City Council members tabled a discussion about approving Ryan Companies as the developer for the proposed 5th Avenue development project.
Some council members complained about a lack of transparency with the process of using a task force to choose a developer – they had expected to be given a list of choices.
“We feel that due diligence and careful deliberation has been paramount in this process, but it has not been involved in this process because we were not involved in this process at all as a council,” said Councilwoman Becky Anderson. “I really feel angry at some of this because your elected officials have been totally in the dark.”
Councilmen Paul Hinterlong and John Krummen were also said the process needs more transparency.
But the mayor says it is important to keep the committee that makes the choice separate from politics.
“It’s more important to protect the integrity of that process, which is what we did to communicate. In the procurement process it’s critically important that it’s pure,” said Mayor Chirico.
City Manager Doug Krieger took responsibility for the lack of communication in the process.
The mayor says although he thinks the system worked properly, it was not clearly communicated.
“Where I think I dropped the ball is after that decision was made, after the recommendation was made, was communicating better with our council so that they understood where we stood and what the next steps were going to be and had answers prepared so that when they got back to the public they could respond properly,” said Mayor Chirico.
City Manager Krieger also emphasized the importance of the project.
“It’s also something that’s impact is going to go beyond this generation,” said Krieger. “It is kind of a rare opportunity. It is certainly more important that we get it right than we get it done quickly.”
The task force recommended Ryan Companies out of eight firms that submitted to develop the project.
A public workshop to discuss development has been set for August 28.
Also of note – council unanimously passed new regulations for taxi companies in Naperville.
The city aims to streamline the regulation process by licensing each taxi company in town instead of individual drivers.
The council will revisit the 5th Avenue development topic at their September 5 meeting, after the public workshop.
Naperville News 17’s Beth Bria reports.
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