Naperville’s Mayoral Candidate Forum 2019

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Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico and challenger Rocky Caylor met at city hall for a public forum hosted by the Naperville Area Homeowner’s Confederation. The two answered questions provided from the confederation and the audience.

Many were centered on development, specifically on the Fifth Avenue project.

Chirico likes the direction Fifth Avenue is heading.

“I think that the scale and scope of this is lined with what I believe it should be. I like the mix of uses, of institutional, retail, entertainment, housing, I think there will likely be medical and I think that overall, we have an opportunity for it to be a great project,” said Chirico.

But Caylor feels areas in need of improvement, like the East Ogden Avenue corridor, should be focused on first.

“I think just like we have a group downtown Naperville that the city supports to keep it vibrant. We need one for Ogden Avenue, and we need one for the polo grounds, Wagner farms and Naperville crossing that can be combinations of business and residence,” said Caylor.

Another topic was how to prevent younger generations from leaving town.

Caylor agreed it’s important to bring back young residents, offering a suggestion.

“The first thing I want to do is create a Young Residents Task Force. Of our young residents between the age of 25 to 35, I believe is a good start,” said Caylor. “Let’s ask them what do you need for them to come back here.”

While Chirico emphasized affordable housing.

“Housing is where were have a tremendous opportunity. This gets back to the Fifth Avenue development. That’s the type of house these recent graduates desire along with empty nesters. And so that’s a huge part of our demographic,” said Chirico.

The election will be on April 2.

Naperville News 17’s Antonia Acuna reports.