Feb 192012
 

When is the last time that you saw an over-served saloon bully whining and crying about getting beat up by the chess-playing, computer geek. It happened recently in Naperville when the over-served bully in the form of the Naperville city council cried unfair foul towards the good citizens of the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness group. Apparently, the Naperville city council feels it is unfair and unreasonable for citizens to seek information that is not forthcoming from city officials. It is ironic that time after time members of the city council and city ‘manager’ (misnomer) Doug Krieger direct citizens to file FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests to obtain answers to citizens’ questions.  When those citizens do as they were directed to do, they are accused of abuse and harassment by the Naperville city council and Doug Krieger.

Naperville city officials are notorious for requesting cooperation from its citizens, then after getting that cooperation, city officials penalize those citizens for their cooperation. A number of years ago during an exceptionally hot summer, city officials asked residents to reduce the amount of water they used. The Naperville citizens wanting to be good partners with city officials significantly reduced their consumption of water. Later that fall, the city of Naperville announced in their newsletter that due to reduced water consumption that summer, waters rates would have to be raised to compensate for the lost city revenue.

With regard to the Naperville Smart Grid Initiative, at every step of the ill-advised project the Naperville city council has embraced unwise judgment from its inception to a most recent article in which city officials called FOIA requests made by citizens and members of NSMA (Naperville Smart Meter Awareness group) $73,750 worth of abuse and harassment. The estimated time spent by staff on replying to FOIA requests and related legal issues is 1,475 hours at an estimated rate of $50 per hour. If you ask them how they arrived at a total of 1,475 hours, they ask you to file an FOIA for the answer. If you ask the city about how they arrive at the $50 per hour rate, you will have to fill out another FOIA request.

The whining and crying of the Naperville city council is only exceeded by that of city manager Doug Krieger. It is ironic that he whines about additional cost and extra work, since it was under his watch that the city of Naperville lost nearly $150,000 in federal funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development due to erroneous information submitted in an untimely manner. These dollars were earmarked for the non-profit Naperville group Loaves and Fishes Community Pantry. If the city of Naperville was a corporation, and Doug Krieger was the CEO of that corporation, he would have been issued his walking papers. Yet, he is allowed to continue as city manager and lurk in the inky shadows of city hall.

Additionally a few years ago a sitting council member filed suit against the city of Naperville and everybody within shouting distance of his council seat. The cost of that suit to the city was in the hundreds of thousands of dollars range, yet no one from the city whined and cried about that cost.

Recently the Naperville city council approved an expense well over $100,000 for an upgrade to the audio-visual system in council chambers.
There was no mention about that excessive expense. Yet, when citizens ask for information, the council and city manager begin to uncontrollably whine and cry and complain. Only one solution can console this bully (Naperville city officials) and that solution is citizens should stop asking questions. Doug Krieger along with the Naperville city council (not including Doug Krause) believe in the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which in Naperville means citizens should not ask questions, because city officials won’t tell the answers.

Naperville citizen-advocate and council member Doug Krause has the bottom line answer, “Perhaps if we were more transparent and answered more questions there wouldn’t need to be so many FOIAs in the first place.”

My guess is, if we asked Doug Krieger if that were true, he would ask us to file an FOIA request

Feb 102012
 

“Smart” Meters are NOT sexy! When you get your letter from the city saying you don’t have a choice on what you put on your home send the attached letter as a “Valentine” to the city!  An attorney drafted this letter and I am sending it. I’m also putting Do NOT Install Smart Meter stickers on my analog meter and front door! We have the right to say NO!! Thousands of people around the country are coming together and standing up for their rights and are saying NO! As a result CA and ME have real “opt-outs” and are able to keep their analog meters. Michigan has 11 resolutions and 4 moratoriums. CA has 46 moratoriums against the installation of smart meters. Think back to all those dysfunctional relationships that we wish we had ended sooner… this one w/our utility needs a “Dear John” stat! Our constitutional rights protect us, even if the city is going to try and bully and intimidate us into thinking we have no rights. We have the right to say No! Good grief isn’t this what we’ve been breathing into our kids since birth? And now that middle school and high school is just around the corner all of us are saying it more regularly!!

Here’s why “smart” meters are NOT sexy:

1) They DON’T save money:

  • *IL, Atty. General, Lisa Madigan wrote an article titled “An experiment too expensive for consumers” She then states “Consumers don’t need to be forced to pay billions for so-called smart technology to know how to reduce their utility bills. How dumb do they think we are?”
  • *Atty. Gen. George Jepsen of CT: “The pilot results showed no beneficial impact on total energy usage.”

2) They’re NOT secure:

  • *GAO (Govt. Accountability Office) states: “Utilities are focusing on regulatory compliance instead of comprehensive security. The electricity industry does not have metrics for evaluating cyber-security.”
  • Pike Research: “end-to-end protection of private and commercial usage data is impossible.”

3) They’re NOT safe:

  • American Academy of Environmental Medicine: “The Board of the AAEM opposes the installation of wireless “smart meters” in homes and schools based on a scientific assessment of the current medical literature. Chronic exposure to wireless radio frequency radiation is a preventable environmental hazard that is sufficiently well documented to warrant immediate preventative public health action.” (Jan. 19, 2012 statement found on www.aaemonline.org)
  • David Carpenter MD (Harvard trained) current Dir. Instit. for Health and the Environ. Univ. at Albany: “We rely on statistical significance and weight of evidence when drawing conclusions about health effects. There is conclusive scientific evidence for adverse health effects in humans. Clearly the answer is not to install wireless smart meters to begin with.”
  • WHO (World Health Org.): “Lyon France, May 31, 2011 The WHO/IARC has classified radio frequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), based on the increased risk for glioma (malignant type of brain cancer), associated with wireless phone use.” This is the same frequency as “smart” meters. DDT and lead are also classified as Class 2B carcinogens. Would you use these in your home?
  1. Other Cities Saying No!:
    • (CA) 46 cities w/moratoriums against installation resulted in PG&E allowing residents to keep analog meters
    • (ME) legal action resulted in protecting resident’s rights to keep analog meters
    • (MI) 11 resolutions against smart meters, 4 moratoriums.
    • Around Country: 13 out of 17 states who have smart meters going in have grass roots org. pushing back and are saying NO to their utilities.

Let’s be the 3rd state in the country who is saying NO to being bullied, intimidated and frightened into accepting so called “smart” meters that don’t make sense!!! Maine and California did it, now we need some mid-west representation! Michigan is well on their way to getting protection on the law books, we can do it too!!!

They’re NOT sexy b/c they don’t save money, are not secure and are not safe for us, especially our kids! What’s smart about that? You can find out what else you can do at www.NapervilleSmartMeterAwareness.org under the “what you can do page.”

“In matters of style, swim with the current, in matters of principle stand like a rock!”

– Thomas Jefferson

Join us and take a stand: 1) say No to the installers when they come to your neighborhood

2) put Do Not Install stickers on analog meter and front door

3) call UPA and delay installation

4) file letter w/city. Together we will make a difference!

 

Contact the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness Group by visiting:

http://www.napervillesmartmeterawareness.org

or email: NapervilleSmartMeters@yahoo.com

Feb 052012
 

Have you ever played the ‘what if’ game, when you let your mind run wild with different scenarios like what if the pilgrims landed on the west coast instead of the east coast; would San Diego look like current day New York city, would the capitol of our country be in Hollywood, and rather than the gold rush to California, would there have been a coal rush to West Virginia. Alternatively, what if Bartman would have been watching the game on TV rather than sitting in the left field seats at Wrigley Field.

How about this one, what if the city of Naperville would have been supportive of a non-binding referendum on Smart Meters rather than denying the citizens of Naperville the opportunity to vote on the issue. What if the city could have saved hundreds-of-thousands of dollars if not millions by working with the citizens of Naperville rather than fighting them at each step of the process? What if the Naperville city council would have realized that supporting a non-binding referendum would be like inviting the citizens to a Naperville city council owned casino when the house (the city council) plays with marked cards and loaded dice. In other words, a non-binding referendum is a no-lose situation for the council. They can’t lose because it is non-binding which means the council can still do what they want without regard to the vote results.

What if rather than wasting and paying $5.2 million to West Monroe Partners to figure out ways to bamboozle residents and deny the citizens an opportunity to vote, the council would have used those millions of dollars to support the non-binding referendum, maybe win the vote, support local business, build trust from the citizens towards the council, and help if not insure their own re-elections. Here is how they could have done it all. Divide the $5.2 million among the 53,000 households in Naperville; that is about $100 per household. Give each household a $100 gift card for Joey’s Red Hots. Joey is the food cart vender who the Naperville city council likes to bully as though he was a human piñata. That helps build a local business (Joey’s), and in return, Joey could wrap each hot dog in a wrapper with a council member’s picture on it (free advertising for each council member’s re-election). Joey could advertise (again promoting local business) by offering two hot dogs for the price of one; one hot dog would be in the bun, the other would be a council member picture on the wrapper. The Smart Meter Initiative could support the entire promotion. The council could then guarantee a win in the non-binding referendum. That’s how the Naperville city council could have accomplished their goal, but as it is, it’s still being pushed around in the court system.

What if the citizens of Naperville, rather than being denied the right to vote, had the opportunity to vote? We do not know for sure which side would win the vote, however we do know that the city of Naperville has worked long and hard and at great expense to stop such a vote.

There is a logical way to determine who would win the vote. We do know this much for sure:

  • there were 4,199 signatures on the petition to support the vote
  • 519 were eliminated for various debatable reasons in the inky shadows of city hall
  • That leaves 3,680 remaining to support the referendum
  • Add 1 more vote (council member Doug Krause) for the vote
  • That nets 3,681 voting for the referendum to stop ‘Smart’ meter installation

Now let’s look at those who are against the vote and the referendum

  • 926 city hall employees (they can’t vote against the boss, if they want to stay employed)
  • add 12 ambassadors (lobbyists) to the no-vote column
  • add 1 objector-to-the-petition as a vote for the no-vote (think about that contradiction)
  • add 8 council members against the vote
  • add 484 against the vote, for those who are indebted, for various reasons, to the Naperville city council in order to stay in business in Naperville.  It’s important to keep the city council happy if you want to maintain a business.
  • That nets 1,431 voting against the referendum

The final vote is 3,681 for the referendum to stop installing smart meters, and 1,431 against the referendum, which results in a landslide vote of 72% in favor of stopping the installation of ‘Smart’ meters. This 72% landslide also happens to be the same vote result for those supporting term limits for Naperville city council members during the last referendum. Naperville citizens are still waiting for this to take effect. It seems as though the Naperville city council really enjoys delaying action and clogging up the court system.

All of this could have been avoided if only the Naperville city council would have provided gift cards to Joey’s Red Hots. Then the only question would have been, ‘does anybody know where Fredenhagen Park is?’ That’s where the Naperville city council ostracized Joey the hot dog vender into  exile to sell his hot dogs.