Leading the City

There are two new faces up on the dais. Newly elected councilmen Steve Chirico and Joe McElroy are ready to take their place leading the city of Naperville. Both men say they had a lot to catch up on before their first council meeting.
“The planning and development part of city council I think I have a pretty good handle on,” said McElroy. “But it’s a lot to learn. I’m learning a lot more about utilities and public safety.”

“There’s a lot of information that you’re taking in on this thing,” said Chirico. “It’s kind of like taking a sip of water from a fire hydrant. It just keeps coming at you and coming at you.

Councilman McElroy served on the Plan Commission for six years and is a local businessman. He says it’s those strengths he can bring to the table.

“I think I can promise that I will do things and make votes that makes almost everybody mad at one time or another,” said McElroy. “But when I do have votes that you disagree with, people need to understand that I’m doing what I think is best for the city.”

“McElroy, wow he’s such a thinker and he has so many friends around town,” said Mayor George Pradel. “They acknowledge that he’s a town planner and he’s done so much for Naperville. “

Councilman Chirico also owns his own business and has already approached Mayor Pradel to suggest a few committees he’d like to be on.

“You just don’t want to make mistakes,” said Chirico. “You hope that your votes are on the right side. Sometimes when you get up there you’re on the fence and you just hope that you make the right call. And if you make the wrong call then the people who it inadvertently affects, they understand.”

“He’s a business man so he’s hitting the ground running,” said Pradel. “He’s been paying attention to the council and he gives a new perspective.”

Both McElroy and Chirico say this year’s city council has a good mix with a lot of good viewpoints. Both say they think they will fit right in with the other council members.

“People always tell me how laid back I am, but I don’t feel laid back,” said McElroy. “I’ve known these folks a long time, I have a lot of respect for them. It’s a great team. There’s different people who are good at different things. So together it should work out real well.”

“I always look at it like no matter what you’re doing, whether it’s business or work or church or whatever it is, you better have fun,” said Chirico. “I intend to give it right back to these guys, if they’re going to pull one on me they better expect a whoopee cushion once or twice.”

Chirico and McElroy filled the seats held by Richard Furstenau and James Boyajain.


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