So what exactly is ‘it’ that the Naperville city council wants? Well ‘it’ represents anything and everything they want. If they want to delay devising a district or ward map, they delay ‘it’. If they want to add a gas tax, they do ‘it’. If they create codes like there is no end in sight, they do ‘it’. If they know no one is watching, or nobody can stop them, they take delight in ramming ‘it’ down our throats. ‘It’ makes absolutely no difference to them what’s best for the citizens of Naperville; they choose to do what’s best for them.
The most recent and ongoing ‘it’ is the Naperville Smart Grid Initiative and the instillation of wireless meters to all citizens of Naperville. Like it or not the citizens of Naperville are going to be ‘forced’ to accept these unwanted meters. The Naperville city council would take issue with the word ‘forced’ but let’s call it what it is; in this case, the ‘it’ is forced. For months, groups such as the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness Group have presented facts and information in front of the city council, only to be chastised, ridiculed, and ignored.
For a while, the Naperville city council was dancing around the issue and leading citizens to believe they may have a chance of stopping this run-away train. One presenter in particular (Jim Rooney in the posting titled ‘Naperville city council saved by the bell’) had the city council, all nine of them, on the ropes, when he forcefully yet respectfully presented facts and posed questions they could not answer. It was a classic example of how one person backed by the truth and courage, can make others relying on hidden agendas to cower under the glaring eyes of the public eye.
There is one Naperville city councilman (Doug Krause) who is fighting for the citizens of Naperville to be heard and get a ‘fair shake on the deal’.
He has been on the city council for longer than any of the others and he has seen many free-swinging cowboys come and go on the council and he keeps being re-elected because he takes the job of representing his constituency seriously. However, he is only one of nine council members and more times than not is outvoted on common sense issues and doing what is best for the citizens of Naperville. With regard to the other eight council members and the issue of the ‘Smart Grid’ councilmen Chirico and McElroy are so new they are still trying to remember where they sit at the dais, council member Brodhead is content reading proclamations, Miller is flying under the radar, councilman Hinterlong speaks in common sense that goes over the heads of most of his peers, Wehrli truly thinks this Smart Meter thing makes sense, Mayor Pradel is there for the ride and planning his next ribbon cutting, and then you have councilman Fieseler who has his foot on the accelerator of this initiative with no intention of looking for the brake.
Many Naperville citizens are opposed to the wireless meters because not enough thought and research has been completed to ‘sign-off’ on the installation of these meters. Many others simply prefer the continued use of wired meters. Why use wireless if wired works? What is the purpose of trying to fix something that’s not broken? The government will give all sorts of reasons why we should do it. If the government says it’s good for us, then we should take the medicine right? What could possibly go wrong?
If we use wireless, we can help control our usage of electric. Isn’t that what my ‘on and off’ switch on the wall does? How about this one; we can go online anytime of the day or middle of the night and see how much electric we are using. That sounds like a good use of time. Alternatively, how about this benefit of using the wireless meters; the city can eliminate the meter readers, that sounds like a great idea, put all of them in the unemployment line. The city has spent millions of dollars to save thousands of dollars. Now that sounds consistent with government actions including the Naperville city council.
Here is the real insult to this whole debacle. The Naperville city council wanted and considered approving a Customer Privacy and Advocacy Handbook with no input from the citizens of Naperville. So, the idea was to approve it and then let the citizens of Naperville take a look at it. This sounds a bit familiar. Haven’t we heard this government ploy recently with regard to then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s comment on the National Health Care Plan known as Obamacare.
Finally, to prove that the Naperville city council is more concerned about their needs rather than the needs of their constituency, the Smart Grid Initiative would require that each citizen-user submit their social security number and driver’s license number to the city for what they call identification purposes.
The real reason they want this information is for collection of delinquent account purposes. So in essence, the City of Naperville is willing to risk the financial security of all of its citizens via personal identity theft, in order to make it easier for them to collect some dollars from some delinquent accounts. The City assures us that this personal information will be guarded; again what could possibly go wrong?
The “good news” from the Naperville city council is that citizens may have the opportunity to ‘opt out’ of using wireless meters. Those citizens will have to most likely cough up some additional dollars to ‘opt out’. My guess is that the City of Naperville will make “it” so financially painful to opt out, that no one will be able to afford to opt out. If the Naperville city council wants it, they take it.