Feb 272013
 

The results are in for the most recent resident satisfaction survey provided by the city of Naperville. It was a lengthy questionnaire, with an even more lengthy interpretation of the results. For the most part it appears the residents of Naperville are satisfied with their way of life.

There are some major areas of dissatisfaction including:

  • the flow and congestion of traffic
  • less than desirable public transportation services
  • household hazardous waste disposal services
  • visibility of police in neighborhoods
  • the quality of the city’s television station

Another area of concern is that almost one out of 5 residents do not feel safe in downtown Naperville after 10pm. Not impressive for a city that once prided itself in being family friendly, but continues to slide in that all important metric.

The flow of traffic and congestion is a challenge for the city to rectify; difficult to make it better, but extremely easy to make it worse. The city will have the opportunity to make it worse when they finally address the issue of the downtown Water Street high-density project.

So things on the whole are good in Naperville, at least based on the questions that were asked. However some all important questions were missing from the survey including:

 

  • Are you satisfied with the actions of the city council which have lead to law suits against the city?
  • Can you name two city council members?
  • Can you name one city council member?
  • Do you believe the city manager is getting the job done?
  • Do you even know who the city manager is?
  • Are you pleased that the city wants a do-over vote for something you already voted on; our form of representation?
  • Are you pleased that the city would not allow you to vote on a non-binding referendum for smart meters?
  • Are you pleased that the city forcefully installed smart meters on your home?
  • Are you pleased that two Naperville moms were arrested for protecting their homes and families from forced smart meter installation?
  • Are you pleased with Naperville’s image in the Chicago area and nationwide due to the inappropriate actions of the city council?
  • Are you satisfied with Naperville’s lack of effective leadership?

The survey indicates that things are good in Naperville, but if ‘better’ is possible (and it definitely is), then ‘good’ is not enough. It’s time to make things better on election day April 9.

Feb 262013
 

What is said, and what is done are oftentimes two different things, especially as it applies to most Naperville city council members, and in this case, specifically to councilman Grant Wehrli.

First, watch and listen to Wehrli as he states what is ‘the last thing he wants to do’.

So there’s Grant not wanting to “cause anyone a headache”

Now watch and listen to resident William Hannah as he questions why the council needs the personal information of Naperville residents.

Sounds as though Grant Wehrli along with most of his council peers might be causing William an Excedrin Extra Strength headache.

Now watch and listen to Naperville resident Carol Phillips when she mentions that the ‘city council behavior is an embarrassment’ and residents from nearby towns compare it to the Nazi’s of WWII.

Again it sounds like councilman Wehrli might be part of inflicting an industrial-strength headache on a long-time resident of Naperville.

When councilman Grant Wehrli publicly states the last thing he wants to do is cause anyone a headache, it appears he has failed miserably to achieve his goal. You might want to make sure you have some Excedrin nearby when Grant is nearby.

Feb 242013
 

No sooner does former Governor Ryan get back on the streets after years in the slammer, now comes Illinois representative Jesse Jackson Jr., in line to take his place doing time. This is happening while former Governor Rob Blogojevich is wondering where he went wrong; he could have been a senator from Illinois, but now he’s doing time in the gray bar hotel. Illinois has been on record setting pace for bad government long before former Governors Stratton and Walker found themselves behind bars. How foolish can Illinois politicians be.

Speaking of foolish politicians, Naperville’s city council members find themselves being called upon to resign. At the same time, Naperville residents are clamoring for city manager, Doug Krieger, to be fired. It sounds like the citizens of Naperville have had more than enough of this group of city officials. So much in fact, that back in 2010 residents voted by a landslide to change its form of government from council members being elected at large, to being elected primarily by districts with a few still running around loose. Residents also voted by an absolutely huge margin for term limits. Three years ago the residents spoke loudly, and what did Naperville officials do. Well they delayed the implementation of the voters will until the year 2015; a full five years after residents voted. And then as a further insult to the residents of Naperville, city officials approved another vote on district representation thereby having a do-over vote. It’s just a matter of time before city officials lay the groundwork for a do-over vote on term limits.

Naperville city officials continue to erode what little credibility they have left. Unfortunately it’s the actions of most city officials that make the few other city officials really look bad in the eyes of Naperville residents.

So what can city council members and the city manager do, to improve their image. Well, the first thing they could do is start doing things right. However, that’s also the most difficult thing for them to do. Their only option is to hire an expensive public relations company for themselves. It would have to be an extremely good PR firm, since the humongous task of improving city officials images would take a herculean effort; they’d have to find something positive about each person, and that’s not easy.

Let’s work our way around the dais from left to right and suggest something positive for each.

Joe McElroy: Taking a twist on Billy Joel’s ‘We didn’t start the fire’, Joe can say ‘I didn’t start the fire, it’s been always burning’.

Judy Brodhead: Bring home made cookies for everyone at council meetings. Heck, I’d even eat one…..as long as Judy ate one first.

Bob Fieseler: O.K., so we can’t find something positive; we did say it wouldn’t be easy.

Doug Krause: He would have been the mayor, if second place finishes were considered winners.

City manager, Doug Krieger: the man can dance; and isn’t that what an official needs when he can’t give a straight answer.

Mayor Pradel: take away his gavel, replace it with a billy-club, slap a police badge back on officer friendly along with a police hat. So what if he’s not a police officer, neither is our police chief.

City attorney, Margo Ely; her motto could be, “With city officials like Naperville has, I can juggle law suits against the city, like a Gold Medal Olympian juggler”

Kenn Miller: No one could sell a used car like Kenn Miller, in fact, he could sell a used car off a lot that he doesn’t even work at.

Grant Wehrli: he needs to show that he can relate to the ‘common folk’, so he could say, “Listen, ‘Wehrli Road’ wasn’t named after me, it was named after ‘Rocky Road’. Likewise ‘Wehrli Stadium’ was named after ‘Stanley Stadium’.

Paul Hinterlong: How can anyone look at Paul, and listen to him, no matter what he’s trying to say, and not like him.

Steve Chirico: considering he’s involved in the flooring business, it can always be said that he’s got his feet planted firmly on the ground, and he’s got a firm foundation to stand on.

Considering city officials have taken a massive ‘beat down’, from residents, along with intense negative press on radio and TV both locally and nationwide, and folks from other countries consider Naperville officials to be ‘bad entertainment’, they desperately need PR help to bolster their egos.

Imagine if the Naperville city council did resign and Krieger’s ouster became a reality; that would provide Naperville residents with the relief they need.

Feb 222013
 

 

Every now and then a parent has to sit his child down and set him straight, or a principal calls into his or her office a kid to remind him of the virtues of being civil. In Naperville we see this happening more and more with residents needing to remind city officials, including city council members and the city manager Doug Krieger, of the importance of common courtesies such as being respectful to constituents, thinking before speaking, listening, acting with integrity, avoiding being insulting, and acting in a civil manner towards residents.

Listen and watch as Naperville resident Tina Longnecker admonishes Naperville city council members along with Doug Krieger and implores them to embrace civility.

For those of you who remember Robert Fulghum’s book, ‘All I really need to know, I learned in kindergarten’, one gets the feeling when watching and listening to the Naperville city council that the majority of council members, along with city manager never attended kindergarten.

At a time when ‘bullying’ is a focus in school and life in general, you would think that a council member would do the ‘right thing’ and speak up when one of his or her peers was being disrespectful and bullying a citizen; it doesn’t happen. Not one single council member displays the courage to do the right thing and speak up. That would require leadership, which is a quality sorely missing at the dais.

 

Feb 192013
 

It’s been said that in Naperville politics, ‘a dollar saved is an oversight’. However every now and then a Naperville city official is aware of expense and can knowingly or unknowingly also turn it into a good pun.

Watch and listen as councilman Grant Wehrli gets ‘floored’ regarding expense.

There is no better place for shoes and boots, than on the floor.

This leads us to ponder the multiple-choice question:

  • is the councilman really concerned about expense,
  • or was Wehrli trying to be a comedian with his pun,
  • or was he subconsciously putting a plug in for councilman Chirico’s flooring business.

It would be refreshing to think Wehrli is an advocate for residents by keeping an eye on expense, but he is a councilman, and most  Naperville council members are not known for that.

Feb 162013
 

When it comes to our children, most parents try to instill right from wrong, good from bad, along with an awareness of what integrity and character mean. It helps define whether a person shows class, or is just another stale cheerio in a bowl of cheerios.

There are good role models, and there are many not-so-good role models, and a person can learn from each type. From some you can learn what to do, and from others you can learn what not to do; sort of like ‘gallant and goofus’. Gallant does it right, while Goofus manages to goof things up.

Take for example, Naperville councilman Bob Fieseler. In a communication to city council candidate Ms. Jo Malik, councilman Fieseler had another chance to be ‘Gallant’, but as is usually the case, ‘Goofus’ prevailed when he wrote,

“ Better get used to it, Candidate Jo. You’re in the arena now, so put on your big girl pants and stop your whining. Ah but relief will be yours on April 10 when you’ll be returning to the 3-Minutes-Of-Fame Chorus, and you’ll be able to deliver entertaining remarks to those of us on the dais. And oh, I just heard your campaign song and it’s perfect: :Toxic by Brittany Spears from her In The Zone album. Have a listen, maybe you’ll decide to crawl out of the OCD rabbit hole and into The Zone of Reason and Sanity.”

That communication comes from an elected Naperville official (city councilman Bob Fieseler) to a resident of the city he claims to represent. Unfortunately for other members of the Naperville city council, his disrespectful behavior towards a resident casts a shadow over them. And it doesn’t speak well of Naperville either because he was elected to office. Whether or not he would communicate like this to a male gender, one can only guess, since Jo is female. How ironic that Bob Fieseler is ‘forced’ to sit next to the only female council person at the dais (Judy Brodhead).

Lets dissect Fieseler’s communication.

“Better get used to it, Candidate Jo. You’re in the arena now”

Does Fieseler see representing residents as warfare; us, the council against ‘them’, the residents.

“so put on your big girl pants”

Sounds a bit ‘sexist’ doesn’t it.

“and stop your whining”

A classic condescending remark.

“Ah but relief will be yours on April 10,”

The day after the municipal election

“when you’ll be returning to the 3-Minutes-Of-Fame Chorus”

So that’s how Fieseler looks at a resident’s right to speak during the ‘Public Forum’.

“and you’ll still be able to deliver entertaining remarks”

Looks like Fieseler would rather be entertained, than to listen and maybe learn from the residents.

“to those of us on the dais”

Wow, if that doesn’t sound like King George speaking down to the peasants.

“And, oh, I just heard your campaign song and it’s perfect”

Sounds a bit childish, doesn’t it.

“Toxic by Brittany Spears from her In The Zone album”

Councilman Bob Fieseler can only wish that he was the male passenger on that flight.

“Have a listen, maybe you’ll crawl out of the OCD rabbit hole”

I didn’t know Fieseler was a psychiatrist and a veterinarian at the same time.

“And into The Zone of Reason and Sanity.”

Isn’t that what Hitler said, but then again it’s possible that Fieseler thinks that Hitler was “just mis-understood.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if Ms. Jo Malik was elected to the Naperville city council and councilman Fieseler was forced to sit between Jo Malik and Judy Brodhead.

Feb 132013
 

Some things defy logic. Take for example the Naperville city council. So much of what they do and say makes no sense. It makes one wonder if they have any idea how foolish they sound and look from the citizens side of the dais. Mind-benders to ponder would include:

  • Why is the city council fanatical about the forceful installation of smart meters? Could it be that one or more of the council members have something personal to gain. During the California gold rush (1848-1855) the people who made money were the ones selling shovels. So which of our council members are ‘selling shovels’.

 

  • During the Naperville electoral board referendum hearing, city attorney Margo Ely and Naperville city clerk Pam LaFebar spent a lot of time chatting with each other while those favoring the objection spoke including the objector Paul Sjordal, attorney Mark Ibendahl, and Tom Glass. However when the side favoring the referendum spoke, both Ely and LaFebar gave their full attention. Could it be that they made their decisions before ever hearing one word during the hearings.

 

  • Where and when did Officer Friendly (Mayor Pradel) take a wrong turn when he started to change from citizen-friendly to become citizen-unfriendly. Could it be the day he took off the badge and picked up the gavel.

 

  • After our recent snow, did anyone notice which of our council members actually shoveled the walkway at their homes or at their rental properties? Word has it that a good number of council members who voted for the shoveling ordinance didn’t have any snow on their shovels.

 

  • It’s been said that ‘actions define the person’. Based on that, how is city manager Doug Krieger defined? At the last council meeting a number of residents called for his ‘firing’. No one called for Krieger to receive a ‘pay raise’ for a job well done.

 

  • Why is it that city council members don’t have the courage to deal with the city manager and set him straight. Could it be that the city manager’s inflated salary, makes it easier for other city officials to have inflated salaries.

 

  • While watching the Super Bowl on T.V., did city council members notice the 30 minute blackout. Could it be that someone hacked the electric grid at the Super Bowl? One would have to think that the NFL and CBS have better security and ‘unhackable’ systems than city hall has for smart meters.

 

  • The last Naperville city council meeting on Tuesday Feb 5, was one of the more attended and energetic meetings over the last three years. Sparks were flying and you could, hear the buzz, and feel the electricity running through council chambers, as if there was a smart meter in the room. The city council was fortified with armed police stationed at exits. The council lost its composure more than once and had to call for a recess, Did anyone find it interesting that the local newspaper’s top council-meeting reporter didn’t attend the meeting? He might be on reassignment or simply burned out from listening and watching the antics of the city council. In fact, there was no mention of the night’s festivities in the Wednesday paper. It wasn’t until Friday that a small story appeared buried on page 9. It’s been said the the local paper is simply an extension of the city council. Could it be that the local paper is the 10th council member.

 

  • Bad decisions by the Naperville city council and lack of leadership by the city manager provide fertile ground for more law suits to be filed against the city. A few are in the pipe line now with undoubtedly more to follow. Who benefits from that? Could it be the city attorney and legal department. It surely provides job security. You can be sure the folks in Naperville’s legal department want the city manager to stay, and council members to keep making dreadful decisions.

Why is it that when Naperville resident Tricia Tilloltson challenged council members for a show of hands on how many of the nine had smart meters installed on their homes, only a few sheepishly raised their hands. What’s up with that? By the way, has anyone seen any of the council members tooling around town in an electric vehicle that they own? Anyone?

Feb 102013
 

You can always tell when Naperville city officials know they have made another huge blunder. It happens quite often. They rely on using police force and intimidation against residents. It happened again at the last Naperville city council meeting on February 5 when a large contingent of residents from Naperville along with other cities attended the meeting to voice their intense displeasure with city officials and their actions.

The parking lot was littered with Naperville police squad cars, including one strategically placed directly in front of city hall. Armed police were positioned at each entrance to the building, along with each entrance/exit of city hall chambers. I casually asked one of Naperville’s finest “what’s up” and he said, “I’m not sure if we’re protecting the council from the people, or the people from the council.” My wife’s dad was a police officer for 42 years and I know they have a job to do, and I also enjoy a sense of humor, however  one thing is for sure; if those police officers where in the downtown bar area of Naperville, there would be far fewer alcohol related issues.

The outrage that citizens are feeling stems from the forced installation of smart meters and citizen arrests resulting from residents protecting their homes and families. The rights of citizens have been infringed upon and totally ignored by the Naperville city council along with the city manager Doug Krieger. The city of Naperville spent over $1.5 million to a public relations firm in Chicago to ‘sell’ residents on the idea that Smart Meters were the greatest thing since sliced bread. And what did the city council and manger get for our $1.5+ million?

  • A Federal law suit against the city working its way through the court system
  • Thousands of upset residents against the city council and city manager
  • Negative press throughout the country towards Naperville
  • Two moms arrested and thrown into jail for protecting their families and homes
  • Potential law suits against the city from those arrests
  • Undoubtedly losing a possible “Best city to live in” status.
  • Angry citizens who were not allowed to vote on the issue in a non-binding referendum.
  • Distrust and contempt from residents towards city officials
  • ‘Shout outs’ from residents for the city council to resign and the city manager to be fired
  • And who knows what other legal action will be taken against the city

During the Public Forum portion of the meeting, passionate citizens spoke out against the actions and decisions of the city council and city manager, oftentimes resulting in spontaneous applause in support of comments. Citizens are allowed only three minutes to make their point and as such prepare their comments in advance. The city council, in an effort to subvert speaker’s comments, allowed each speaker only two minutes. An obvious tactic on the council’s part to dismantle the presenter’s presentation. It didn’t work. Even with only two minutes, the speakers were ‘spot on’ because of their passion and conviction.

Mayor Pradel then unwisely called for a five-minute recess so the council could regain their composure. A few council members left and retreated deep into the bowels of city hall, while a few others disappeared into the inky shadows of city hall corridors. A few council members not knowing what to do, stayed. This gave residents the chance to ask questions from their seats, none of which were answered by council members. Residents then called upon council members to resign and requesting that city manager Doug Krieger be fired. Finally council members worked up the courage to return and continue the meeting. This was the first show of courage on the council’s part in years. But then again, they had to return, since no council member made a motion to adjourn.

Watch and listen as Naperville residents along with citizens from other towns express themselves.

Gerard Schilling requests the firing of city manager Doug Krieger and the acting police chief.

Mayor A. George Pradel imposes two minute limit on speakers

City council candidate Jo Malik speaks of “shameless abuse of power by city manager and city council.

David Macduff chides the council for not allowing citizens to vote on non-binding smart meter referendum.

Dick Hutter ‘city doesn’t care about what residents concerns are’

Amber Schoedel ‘appalled that city authorized respected citizens arrest’

Tricia Tillotson challenged the council for a show of hands on how many of you on this city council have a smart meter installed on your home at this very minute. Only a few council members sheepishly raised their hands.

Tom Glass, city council candidate, points out ‘the city ignored their own code’ and ‘displayed gross violation of the law’. The Mayor then threatened residents with removal from the meeting.

Jerry Lennon from Woodridge, IL presents facts and common sense to the Naperville city council, both of which are foreign concepts to the council.

Nancy Lauris ‘city planned the breaking and entering’, and police refused to take a police report’.

Ken Piszano ‘the city was sneaky and underhanded in not leaving a notice that work had been done’

Tim Messer, ‘city fueled fire by handcuffing two women and placing them in squad cars’

Nancy Jacques from Palatine, ‘council doesn’t care about citizens, comparable to domestic enemies’

Diane Cambrone ‘Naperville now being known across the country and even around the world as a police state’

Carol Schilling, 30 year resident, ‘What’s happened to Naperville? Carol says she can ‘ no longer recommend any of her friends moving to Naperville’

Stan Kriz ‘ couldn’t get a straight answer from the city’, ‘What will it cost the city when they lose another law suit? Horrible decision.’

Horrible decisions by the Naperville city council and city manager. They get an A+ for consistency.

Feb 062013
 

It looks like Naperville city officials are at it again. This time in their attempt to intimidate residents regarding the forced installation of, not-so-safe, not-so-secure, and not-so Smart Meters.

While a law suit regarding smart meters works its way through the federal court system, the city of Naperville decided to force Naperville residents to have digital utility meters (DUM) attached to their homes and businesses against the will and good sense of the good folks of Naperville, and before the Federal court system makes its ruling.

Naperville city council members want this forced installation completed long before city council elections this spring. They didn’t want it as an ongoing issue since council members who supported this Smart Meter Initiative fiasco stand to lose re-election, including council members Judy Brodhead and Paul Hinterlong. Other council members who stand to lose following elections include Grant Wehrli and the ‘point person’ for pushing this waste of money, council member Bob Fieseler.

In the last city election two city council members decided to leave; one by choice and one by vote. In the upcoming election two more are wisely walking away, or more appropriately running away; Mayor Pradel and councilman Kenn Miller.

A letter sent to Naperville residents January 18 by the Director of Public Utilities, Mark Curran, states that “authorized agents of city hall have free access to the customer’s premises at all reasonable hours”. If we were playing Jeopardy and that was the answer to a question, the question would be “What was the foundation for the German Nazi game plan”.

Just as in WWII, those carrying out the atrocities of the authorities tried to claim they were simply following orders. That didn’t fly, and this should not either. Curran and City Manager Doug Krieger can say they are just following the dictates of the city council, but they are just as responsible as the members of the city council. The difference is that the city council members can and most likely will be voted out of office, while Krieger and Curran are nothing more than hired hands. As things continue to unravel in the Naperville city government, and more and more wrong-doing, and ill-advised decisions come to light, one thing is more than possible if not probable, and that is both Krieger and Curran could be issued their ‘walking papers’ somewhere along the process. If council members are sinking, you can be sure they will be standing on the shoulders of both Krieger and Curran. It is just a matter of time before an announcement that city officials are “seeking opportunities elsewhere” is reported.

Feb 042013
 

Our prisons are filled with people who say they didn’t do it. It’s common-place when someone is accused of wrong doing, their first inclination is to deny they did it. It’s also their second and third inclinations. It happened during a referendum hearing on January 29 meeting when the Naperville electoral voted on whether or not they (the electoral board) is biased. The three-member board (Mayor George Pradel, councilman Doug Krause, and city clerk Pam LeFebar) voted unanimously that they are not biased. That was a relief to know that our city officials are not biased. It only took them a nano-second to think about it, and two nano-seconds to vote on it.

The fourth President of the United States (James Madison) would vehemently disagree. In fact he did on November 23, 1787 in the Federalist papers (# 10) when he said, “No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity.”

Listen and watch as the Naperville electoral board votes on whether or not they are biased.

Naperville city council candidate Jo Malik states it very clearly when she says,

“Deja vu all over again. No matter which side smart meter ambassador McQuillan is on, as long as it’s the city’s side, he wins. How can the board possibly take a vote on whether or they are biased? And how could they not be biased? The Chairman of the ‘Committee to re-elect Mayor Pradel,’ is also the ‘Yes at Large’ petition organizer, and sitting just 20 feet from the Mayor. Doug Krause has gone on record stating he is opposed to districts, and Pam LeFaber works for both of them. But nah, they’re not biased, they said so themselves.”

On one side you have the Naperville electoral board denying the undeniable, and on the other side you have James Madison and Jo Malik “outing” the board.

Sixty-four days remain until the Naperville city council election on April 9. Twelve candidates, including three incumbents are running to fill three positions. Candidates have a choice of being part of the ongoing problem with city council and city officials, or part of the solution. Candidates Tom Glass and Jo Malik have chosen to become part of the solution. Two ( incumbents Brodhead and Hinterlong), have chosen to be part of the problem, and maybe a third (Krause). The remaining seven have chosen to be quiet on this issue, along with other issues. That qualifies as ‘part of the problem’ group. Naperville is in need of leaders, not followers. James Madison wouldn’t want it any other way.