The gavel has officially been passed as Naperville’s Mayor Pradel stepped down after 20 years on the job.
“I hope I’ve had a little part in helping some young person in this world, that’s all that I really wanted to do, was have an opportunity to be with a group that has made a difference, and I think we have,” said outgoing Mayor Pradel.
At an inauguration ceremony at City Hall, Pradel turned his office over to the new Mayor of Naperville, Steve Chirico, who looks forward to his time serving the city.
“We will always listen, and I know that everybody up here will do their best and make the best decision for Naperville residents and I’m truly grateful to be here and I’m very excited,” said Mayor Chirico.
Also sworn in were six new faces on the board, including Becky Anderson, Rebecca Boyd-Obarski, Kevin Coyne, Kevin Gallaher, Patty Gustin and John Krummen who will serve alongside incumbents Paul Hinterlong and Judy Brodhead.
Just two days later the newly elected council had their first meeting, and wasted no time getting down to business, as several local taxi drivers came to them asking to help regulate unfair competition within Naperville.
Upset with the local presence of Uber, the mobile application based transportation system, and their lack of regulation by the city, taxi companies want to see some change.
“There’s an ordinance in Naperville that says that no one shall drive a vehicle and pick up within the city of Naperville without a taxi license. This has been going on about a year and a half now and we’re getting tired of it,” said one taxi driver.
Naperville does not currently have any regulations of their own with Uber, but City Attorney Jill Pelka-Wilger says that because the service is marketed as a phone app, they have rules to follow under state law.
“Uber drivers have to provide the appropriate insurance, they have to go through criminal background checks, they have to not receive a certain number of tickets within the last year,” said Pelka-Wilger.
Taxi drivers were also concerned with Uber’s solicitation of rides near cab-stands, which they noted has caused a decrease in their own business.
The city plans to look further into the issue before continuing the discussion.
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