Mayor Steve Chirico began his third State of the City address by praising the accomplishments of the last year.
“Naperville is a leader,” he said. “We always have been, and we always will be. It’s simply who we are.”
Niche named Naperville the country’s second-best city to live in and the best city to raise a family. The city also has the lowest property tax rate in the last 50 years.
And Chirico touted the filling two long-vacant buildings two years ahead of the December 2019 goal – the Menard’s building on Ogden with the new Patel Brothers grocery store and the old Walmart on Route 59 with the Mall of India.
“As much as we know we’re a thriving, growing city, sometimes when you see those dead spots, it makes people a little worried. But the fact that now we see growth and we see these places being turned over and being made into businesses that continue to serve our community and give back to our community is pretty awesome,” said Nicki Anderon, president of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce.
Chirico also recognized Kidsmatter Executive Director IdaLynn Wenhold, who will soon be leaving her position with the nonprofit after 17 years.
“Her enthusiasm for helping kids realize their potential has impacted not just this generation, but those to come,” Chirico said.
“Naperville does have at its very heart the fact that kids matter, and I believe that is why it is one of the very best places to raise a family. Because we do collaboratively believe that kids matter, and it takes a village, it takes all of us, to make that happen,” said Wenhold.
Chirico also looked to the future.
“I do believe we need to recognize how easy it is to become complacent and perhaps a little too comfortable,” he said.
He cited plans for including possible consolidation of the fire departments, a partnership with Aurora on an enhanced 911 service, and a plan to establish a city administrative hearing system for smaller violations like parking tickets or code violations.
“This has the potential to save money and improve staff productivity. Most importantly, it will be more convenient for our residents,” Chirico said.
He ended with a call to action to not wait but start leading the community toward the future now.
Naperville News 17’s Beth Bria reports.