Joe McElroy


City Council Candidate

Campaign Website:

Circle one: Employed, Unemployed or Retired?

If employed, where? Employed as a public policy consultant.

How long have you lived in Naperville? 27 years

20 Questions

1. What motivated you to run for Naperville City Council?

Life-long interest in public service, professional background as city planner, serving on Naperville Development Partnership Board of Directors and then Plan Commission

2. If elected to serve your community, will you accept health care benefits from the City of Naperville?

YES NO. I don’t know. Family dynamics changing. Wife is no longer on City health insurance; son and I probably will be off within a year.

3. If elected, how much time per week are you willing to give to prepare for City Council meetings, budget workshops and liaison appointments on boards/commissions?

Average 20-25 hours per week.

4. What quality and/or skill set will you bring to a nonpartisan City Council?

Ability to analyze complex issues and work with colleagues to develop best possible policy goals. As a lifelong political independent, I work best in a non-partisan environment.

5. What do you consider to be the three biggest issues facing the City today?

  • A. Keeping neighborhoods healthy
  • B. Encourage economic development, which relieves pressure on property taxpayers.
  • C. Flooding

6. Do you favor term limits for City Council and other local/state governing bodies? YES NO

7. Name one contribution you have made to our city that you think was most significant of your community service to date.

Mandated that retired city employees receiving a pension cannot be hired for another City job unless approved by City Council.

8. What boards or commissions have you served previously?

Plan Commission; Community First; Riverwalk 2000; Naperville Responds for its Veterans; Transportation Management Advisory Committee; Naperville Development Partnership Board of Directors

9. Realistically and fiscally speaking, if you could change/improve one thing in the city, what would it be?

Protect and enhance neighborhoods through a combination of policies that combine financial help to keep properties attractive and more aggressive code enforcement of problem properties that lower property values for neighbors.

10. How do hope to be perceived by city staff, city manager, other council members and constituents?

As somebody who praises in public, criticizes in private and is willing to do what is right for the city’s long-term benefit, regardless of political consequences.

11. What business development needs can you identify?

Large vacant or underused properties along Ogden Avenue need improvement. Also need to work on tenant mix downtown. Need after-dinner entertainment options other than drinking.

12. What can the City of Naperville do better to retain and attract businesses?

Encourage redevelopment along Ogden.

13. What can the City Council do to help keep real estate and property values in check?

We want property values to increase. For the past four years, because of declining property values, we have (slightly) lowered City property taxes, even while other taxing bodies have raised their amounts.

14. What do you think the City Council could do to help keep Naperville affordable for homeowners of all ages?

Encourage housing options other than large, single-family homes.

15. What service provided by the City of Naperville do you deem most important?

Pubic safety

Least important? Sister Cities.

16. Are you a member of a service club or nonprofit board of directors that receives SECA funds or other grants from the City of Naperville?


If yes, which one(s)? West Suburban Irish gets SECA money for its parade.

17. What city amenity is most important and how do you think it should be funded/raise revenue?

The Riverwalk is our signature amenity. It should be funded through tax revenue, volunteer efforts and private donations.

18. How would you qualify Special Events and Cultural Amenities (SECA) applicants for funding?

The current process is ok, but I would like to see less emphasis on special events and more on cultural amenities, including historic buildings.

19. What is your opinion of the bidding and letting process at the City of Naperville?

When two bids are close, I wish we could favor the local vendor.

20. In addition to employee salaries and public safety, place in order of importance to you 12 assets and public/private partnerships that currently receive funding from the City of Naperville.

The City is a municipal corporation with an annual budget of more than $400 million. Therefore it would be a gross oversimplification to rank the often overlapping and complementary services. However, electricity, along with water & sewers, would rank high. Over the past few decades the City has greatly improved its electric service. It’s now time to take a similar approach to our aging water & sewer system.

Editor’s Note/January 4, 2015: Question 16 was revised to reflect accuracy as per the candidate’s request.

Vote April 7, 2015

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