Brodhead, Coyne, Isaac, Krummen for Naperville council
Naperville voters will choose four city council members from a talented and diverse pool of eight candidates that features incumbents Judy Brodhead, Kevin Coyne, Kevin Gallaher and John Krummen and newcomers Julie Berkowicz, Mike Isaac, Mike Strick and Benny White.
This is a well-run city. Its council works well together and is capable of healthy debate without personal attacks that too often mar the national political scene. That efficiency and willingness to compromise makes it difficult for challengers to make a compelling case for change.
Still, the city faces important issues moving forward, including concerns about utility costs, fears about the increasing threat of heroin, the need to increase focus on the needs of South Side residents, the changing face of downtown, more calls for consolidation and other cost-saving measures, and even the number of festivals and events that fill the calendar. All of that will take a council that is open to new ideas and is not afraid to challenge the status quo.
Brodhead is an assistant professor at North Central College and has served on the council since 2009. Before that, she played key roles on the plan commission and zoning board and her background has proved invaluable in an ever-changing city, as has her thoughtful and reasoned approach to issues.
Krummen, who has a MBA and is a mechanical engineer, first was elected to the council in 2015 and brought with him an important perspective, especially as it applies to electric and water utilities. He's not afraid to ask questions and brings a highly analytical approach.
Coyne is a proponent of government consolidation and reining in taxes. He's played an important role in the proposal to merge the Naperville and Lisle township road districts and promises to look for other areas to pursue consolidation, including opening talks with the DuPage County sheriff's department. He frequently serves as a surrogate for Mayor Steve Chirico. He simply must avoid overreaching in some of these areas.
The choice for the fourth council seat is the most difficult. It comes down to Gallaher and newcomers Isaac and White. Gallaher is an attorney who served on the council from 1995 to 2002 and again since 2015. He has a strong background in development issues. Isaac is a businessman and chairman of Naperville/Aurora Citizens for Lower Taxes. White is a retired Army officer who has served on the Indian Prairie Unit District 204 board.
All three have qualities to recommend them, but we like Isaac's business background, his fiscal conservatism and his interest in finding more and better ways to consolidate services. We think he will be accessible, listen to residents' concerns and take a cautious but determined approach to finding greater operational efficiencies.
Brodhead, Krummen, Coyne and Isaac are endorsed.