Planning Commission member to run for Naperville City Council

Kevin Coyne
Kevin Coyne

At least one challenger is expected to join the ballot when Naperville’s entire City Council goes before the voters next spring.

Kevin Coyne, an attorney and Planning and Zoning Commission member who sought a council seat in April 2013, plans to make another run for the municipal governing board. A partner in the Naperville law firm Nyberg & Cassioppi, LLC, Coyne issued a statement Friday morning, describing Naperville as “a tremendous city” and citing advantages including his business experience and past involvements in civic life in announcing his candidacy.

A south Naperville resident and longtime Jaycee who in the past has spearheaded the group’s Last Fling fundraiser over Labor Day weekend, Coyne is the first candidate to publicly announce a challenge to the sitting council members. All of their terms will expire next April, thanks to a formerly planned move to a geographically based representative council system that was to take effect next year. Voters resoundingly reversed that decision in the April 2013 election, however, keeping council representation at large.

So far, Councilman Bob Fieseler has said he will not seek another term next spring. Council members Grant Wehrli and Steve Chirico also do not plan to be on the ballot for council seats. Wehrli hopes to head to Springfield to replace state Rep. Darlene Senger, who is challenging incumbent Congressman Bill Foster for the U.S. House in District 11 in November’s general election. Chirico aims to succeed retiring longtime Naperville Mayor A. George Pradel in that office. Most of the remaining council members are expected to run again, although they have not yet formally launched their campaigns.

Coyne said he isn’t worried about a repeat of last year’s defeat. He finished fifth among the 11 candidates who sought the four available council positions, falling short of current Councilman Dave Wentz.

“We had a good show in the last round, we fell just a percent or so short, so I’m feeling pretty good,” Coyne said, noting that many elected officials engage in at least one unsuccessful campaign before eventually winning office.

Nominating papers can’t be circulated until Sept. 23, so he plans to be out talking to people in the coming weeks, especially those in the business community.

“There’s a number of issues in town that are of great concern,” he said, citing current discussion of requiring downtown bars to close earlier as a way to discourage drunk driving and other problems. “I’ll be talking to business owners and residents about what’s been going on downtown late at night.”

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