It’s not often that you can get a panel of 11 people consisting of politicians, lawyers, and government bureaucrats including the Naperville city council to ‘freeze’ and become speechless for what seemed like an hour, but that’s exactly what Naperville citizen and Smart Meter Awareness Group member Joanne St Ives did at last Tuesday’s city council meeting when she asked a simple straight forward question. In fact, the only audible sound you could hear was the hyperventilating of council member Bob Fieseler while the others sat in frozen silence. It was not until citizen St Ives asked again for an answer that the deafening silence was broken. Watch and listen as Joanne makes her less than three-minute right-on-target presentation to the Naperville city council with her question coming at the end that freezes the entire council.
The city council’s consternation comes from the fact that it is very difficult to argue against the truth and common sense. Now typically politicians, lawyers and government bureaucrats are very adept at speaking without making sense and chances are that most of them own many pairs of tap-dancing shoes. The more they dance around issues, the more shoes they need. And when it comes to the topic of the Naperville not-so Smart Grid Initiative, there is a whole lot of tap-dancing going on.
Now to be fair, there is one council member (Doug Krause) who represents the voice of reason on the Naperville city council by truly considering the best interests of Naperville citizens. Watch and listen as he addresses his peers.
Balancing out council member Krause’s concerns for his constituency is the power play of council member Bob Fieseler who basically states that ‘come hell or high water’ the citizens of Naperville are going to get these (not-so) Smart Meters whether they want them or not.
Then council member Fieseler follows up with this brilliant observation about the unimportance of paying attention to detail.
Apparently, Fieseler takes the same stance that the person in charge of making sure the Titanic had binoculars for the crows nest did; why pay attention to detail, what could possibly go wrong; forget the details, let’s just get this ship moving. Keep in mind that council member Fieseler who downplays the importance of detail is the same person who appears to be the ‘front person’ for this not-so Smart Grid Initiative debacle.
On a separate but related note, Kim Bendis, another member of the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness group, wrote a detailed letter dated June 13 to city manager Doug Krieger listing and asking for answers to a series of thoughtful and important questions regarding the NSGI to which the city manager responded one month later. One question was “Is there anyone on the city staff or city council who personally, professionally or politically is benefiting from the NSGI project?” In other words is there any conflict of interest. That sounds like a respectful, fair, and reasonable question that any citizen has a right, if not an obligation to ask. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “the first responsibility of any citizen is to question authority”. For the most part the Naperville city council does an outstanding job of avoiding any semblance of conflict of interest. To this, each of the nine council members should be commended and applauded. Interestingly, it was the only question that was not answered either directly, or with the aid of tap-dancing shoes.