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.

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