commissions
December 14, 2020

Commissions and Conflicts of Interest on Council Agenda

Naperville City Council has several notable items on its agenda for the December 15, 2020 meeting, including votes on the futures of two commissions.

Decommissioning DAC

The Downtown Advisory Commission voted in favor of recommending decommissioning itself and reorganizing into a Task Force. That’s largely due to the fact that many current commissioners also sit on the same boards at other organizations, like the Downtown Naperville Alliance, Naperville Development Partnership, and Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce. When a majority of a quorum of DAC commissioners attend one of those meetings, the Illinois Open Meetings Act comes into effect. DAC Commissioners said at a meeting on November 12 that they intend to continue involving the public in discussions if they become a task force. Council will decide whether to approve the decommissioning and transition to a task force or if DAC should remain in its current form.

Housing Advisory Commission Changes

Another city commission could also see some changes, as the Housing Advisory Commission could become the Human Rights and Fair Housing Commission. That change is proposed alongside the fair housing ordinance with the human rights and fair housing ordinance. If adopted, those two changes would broaden the responsibilities of the commission, including adjudicating unlawful discrimination complaints and engaging the community on fair and equitable housing. The city is also in the process of hiring a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion manager which will partner with the commission to incorporate current housing initiatives.

Conflicts of Interest

After a lengthy discussion on conflicts of interest at the November 17 council meeting, the dais will vote on whether to require council members to publicly disclose if a public participant at council has donated $500 or more to their most recent campaign. Some council members felt that could give the appearance of bias, create a disincentive for campaign contributions, and be difficult to remember who had made donations. Those in favor of adopting that change said it brings more transparency to the dais, which the public would appreciate.

Another option from that discussion would be to link the council members’ profile pages on the city website to the Illinois State Board of Elections campaign contributions page. That would make it easier for residents to find out who had donated to council campaigns.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.

You can look up campaign contributions for any elected public official with the Illinois State Board of Elections.

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