Editor's note: This letter was submitted on Nov. 2
At last night’s Naperville city council meeting, councilman Grant Wehrli explained to Kim Bendis the reason for her being ejected from the October 18th city council meeting. Ms. Bendis had made a vocal response to a council member’s inaccurate remarks about health and safety issues associated with smart meters. Councilman Wehrli stated her conduct was a violation of a city council meeting rule, and that rules must be followed for there to be a civil discourse in society
However, shouldn’t rules be applied equally to all citizens? Shouldn’t the entire city council and the city manager have been escorted from the chamber by the Naperville Police Department? They have allowed the to violate the rule (Illinois statute and local ordinance) requiring the city to publish the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) within 6 months of the close of the fiscal year ending April 30, 2011. A notice posted on the city’s website, stated only that the CAFR would be late, for an unknown period, and for unexplained reasons. Failure to meet this important deadline is intolerable.
It is very troubling that the city has failed to produce this key document within the statutory time frame, especially in these economic times. Citizens today are actively engaged and involved in their government. We need accurate, reliable and timely information on where and how our tax dollars were spent, and how much debt the city has amassed.
For now, all decisions by the city council on next year’s budget should be put on hold until the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report has been published, and citizens have adequate time to read and evaluate it. Only then can taxpayers have meaningful input into the budgetary process, and let the city council know what fiscal course they want the city to take.