Part of the Mission Statement for City Council Watchdog is to ‘promote awareness of local issues among Naperville citizen-voters’. Occasionally we need to be ‘set straight’ by our readers. It was pointed out to us that our posting dated March 4 titled ‘Naperville City Council Saved by the Bell’ stated “All ten presenters made compelling points against continuing the Smart Grid project” which would have been correct if we would have included “without additional research to answer very important health-safety related questions along with privacy issues. So the issue is not that they oppose the smart grid or the meters but rather they oppose the apparent lack of awareness the Naperville City Council used in making their decision to approve the project without full knowledge and satisfactory answers to citizen concerns.
Now what makes this situation all the more interesting is that it comes almost immediately after another evident fiasco involving the Naperville City Council’s ill-advised approval and implementation of the new emergency radio system. Many firefighters and police officers along with a good number of Naperville citizens including Naperville citizen Bill Eagan strongly feel the communication system is littered with fatal flaws.
City Manager Doug Krieger agreed with Eagan that the communication system “is currently not operating at an acceptable level. The safety of our public safety personnel is paramount.” So if ‘safety’ is ‘paramount’ then why was this system implemented and why is the Naperville City Council moving forward albeit in small steps with the Smart Grid initiative since there are health concerns with the project’s technology. Watch and listen to the words of Naperville citizen Jennifer Stahl when she presents the Naperville City Council and City Attorney with an interesting question regarding the Smart Grid project.
Did you notice the deafening sound of silence from the Naperville City Council and City Attorney at the end of her question, or at least the sound of no response to her query?
Getting back to the Emergency Radio System that the Naperville City Council supported and approved, consider the following perceptible fatal flaws: frequent loss of contact with first responders based on ‘dead spots’ within city limits, incoherent transmissions with the digital system and how voices are interpreted, interference with other emergency equipment within the vehicles including sirens and lights and the inability to maintain all-important contact when buildings are entered.
No wonder Naperville citizens have trust issues with the ability of their local leadership in the Naperville City Council to exercise good judgment and critical thinking when it comes to their decision-making skills and talent. Watch and listen to Naperville citizen Lisa Rooney when she accurately and respectfully addresses the Naperville City Council.
If you still have doubts as to whether or not Naperville City Council members use sound and time-tested wisdom, watch and listen to the words of Councilman Bob Fieseler when he loosely considers the comparison the wireless technology of garage door openers with the Smart Grid.
Now that thought process and wisdom might apply if and when the Naperville City Council requires and pays millions of our tax dollars for the installation of garage door openers, but to try to pass that sideways logic off to an enlightened Naperville citizenry is demeaning to the intelligence of our community.
The Emergency Radio System fiasco is a $20 million debacle, followed by millions of tax-payer dollars for the Smart Grid and now, and according to Naperville Finance Director Karen DeAngelis, Naperville is projected to have a general fund deficit of $13.7 million in 2013, $16.8 million in 2014, $19.4 million in 2015, and topping out at $25.9 million in 2016; and part of the Naperville City Council’s answer to addressing the budget deficit is to layoff 4 police officers while millions are spent on projects that are flawed or not fully researched.
If it sounds like the Naperville City Council is out of control, then the record is being set straight.
Garage door openers – are you kidding. Fieseler has missed the point. Its not about one device emitting more EMR than the other. Its about adding additional EMR on what scientists are saying is an already saturated environment. Perhaps we should consider removing one wireless technology in order to make room to add the wireless technology from smart meters. How about removing wireless from the schools, city buildings and residents homes and then assessing if we are in the safe limits to be able to add wireless smart meters. Choices have to be made all the time. Scientists say the level of existing EMR is breaking the DNA chain. So why would we choose to add another layer when we can choose a safe solution that allows us to collect the same data? The Seletun scientists state they do not recommend wireless technology in smart grid applications. These are the top scientists in the world. If we are not going to listen to them, then who do we listen to? In light of this study, why are we even considering a wireless solution anymore? The council needs to stop wasting time and money on the original wireless solution and start putting a plan in place for hard wired meters. The burden of proof for safety doesn’t fall to the citizens. It shouldn’t even fall to the council anymore. Listen to the scientists. Follow their advice – just like you would follow your docs advice if he/she told you you were going to have a heart attack if you don’t change your lifestyle. Just like you expect your kids to follow your advice about how to behave and what to do in certain situations. These scientists have more experience and far more knowledge than anyone else in the world. They are not funded by the industry. They are speaking out about a global public health issue- far bigger than Naperville.
Yesterday evening I attended the Naperville City Council meeting. I had a ringside seat to what I believe to be the best and worst of the City of Naperville CIty Council. Our CIty Council opened the meeting by recognizing those who have made a difference in our community. Their involvement and passion is what makes our city great. In the open forum, the issue of Wireless Smart Meters was discussed and the first few responses from Council members were respectful and professional. Unfortunately these positive acts were overshadowed by what I would consider as unprofessionalism and bullying on the part of Councilman Boyajian. Our residents have an opportunity to voice their comments in an open forum about issues that are important to them. One of the women who spoke about the on-going concerns about the wireless smart meters was greeted with disdain and comments that were not rational or fact based. There were merely his opinion and perception. This would be acceptable, if Councilman Boyajian were involved in the process, had reviewed any of the information, or was respectful to one of the people that he ultimately represents. Unfortunately he has been asleep in his chair (if he was even present) and has ignored the multiple attempts to meet on this subject with the key people from the organization. I applaud those Council members who have gone out of their way to meet with the concerned citizens of Naperville to create a win/win scenario on this initiative. Unfortunately, when you are outgunned, outclassed and at an intellectual disadvantage the rule of thumb for Councilman Boyajian is apparently to resort to bullying, cutting people off multiple times in mid-sentence as they are answering his questions and acting as if he didn’t have the time to spend on their issue. What is most concerning is that his behavior and comments are on public television and make our city look bad. He needs to remember that he represents us, not the other way around.