“In Naperville, being a bright light means being a place where people have big dreams and encouraging everyone to lend a helping hand,” said Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico.
This was the eighth and final State of the City Address for Mayor Chirico. It was held for the first time at the Wentz Concert Hall on the campus of North Central College. Chirico said over the last eight years, small actions have led to big changes for the city and are what make the city stand out.
Defining Moments for Naperville
During his last term, Mayor Chirico faced the extraordinary challenges of a pandemic, a tornado, and a call for social justice, each of which could be a defining moment for any elected official.
“We worked, hoped, healed, and discussed our way to a brighter future during that time, and tonight, we’ll look back together and explore how Naperville continues to be THE bright light in our state and country,” said Chirico.
The address highlighted several of Chirico’s accomplishments over his two terms.
- Customer-first model across our organization – “Path to Yes”
- Three financial principles: a structurally balanced budget, improved services in a cost-effective way, increased cash reserves to 25%, and reduced debt by 25% over eight years.
- Lowered the City’s property taxes.
- Reinvestment in economic corridors
Mayor Chirico Proudest Accomplishments
Chirico noted one of his proudest accomplishments was increasing the diversity of Naperville’s board and commissions. Today, a quarter of the boards and commissions represented one of several ethnicities. 37% of the appointees are women, and almost 25% are under 45 years of age. He emphasized increasing geographic diversity with members living from north to south Naperville.
At the end, Chirico was asked to imagine what Naperville would look like in 20 years.
“I said what I believe: we’ll see an even better Naperville. I’ve lived in this city for six decades, and with each decade, it’s improved. I’ve never looked around and wished Naperville had stayed the same. Because change is how we grow. It’s how we become a better version of ourselves. No matter what, I’m confident we’ll always be known as that bright light in the State of Illinois,” Chirico said.
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