Tony DiBonito knows how to make summer cooler and spaceflight safer. Now, if only the Chandler City Council would listen to him.
"I’ve been trying to make changes ever since I came to this country," DiBonito said. "Why? Because this is my home now."
At 74, the Italian immigrant is no stranger to local officials, and his unusual topics show up often on council meeting agendas. He said he’s attended council meetings for a couple of years.
At one recent council meeting, DiBonito lobbied the council to consider building a giant water mister he claims would cool the scorching summertime temperatures and reduce air pollution.
In fact, the retired electrical engineer predicts if every home in the Valley operated a portable mister at the same time, it would reduce our tripledigit temperatures at least 25 percent. It’s just one way DiBonito has found to survive the extreme heat without air conditioning in his Chandler home.
"This planet is made from three-quarters water, one-quarter land," he said. "Why not do this? It would be a tropical paradise."
Bryan Bosshardt, assistant to the mayor and City Council, said he remembers helping DiBonito find a ride to his first council meeting two years ago.
"I talk to him a lot," Bosshardt said. "He means well."
DiBonito said he emigrated from Naples to the United States around 1950, mainly because "I just needed a little more elbow room."
Recently, DiBonito was one of 27 Chandler residents who applied to temporarily replace Councilman Martin Sepulveda, a Navy reservist currently on active duty in Iraq. He was not one of the seven applicants nominated for further consideration by the council, however.
"I talk and talk, but it never gets through," DiBonito said of council members.