on the April 2013 ballot to keep the current at-large system.

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