Candidate Name: Ian Holzhauer
Office Seeking: City Council
Campaign Website: believeinnaperville.com
Subdivision/Neighborhood: Hobson West
Occupation and/or Professional Training: Attorney
How long in years have you been a Naperville resident? 24 years in total (18 years from birth until graduation from Naperville North; 6 years in Naperville since my time in the Air Force)
Service on Boards, Commissions, Task Forces, etc. with dates served (nonprofit too):
Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce (Chairman of the Board – 2020-present; Board member from 2018-present) Naperville Community Television Channel 17 (Board of Directors – 2019 and 2020) Naperville Responds for Veterans (Board of Directors – pro bono legal advisor – 2017-present) First Congregational United Church of Christ (Trustees Chair – 2017-2019) Young Professionals Network (Chair – 2018 (note: This is a Chamber-run network)) DuPage Children’s Museum NextGen Board (2016-2018) US Air Force (2007-2014 – served as a Captain in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps; served an overseas long tour and deployed to Joint Task Force Guantanamo)
The following answers have only been edited for formatting purposes.
1. Why are you running for City Council?
I believe leadership is about giving people something to believe in that is bigger than themselves, and I want people to believe in Naperville. As a City Council Member, I will restore respect in our community, protect our economy, and keep Naperville the best place in America to raise a family.
2. What is Naperville’s most pressing need?
The difficulties posed by the global pandemic are threatening not just our economy, but our very sense of community. If we do not transcend the current discord — in person, on social media, and on the City Council dais — Naperville will cease to be the warm, welcoming, and kind city that we’ve come to take for granted. As a City Council Member, I will maintain open dialogue with stakeholders in the resident, business, and non-profit communities. This is our home, and I believe we must do better to respect each other’s perspectives.
3. In your opinion, what’s the City’s most important private/public partnership?
I will highlight two that are central to our City. First, the Naperville Development Partnership serves as the hub for planning the city’s economic future, as both the city’s main economic development organization and its Convention and Visitors Bureau. Additionally, the Riverwalk Commission serves as the heart, soul, and conscience of the city, preserving our crown jewel and planning its expansion for future generations.
4. Name three policies that need review or immediate attention.
1) This pandemic year, Naperville is dipping into sales tax revenues to cover operating expenses, a concerning precedent. Considering how our merchants have suffered this year, we must control spending, to avoid sales tax hikes that would make Naperville a less desirable place to shop.
2) Naperville recently issued a draft “Traffic Calming Toolkit,” with suggestions for reducing neighborhood speeding. I believe Council should direct Staff to implement calming in problem speeding areas, particularly near neighborhood parks.
3) We should accelerate the proposed southward extension of the Riverwalk to Edward Hospital. I suggest dubbing the segment “First Responder’s Path.”
5. How often are you in touch with members of the current Naperville City Council of City Staff?
I am in contact with the Mayor, City Council Members, the City Manager, or other Staff more than once a week. I reach out to these City leaders both as the Chairman of the Board of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce, and also in my personal role.
6. What planned development will have the greatest impact on the City?
The Fifth Avenue re-development, which will take place on the parking lots surrounding the main train station, has the potential to be a source of enormous pride for the surrounding neighborhoods and the City. First, the station is the gateway to our City for many out-of-town visitors. Second, it is surrounded by beautiful, valuable, and historical neighborhoods and businesses. Finally, if done right, it can serve as a model for citizen, school district, developer, and other stakeholder cooperation.
7. What up-and-coming development is most important to the City of Naperville?
For the reasons stated above, getting the Fifth Avenue development right is the most important development challenge we will face in a generation.
8. How often do you patronize Naperville restaurants?
Working in downtown Naperville and living near Naper Plaza, I patronize Naperville restaurants multiple times a week. These days, our family makes a point to order a lot of carry out/curbside pick-up to help keep our restaurants afloat during the pandemic. But like so many other families, we look forward to the eventual return to inside dining.
9. When folks come to visit, where do you take them in Naperville?
We start at my office at Jackson and Mill and take a walk by Centennial Beach. I tell guests the history behind the New Deal-era beach house. Then we walk by the Moser Tower, the paddleboats, the plough statue by Eagle Street, the hidden maze in the Riverwalk amphitheater, and the dandelion fountain. We always stop at the memorial to fallen Naperville soldiers and marvel at the number of Civil War soldiers from Naperville who died serving the Union. Finally, we enjoy the “A Lifetime Together” statue before getting dinner.
10. How has the Special Events and Cultural Amenities (SECA) Fund served the City of Naperville?
As you can tell from my answer above, I enjoy much of the public artwork funded by SECA, and my guests to Naperville enjoy it as well. Although restaurant patrons feel the effects of the food and beverage taxes that fund SECA, I feel that they are drawn back to Naperville by its many cultural festivals, artistic events, and public displays of art. Without those attractions, fewer visitors would come to town to patronize restaurants in the first place.
11. When was the last time you read the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights?
I re-read both in 2020. As someone who practiced law in both the military and civilian world, I have had the pleasure of not only reading Constitutional text, but actually writing motions and arguing cases involving the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Amendments. The Constitution is one of the greatest works of all time, which is part of the reason it has stood the test of time.
12. What do you think is significant about Naperville’s council-manager form of government?
Experience has shown, not just in Naperville, but in many cities across the country, that the Council/Manager form of government allows for professional management of the city. City services are overseen, but not controlled, by elected officials. I think it is a good thing that Naperville is run by technical experts rather than by career politicians, yet those experts are held accountable to the vision laid out by Council.
13. What is a recent book, television program, or movie you have read/watched that you think everyone should read/watch to gain perspective on life?
I am presently reading “Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood,” which is helping me navigate the experiences I expect to face as the parent of a soon-to-be adolescent daughter. While it is not universally applicable, I would highly recommend it to anyone in the same situation!
Anything else would you like to add?
I was born and raised in Naperville, served in the Air Force, and returned to raise my family here. I want to give back to the community and keep Naperville a vibrant place for my kids and for generations to come!