Some topics seem to ignite members of the Naperville city council into action in unusual ways. For example during last Tuesday’s Naperville city council meeting one of the agenda items was to consider “regulating fowl in residential districts and direct staff to amend Section 10-4-6’ of the Fowl and Livestock code. Simply stated, in this case, can residents have chickens and if so how many. It must be important because the council spent nearly one hour discussing the topic. Additionally it must be very important because only two residents (anti-chicken keepers) complained about one resident (pro-chicken keeper). All three are neighbors and apparently, the topic was presented to the local homeowners association and to the credit of that homeowners association, they deemed the topic not worthy of creating a rule or guideline. In other words, the homeowners association decided to not infringe or encroach in neighbor disagreements by imposing restrictions. The homeowners association agreed that the neighbors could work it out.
The first thought was how we could replace the Naperville city council with this group of citizens from this homeowners association. Imagine a group of people first considering if topics are worthy of intervention, and then deciding that restrictions, codes, ordinances, rules, infringement, and governing bodies are not necessary for the resolution of disagreement. If you can imagine that type of group, then you are definitely not thinking about the Naperville city council, since much of their action consists of squeezing citizens with restrictions and then forcing them into compliance.
What really is interesting is that the Naperville city council will consider the needs of one or two residents, while ignoring or insulting the wishes and desires of thousands of residents. This not only happened here with one chicken keeper, it also happened with one Smart Meter petition objector over the wishes and needs of over four-thousand petition signers. While the homeowners association decided to let the citizens work it out, the city of Naperville did the opposite; they did not allow the citizens to ‘work it out’ by denying the citizens the opportunity to vote on a non-binding referendum regarding Smart Meters. Not only were the citizens of Naperville not allowed the opportunity to vote, there was little if any compassion from most of the council including council member Fieseler to the citizens requesting that a vote be allowed.
Listen and watch as council member Bob Fieseler tries to convey concern and compassion for the plight of one citizen and council member Doug Krause’s spot-on reply to Fieseler’s comment.
The beauty of attending city council meetings rather than simply watching them on line is that you can see a panoramic view of the Naperville city council and their non-verbal communication. In this case, council member Fieseler responded non-verbally to Krause’s spot-on comment with irritation, as if he had taken a gulp of concentrated lemon juice or seen the Smart Meter referendum on the ballot. On occasion council member Fieseler appears to be insincere, however remember that beneath all that insincerity is more insincerity.
At times during Naperville city council meetings there are moments of absolute brilliance when council members such as Judy Brodhead are quoted with profound words of wisdom. Listen as watch as council member Judy Brodhead makes two of her many reflective, philosophical and insightful observations.
It was actually refreshing to hear Brodhead compare chickens to dogs, rather than Smart meters to salt. Now if someone can get that entire homeowners association board to run for city council, we might be on our way to getting the Smart Meter fiasco overturned. Just make sure that each candidate has ten times as many petition signatures as necessary because the city council has a petition objector lurking somewhere in the inky shadows of city hall.