After last week's protest, Naperville mayor putting forward one of two names for board and commission spots

  • Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico

    Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico

  • Kevin Coyne

    Kevin Coyne

  • Shannon Adcock

    Shannon Adcock

 
 
Updated 5/12/2022 9:06 PM

After dozens of people protested a pair of potential board and commission nominations at last week's Naperville City Council meeting, Mayor Steve Chirico is putting forward only one of the two names for a vote at Tuesday's meeting.

Chirico is nominating former councilman Kevin Coyne for appointment to the Library Board of Trustees, but Chirico decided against nominating former Indian Prairie Unit District 204 school board candidate Shannon Adcock for the Special Events and Cultural Amenities Commission.

 

Chirico said Thursday he based the decision on feedback he received from the city council and the support he anticipated. Reiterating comments from last week's meeting, Chirico expressed disappointment that the usual nomination process was circumvented by the leaking of the potential nominations, which he said led to "a lot of angst" in the community.

"In the case of Kevin, there's definitely clear support on the council," Chirico said. "In the case of Shannon, I have not received that clear direction. And we don't want to put any candidate in a position where they might be embarrassed or shamed. We want candidates to be treated respectfully.

"Unfortunately, normally that process is internal and this time it's not," he said.

Opponents objected to Adcock's consideration because she's the founder of Awake Illinois, a group critics have described as a far-right organization with extremist viewpoints. Coyne, who said he is not an Awake Illinois member, was opposed because detractors said he's an Awake Illinois "moderator."

"Exclusion of extreme voices is not cancel culture, as some would have you believe," speaker Tim Thompson said during public comments at last week's meeting. "It is what reasonable people desire."

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A Change.org petition that garnered 2,900 signatures accused Adcock of being against diversity and inclusion through her work with Awake Illinois, saying she is "anti-Black History, anti-mask and anti-LGBTQ." Adcock, however, said a "mob" mentality is trying to destroy those with opposing opinions.

Adcock and Coyne spoke at last week's meeting. Coyne defended his record as a councilman, saying he consistently supported diversity and affordable housing initiatives and voted in favor of the Naper Pride summer event.

"What happened to me and Shannon could happen to anyone out there," Coyne said Thursday. "This is a very vitriolic time in politics."

Adcock said she spoke with Chirico on Wednesday, stressing that she still feels qualified to serve on one of the city's volunteer commissions and boards.

"The unfortunate part is there was an attack on our reputations, and it was not becoming of our community the way our names were leaked and this mob came after us," she said. "I was on the receiving end of most of the hateful remarks and the lies about my advocacy, so it's probably wise that it be parked for now."

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