Soon you can call him Naperville Mayor Emeritus Pradel
Before George Pradel retired as Naperville mayor early last month, he told people he envisioned taking on a role along the lines of a "mayor emeritus."
During Tuesday night's city council meeting, the third since new Mayor Steve Chirico took over, the title Pradel desires became closer to reality.
Chirico directed city staff members to create a new position of mayor emeritus within the mayor's office. The request was made with unanimous support from the council.
The position would be without pay, benefits or a budget, and its term would last only as long as Chirico's -- four years. It would be given to Pradel.
"He's been doing a great job," Chirico said of the help he has received from Pradel, whom he meets with twice a week to review upcoming events and other city manners. "I want to recognize him for that in a more formal way."
Chirico said he knows Pradel, 77, wants to continue serving the city and doing so from an official position "as opposed to just showing up as the old mayor."
So he spoke with council members, got their support, then asked for a mayor emeritus position to be created. The mayor emeritus role could allow Pradel to represent the city at ribbon-cuttings, fundraisers or other events if Chirico cannot attend.
In fact, Pradel was at an event Tuesday night that Chirico couldn't attend because of the city council meeting.
Councilwoman Judith Brodhead suggested that perhaps the position should be given to any living former mayor, but Chirico said the proposal is for just one person to hold the position. He added that future mayors and councils can decide whether to create the position again.
A resolution creating the mayor emeritus position will be presented during the council's next meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 16, in the council chambers at the municipal center, 400 S. Eagle St.