Have you ever noticed that when Naperville city officials want to extract money from Naperville residents and businesses, they want it now, not later, yet when residents want something, well they can just wait for it.
Take for example the electric rate increase approved during last Tuesday’s Naperville city council meeting; city officials want it to begin in May, less than a month from now. Yet when residents voted by a landslide for term limits in 2010, city officials said they needed time to execute the mandate, and decided that 2015 might work. That’s five (5) years folks. Funny how that works, isn’t it.
In fact, prior to city councilman Grant Wehrli’s decision to run for state office, there were some rumblings within the inky shadows of city hall, that maybe another vote was needed to see if residents really want term limits. City officials prevailed when they approved a re-do vote for district/ward representation, so why not try to undo the ‘term limits’ referendum. They have had almost five years to come up with a plan to make it happen. If they could round-up a bunch of ‘ambassadors’ to make so-called Smart Meters happen, how difficult would it be to round up another batch of ‘hired hands’ to push through the reversal of term limits.
Those rumblings turned into mumbles, which have turned into crickets for now, but there is always that chance ambassadors can surface like a bad paint job on a beater car.
There were also some rumblings, that the four council members (Fieseler, Hinterlong, Krause, and Wentz) who voted against the double-digit huge increase in Naperville electric rates, did so for political reasons. Maybe so, but what isn’t done in local politics for political reasons. Even those voting in favor of increasing electric rates (Brodhead, Chirico, McElroy Pradel, and Wehrli) made somebody or some group happy.
In fairness to councilmen Chirico and McElroy, neither was on the council when terrible decisions regarding Naperville’s public utility of electric were hatched. They realize something needs to be done, otherwise the $25 million deficit will escalate quickly. Mayor Pradel was there when things began to unravel with the utility, and councilman Grant Wehrli was front and center during each ill-advised decision.
Whether for political reasons or not, the four voting ‘no’ for the increase, were making an effort to help Naperville residents and businesses, so hooray for them. Councilman Doug Krause’s idea to raise the rate by 4% or less and monitor the situation quarterly, and then make an informed decision, was a great idea. Councilman Bob Fieseler’s idea to re-visit the 28-year contract with IMEA (Illinois Municipalities Energy Association) contract with regard to performance was also a great idea. But the majority (by one vote) of the council, along with city manager Doug Krieger wanted ‘their’ money now.
Apparently their mindset was, why take some time to look for solutions and options to help residents and business, when all they have to do is approve another increase and squeeze it out of all residents and businesses in Naperville.
When Naperville city officials want what they want, they want it now.