The Downtown Advisory Commission, which is made up of business owners, residents, and city officials is at a crossroads.
The group, also referred to as DAC, serves as an advisory capacity on the development, revision, and implementation of planning documents governing the downtown. The commission also makes recommendations for funding and budgets for special projects conducted by the City in the downtown according to the city’s website.
Issues Downtown Advisory Commission Is Facing
But for the last two years or so the group has met up quarterly because there hasn’t been much to discuss, according to Steven Rubin the chairman of DAC.
“I felt there was a need to look at it [DAC],” said Rubin. “’Do we need this commission? Do we need this operation entity?’ So that was a question asked, which I think should be asked of every governing entity every x number of years.”
After some discussion the group decided DAC or something like it should remain in place to maintain a focus on the infrastructure on the downtown area, Rubin said.
Aside from not meeting often, the group also has had issues of possibly violating the Illinois Open Meetings Acts.
There are Downtown Advisory Commissioners who also sit on other entities such as the Downtown Naperville Alliance. There are Downtown Advisory Commissioners who also sit on other entities such as the Downtown Naperville Alliance. If four or more commissioners from DAC discuss and agenda item at DNA that could be a violation of the OMA.
DAC is looking at options that include turning into a committee, nonprofit, or remain as is.
According to the city, “in order to discontinue DAC as an official, formal City commission, the Naperville City Council would have to approve a municipal code text amendment eliminating DAC as a City commission. If something like DAC were to continue apart from the City, such as an independent non-profit or private task force, such efforts would have to be pursued in the private sector without direct City control.”
DAC was at one point a committee, which helped with the city’s master plan. But concerns that the group was dealing with too much money, led group to turn into a public entity, according to Rubin.
“We have not been operating any different in regard to our discussions. What has been different with a commission is that there has to be announcements, notice of meetings, and there has to be minutes published,” said Rubin.
Rubin said DAC recommends going back to a committee to streamline government, and to take burden off of staff.
Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.
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