Hello, residents and friends of Naperville. The month of August has a special meaning in my life, as this Aug. 20 my wife Pat and I will celebrate 53 years of wedded bliss. I want to take this opportunity to thank her publicly for allowing me to serve the city and its citizens. Pat and my family support my service wholeheartedly, and without their support, I could not be the kind of mayor I strive to be.
On a personal note, Pat’s strength and grace never fail to amaze me. She’s never complained about her bout with cancer, and I’ve seen firsthand how she has gone through some really tough times. She has a fighting Irish spirit, and last month her doctor told us that considering her history, the fact she is here today to be with us is a blessing. I am so thankful to be celebrating year number 53 with her, as I know many other couples have not been as lucky. Pat, I love you so very much, and thank you for loving me!
Our visit to Pat’s doctor had me thinking recently about how privileged we are in Naperville to have access to some of the best health care in the world. Recently, Edward Hospital & Health Services and Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare finalized their merger, which created one of the larger integrated health systems in the state. I had the privilege of being involved with events to announce the partnership, and I am so proud of our high-quality healthcare. Our doctors, nurses and medical staff in Naperville truly care about the people they serve; the physicians take the Hippocratic Oath very seriously. I am also impressed at the comfort our healthcare professionals bring to others.
One example came from my wife’s oncologist, Dr. Fari Barhamand, who was neighbor to former City Councilman Arthur Collins. Prior to Collins’ passing in February of this year, Dr. Barhamand would look in on Collins and his wife every evening and give them the extra attention they needed, including making sure they were well-fed and cared for. He did this simply because Collins was his neighbor. To all doctors everywhere who go above and beyond, I say thank you!
August is shaping up to be a busy month around the City. On Aug. 17, we celebrated India’s Independence Day with a flag-raising ceremony in front of the Naperville Municipal Center. On Aug. 23 at 4 p.m., we will honor our city’s founder, Joe Naper, with the dedication of a statue in his likeness at the Naper Homestead, located at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Mill Street. The statue’s artist is Dick Locher, a well-known Naperville resident who used to work on the popular Dick Tracy comic strip.
Naperville has a wonderful history to be proud of, and certainly Joe Naper picked a great spot to settle in 1831!