Naperville's city council landscape could be in line for an overhaul with political newcomers outnumbering incumbents 4 to 1 in filing for the council's four open seats.
Of the 10 candidates submitting nominating petitions Monday for the spring municipal election, only incumbents Paul Hinterlong and Doug Krause filed to retain their seats. Councilman Kenn Miller says he is not seeking a third term. Judy Brodhead took out a candidate packet but did not file Monday.
All four terms are for 2-year positions, as the city prepares to move to a district election system in 2015. Once that system is in place, the city will be divided into five districts, each electing its own council member, and three at-large members.
Candidates had several reasons for wanting to be first in line Monday morning. Newcomer Jo Malik, a 50-year-old small-business owner, said she was in line at 7:10 a.m. Monday to send a message she is a serious candidate. For 64-year-old Doug Krause, who filed for his eighth municipal election, it's all about landing a good number in the ballot position lottery to be held next month.
Kevin Coyne, a 37-year-old member of the city's planning and zoning commission, also wanted to get in on the lottery.
"Being a first-time candidate, I've talked to others who have run and they said it's advantageous to be at the top of the ballot," Coyne said. "So I got here as early as I could."
David Wentz, a Naperville Township trustee, is leaving it all up to luck.
"My strategy is just to get lucky," Wentz said. "And I do feel lucky."
Several others said they were ready to go and had no reason to wait any longer than necessary.
Both John Krummen, a 48-year-old consultant, and Wayne Floegel, a 41-year-old special education assistant, fell short two years ago. Since then both have kept active in the city. Krummen has headed the city's public utility advisory board and served as a Smart Grid ambassador. Floegel has been a member of the city's transportation advisory board.
"I'm ready to go, so let's get started," Krummen said. "I came to Naperville seven years ago as a widowed father of two boys and this community helped me raise them, so I want to give back."
Floegel, a three-year resident, said he believes he knows more people and has a better feel for the city than he did during his 2011 run.
Naperville Public Library Board President Jeff Davis, 56, said he's looking for a change of pace.
"I've been on all of the other boards and decided it was time to be on this one," Davis said. "I've been on the (Indian Prairie Unit District) 204 school board, the chamber of commerce board, and I'm currently president of the library board."
Bill Habel, 54, said he filed for the future of Naperville.
"I'm an economic development and jobs kind of guy, so I really believe in seeing Naperville continue to grow as a community," he said. "We want sustainability for both our current residents and future residents."
Incumbent Hinterlong, 47, filed for his second term.
"I want to continue serving the people and giving them the best bang for their buck with tax dollars and balancing their services," he said.
Malik and Tom Glass have been vocal opponents of the city's recent installation of more than 57,000 smart meters, but both said they are disappointed with the direction of the current council.
"My biggest thing is the lack of openness and transparency in Naperville. I grew up in Naperville, so it's disturbing that this great place has a complete disregard for the Open Meetings Act, Freedom of Information Act and has no problem using city resources for political purposes," said Glass, 38. "I'm willing to put my hat in the ring and get some new blood up on the city council."
Malik hopes to change the council's relationship with its constituents.
"The level of contempt the city council has for residents and the mismanagement of city funds are my biggest issues," Malik said. "They're spending like there is no bottom to that taxpayer well and I want to change that."
Candidates can file their petitions until 5 p.m. Nov. 26.
Those who filed first thing Monday are eligible for a lottery to determine who will receive the top ballot position. City Clerk Pam LaFeber said that lottery will be conducted between Dec. 4 and 12.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.