Every now and then, a magical moment occurs on the council side of the dais at a Naperville city council meeting. It happened at the November 1 meeting when the city council was debating whether to approve continued Red Light Camera enforcement to the tune of almost $350,000. The city council tends to spend our tax dollars as if we had a surplus. We will look at this later, however let’s set the stage as to how the council created this magical moment and in so doing actually shocked themselves with their own vote.
When the Naperville city council decided to approve the ill-advised concept of Red Light Cameras, they said they did it to improve safety by reducing crashes and injuries, and that it had absolutely nothing to do with increased revenue for the city coffers. As always, the council made it sound as if it was in the best interests of the citizens. Even though cities, including Bolingbrook, and states around the country chose not to approve the use RLCs (Red Light Cameras), the Naperville city council pushed forward against the will of the citizens, much the same way that the council is now pushing forward with the Smart Meter fiasco, again against the will of the citizens of Naperville. It makes you wonder why our city council typically chooses to support the wrong side of an issue. What is it that other city councils know, that our council does not know. Are others smarter or wiser than our city council? And why is it that again the city council of Bolingbrook looks superior to ours with regard to common sense?
Watch and listen to council member Chirico openly admit that RLCs “effectively reduce crashes but it is now costing money” and for that reason he would vote not to approve the contract to continue using RLC’s. What happened to the argument of safety? Isn’t this exactly contrary to why the council approved the RLCs in the first place?
Watch and listen as council members Wehrli, Krause and Pradel state their positions on the topic.
Give credit to Krause and Pradel because they are consistent in their vote on the issue. Krause was not, and is not in favor of RLCs, while Pradel voted for RLCs the first time and this time, and as a former Naperville police officer, it is understandable. In fact, the only two members of the city council who originally supported RLCs and now voted not to approve RLCs are council members Wehrli and Fieseler. How can this be? They were proponents of the safety aspect of RLCs and stated that RLCs are not for the purposes of increasing revenue. Wehrli even stated “I’m all about safety”. Yet now when it appears safety has increased they decide that it is no longer important since revenues are negatively impacted. This is classic hypocrisy. Let’s make this perfectly clear; council members Grant Wehrli and Bob Fieseler are poster boys for the definition of ‘hypocrite’. They are not bad people, they are just not as advertised.
Now let’s get to that special magical moment when the Naperville city council voted on the issue. Note that four of the first five vote to approve the RLCs, then the final three vote not to approve RLCs hence causing a 4 to 4 tie vote (Hinterlong was absent), and the motion to continue RLCs was thereby not approved. Then listen closely as you can hear the council genuinely shocked that the motion was not approved. It takes them almost 20 seconds to regain their composure as if the wind had been knocked out of them collectively, which was a magical moment.
It is always magical when the citizens win, and even more magical when the Naperville city council inadvertently throws the decisive punch that causes the council to go down for the count of ten.