Positive Economic Signs

At the annual State of the City address, Mayor Pradel had his top hat back on, a signal that the city’s economy is doing better.

“I didn’t have it on last year, the top hat,” said Pradel. “I felt like we were trying to overdo it when we were going through some tough times, really tough times, so I thought it would be better if I just dressed naturally.”

This year marked Pradel’s 16th State of the City speech. The last two years the address talked of economic problems. But when Pradel introduced City Manager Doug Krieger, he had plenty of good news this year.

One of the highlights of this year’s event was Pradel’s top ten list of things that make Naperville great. The list included schools, parks, museums, and the library system. The top reason Pradel listed is the community spirit. That spirit was seen at the annual State of the City address with more than 400 members of the community in attendance.

“I thought it was the mayor’s best one ever,” said Jeanne Buddingh, Partner at Buddingh Associates. “I’ve been coming to them for 16 years and I just think that his energy and what he does for the city is just great.”

“I thought that as previous years have been a little bit more subdued, I thought this year was a little bit more upbeat,” said Lynda Reilly, Owner of Lynmar Lending Group. “I was very excited to see, and to really think about all the different organizations that are involved with the city and make the city as successful as it is.”

“I also found it very interesting that he pointed out that there are so many positive developments in the community of Naperville, even with the economic challenges we all face,” said Mike Reilly, President of the Park District Board of Directors.

Other highlights from Pradel’s speech included the city’s Smart Grid Initiative that encourages businesses to go green, greeting a new Sister City, and welcoming 39 new businesses to town.

“I really appreciated the fact that he recognized and highlighted the new businesses that have come into Naperville in the last year and the developments happening, so I think that was very positive,” John Schmitt, President and CEO of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Pradel ended his annual address with things to look forward to in 2011: North Central College’s Sesquicentennial, Central Park Renovations, and new businesses.

Michelle Corless reports.

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