How many times do you have to ask the same question?

Here is your brainteaser for the day. How many times do you have to ask the same question to Naperville city manager (Doug Krieger) within a six-minute period, during the last city council meeting before you get an answer? If you said once, then you probably don’t know who he is. If you said ten times, then chance is you know him well. If you said, ‘three times’ then you are correct.

Basically the question asked once by Councilman Doug Krause and twice by Smart Meter Awareness Group member Joann St. Ives is can the water meter reader also read the electric meter for those who wish to ‘opt out’ of the installation wireless electric meters on their homes and thereby avoid the $24.95 penalty, punishment fee.

Take a look at the following video clips, and note that city manager Doug Krieger either A) can’t remember the question being asked, B) doesn’t care to answer the question, or C) doesn’t want to answer the question, D) is an elected official. This is a trick question since the answers are both B and C, though it could be A. One thing we know for sure is that the answer is not D.

Which brings us to an interesting insight; since the city manager is not an elected official, he is not accountable to the citizens of Naperville as are the members of the city council including the mayor. If the citizens are unhappy with the shenanigans of a council member, he or she can be voted out of office (does the name Furstenau ring a bell). However, the city manager has free reign to run roughshod over running the city. Technically the city council can take the bridle and corral him a bit, but for whatever reason they allow him to run unchecked. You have to think that either Krieger is a genius with some of the unwise ideas he hatches and his ability to get ‘buy-in’ from council members, or that the city council is either clueless or lacks the courage to hold him accountable. Or could it be that they all cover for each other?

If you look at the official website for the city council, it provides a short bio and many personal fun facts for each member of the Naperville city council, however other than a picture of Krieger (a smile would have been nice),  there is absolutely nothing about Naperville city manager Doug Krieger. We called city hall to see if they could tell us how he got the job, and where he came from, and what he did prior to becoming the city manager. Nobody could tell us anything, other than one person who said she was restricted from providing any information unless we filed a FOIA form on line, which we did. We decided to go to the downtown Naperville area and ask 20 Naperville residents, “Do you know the name of the Naperville city manager? Three people correctly said ‘Doug Krieger’, while twice as many (six) said ‘Mayor Pradel’, and one said ‘Doug Krause’ and the other ten had no idea. We decided to go to city hall and ask 20 people the same question. This time 11 people knew the name, however five of those thought he was a member of the city council. Then we asked 10 people at city hall and 10 in the downtown area if they “knew who Doug Krieger is and what he does?” Only three could answer correctly; 13 didn’t have the foggiest idea who he is or what he does. The other four answers included, ‘I think he owns a dry cleaning business in town’, ‘he’s an author who wrote about the Antichrist’, ‘that’s my uncle’s name in Houston’, and ‘I think he played third base for the Cleveland Indians back in the 60’s’

So not many people know who he is, and fewer yet know what he does. Maybe that’s the purpose of the FOIA….keep a low profile and don’t let people know what your up to; if they knew they might start asking some questions. How many times would they have to ask the same question before he answered?

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1 Comment

  1. NapervilleSmartMeterAwareness

    Based on what we know, Doug Krieger was appointed by the Mayor. He is also, on the city’s orgizational chart, overseer of the city-run utilities – both electric and water. Mark Curran, the Director of the electric utility, reports to Doug Krieger. Whenever we ask the council a question about the Smart Meters or the NSGI, the questions are redirected to Doug Krieger and Mark Curran to answer.

    The council can force change to the City manager’s and utility projects. They approved it – they can UNapprove it. Let’s hope they listen to the residents, listen to reason and sense, and make a “smart” decision for Naperville. Stop the installation of Smart Meters, cut our losses now before we dig our debt hole deeper.

    Why not create a “smarter” OPTION – an “opt-in” program for people that WANT to reduce their energy consumption. Why can’t the city recommend, and not PAY FOR, a non-invasive tool like TED (

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