'We're all on Team Naperville': New mayor, three new council members pledge to work together

With the ceremonial handing over of a gavel, a new era of Naperville government began last week.

Mayor Scott Wehrli and three new council members were sworn in on April 30 as part of the city's traditional inauguration ceremony at the municipal center. A crowd of friends, family, city employees and others packed the council chambers as Wehrli, new council members Allison Longenbaugh, Josh McBroom and Nate Wilson and re-elected council member Patrick Kelly took their seats on the dais for the first time together.

As part of Wehrli's introductory speech, after departing two-term Mayor Steve Chirico handed him the city gavel, Wehrli pledged to be a nonpartisan city leader who will work with council members even when they disagree.

The new city council held its first official meeting last Tuesday.

"We're all on Team Naperville," Wehrli said. "That's what this is about: Being on the same team. Knowing we're all here for our community."

Wehlri topped Councilman Benny White in last month's mayoral election to follow Chirico, who chose not to run for a third term. Kelly, Longenbaugh, McBroom and Wilson earned the most city council votes among a field of 11 candidates.

In addition to welcoming the newcomers during the inauguration ceremony, the city honored the three outgoing city council members, including Paul Hinterlong, who was termed out after serving for 14 years. Also stepping aside were Theresa Sullivan, who chose not to run for a second term, and Nicki Anderson, who replaced Patty Gustin in December after Gustin was elected to the DuPage County Board.

"I'm glad to have been a part of this for 14 years," Hinterlong said. "It's been truly a blessing to serve you as Naperville residents."

While last Tuesday's city council agenda was relatively light, pressing topics did emerge, such as a request during public comments to repeal the city's ordinance banning the sale of certain high-powered rifles.

As Wehrli noted in his introductory speech two days earlier, the real work begins now. It's a sentiment that was backed by the other new city council members.

"To staff, to Mayor Wehrli and to the rest of the council members, I'm looking forward to a productive four years," Longenbaugh said. "Let's get to work."

  New Naperville Mayor Scott Wehrli, fourth from right, presides over the city council for the first time following an inauguration ceremony on April 30. Kevin Schmit/
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