Steve, Mayor of Naperville since 2015 and City Councilman in the four years prior, has worked to support initiatives designed to thoughtfully drive Naperville into the next generation.
Under Steve's leadership, the decision was made to change the city's funding formula to a model of "pay as you go" which provides a very predictable way to budget and fair way to make payments to the pension fund. The city's public safety pension fund - currently funded at ~81% - is the highest funded pension among Naperville's top 20 "benchmark" cities. Naperville is now on the course of being 100% funded by 2033.
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Fleet Conversion
After Steve advocated for a CNG fuel station, the city is now poised to build their first CNG fuel station. Through lengthy discussions the project will be built with private funding. The city will convert a large percentage of their trucks to CNG making Naperville's fleet more diversified and environmentally friendly.
Health Savings Account (HSA) Insurance Option
Recommended that the city’s Human Resources department consider HSA health plans to help reduce insurance costs. The HSA plan was ultimately negotiated into our firefighters contract and allowed the city to increase the co-pay to 20 percent.
Steve worked to raise nearly $500,000 to build Naperville's first outdoor work space - Jaycees Park. This unique space, key to attracting and retaining a younger workforce, will provide comfortable seating, shade, electric outlets at each table and free Wifi. The park is powered by Naperville's first solar power plant and the water will run off through permeable pavers into a rain garden. This rain garden will serve to both clean the water before it enters the DuPage River and will also provide a beautiful eco-system.
Requested that the city audit all associations in which the city of Naperville is a member and remove duplicate or unnecessary memberships. This was completed and has saved the city money.
Brought antiquated tax on pinball machines and pool tables to attention of Council; ultimately gained Council support to remove these fees and showcase how the elimination of unnecessary regulations can improve the business environment.
Red Light Cameras
Gained Council approval to discontinue use of red light cameras after it was found that the program cost taxpayers money and was of no benefit.
Expanded Financial Advisory Board (FAB)
Worked with Councilman Fieseler and met with staff to redefine the role of FAB to include more oversight.
Upon taking office Steve immediately cut all travel from the Mayor's budget and turned down use of a city car. In addition, Steve does not accept reimbursement for mileage, parking or food (even when it is for city related business). Steve also turned down the government pension.
Naperville now has the largest economy, outside of Chicago, in the state of Illinois. As mayor, Steve ensured that the commercial base was strategically broadened and diversified by a steady flow of businesses moving to, or expanding in Naperville. During Steve's tenure the commercial vacancy rate in Naperville has continued to improve with the vacancy rate dropping from more than 14 percent to just 10 percent.
Under Steve's leadership the following businesses have found opportunity in Naperville and helped bring jobs to the area:
The Shuman (365,000 square foot, former OfficeMax headquarters, acquired by Franklin Partners who will be investing millions to make it a premier Class A office product)
Nokia Campus (under contract with GlenStar, Nokia will lease back, and GlenStar will fill the 550,000 SF state of the art south building)
SMS Assist (City Gate Centre)
Alloya (184 Shuman Blvd.)
Aldi Headquarters (1100 Warrenville Rd.)
Nalco’s Water University (Nalco campus)
Patel Brothers Grocery (1568 W. Ogden Ave.)
Hotel Indigo (120 Water St.)
Chervon (1203 E. Warrenville Rd.)
Elements at Water Street (123 Water St.)
Andy’s Frozen Custard (450 E. Ogden Ave.)
215 – 231 East Ogden redevelopment
Gerald Auto redevelopment (1210 E. Ogden Ave.)
Steve has also helped to bring in the following new/impending projects:
City Gate Event Center
Old Nichols Library redevelopment
Harvest Food Group headquarters (1600 Pebblewood Ln.)
Mall of India (776 S. Route 59)
Urban Air and Marshall’s (new tenants) at High Grove Plaza (1931 Glacier Park Ave.)
Held a workshop with the Naperville Development Partnership (NDP) and major governmental bodies to discuss the benefits of buying local and to encourage a “buy local policy” within their organizations.
Removed Electric Infrastructure Availability Charge (IAC) (Impact Fees)
In an effort to slow down growth years ago Naperville introduced impact fees to residents and businesses. Following the economic downturn, Steve worked with the Chamber of Commerce and the NDP to eliminate these fees – ultimately making Naperville once again competitive with surrounding communities.
Small Business Ombudsman
Streamlined the city permitting process by working with department of Transportation Engineering and Development (TED) to develop a single point of contact to guide business customers through the process.
Water Street Development
While serving on City Council Steve led conversations between the community, City of Naperville and the owners of Water Street to ensure all parties were satisfied with the final product. As Mayor, Steve had the opportunity to see the project through to completion. The businesses that the Water Street development attracted will ultimately secure a healthy tax base in downtown Naperville and the buildings serve as a visual anchor to the south side of the city.
Zoning and Liquor Laws
Because of Steve's leadership and guidance, Naperville has worked to modernize the zoning and liquor laws to reflect current business trends and shopping patterns. This has positioned Naperville's business district to stay competitive with other cities and the surrounding region.
Senior Task Force (STF)
Worked with Councilman Wentz, Bev Frier Patterson and Karen Courney to establish the new Naperville Senior Task Force. The STF was established to research the needs of our seniors and identify resources that allow them to live independently in their homes.
Crime Free Housing
Introduced the Council initiative to research a mandatory crime free housing program.
Prescription Drug Drop Box
Statistics show that prescription drugs can be a gateway to drug abuse and unused medications kept in the home can cause accidental drug overdoses in children. To ensure residents had a safe place to dispose of unused prescription medications, Steve initiated a meeting with the Naperville Fire Chief to promote the concept and advocate for the program – the first of its kind in the country. Six months after the program’s inception, Naperville’s Prescription Drug Drop Box Program successfully kept more than 1,000 pounds of unused prescription drugs out of landfills, area waterways and the hands of those who may abuse them.
Crisis Intervention Training
Naperville public safety employees are in the process of being trained on how to recognize and approach people with mental illness so that those people are readily identified and provided the help they need.
Renter’s Bill of Rights
Worked with TED to develop a Renter’s Rights brochure and added information to the city Web page to inform local renters of their rights and to protect them against negligent landlords.
Consumer Protection Issues
Advocated for Cash for Gold ordinance; a new set of guidelines that require local pawn shops to enter jewelry into a database accessible by police in the event that an item is reported as stolen. In addition, Steve supports the use of ride-share platforms like Uber in Naperville, but believes they need to be held to safety standards – a regulation best handled at the state level as it’s unrealistic for laws to change every time a rider passes a city line.
Connect for Life
A new, alternative program that provides help for people with drug addiction and have no other place to turn.
Smartphone app that connects registered CPR trained residents with nearby cardiac emergencies.
An updated policy ensures that Naper Notify and social media platforms are actively used to communicate safety issues to residents.