When is the last time that you saw an over-served saloon bully whining and crying about getting beat up by the chess-playing, computer geek. It happened recently in Naperville when the over-served bully in the form of the Naperville city council cried unfair foul towards the good citizens of the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness group. Apparently, the Naperville city council feels it is unfair and unreasonable for citizens to seek information that is not forthcoming from city officials. It is ironic that time after time members of the city council and city ‘manager’ (misnomer) Doug Krieger direct citizens to file FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests to obtain answers to citizens’ questions. When those citizens do as they were directed to do, they are accused of abuse and harassment by the Naperville city council and Doug Krieger.
Naperville city officials are notorious for requesting cooperation from its citizens, then after getting that cooperation, city officials penalize those citizens for their cooperation. A number of years ago during an exceptionally hot summer, city officials asked residents to reduce the amount of water they used. The Naperville citizens wanting to be good partners with city officials significantly reduced their consumption of water. Later that fall, the city of Naperville announced in their newsletter that due to reduced water consumption that summer, waters rates would have to be raised to compensate for the lost city revenue.
With regard to the Naperville Smart Grid Initiative, at every step of the ill-advised project the Naperville city council has embraced unwise judgment from its inception to a most recent article in which city officials called FOIA requests made by citizens and members of NSMA (Naperville Smart Meter Awareness group) $73,750 worth of abuse and harassment. The estimated time spent by staff on replying to FOIA requests and related legal issues is 1,475 hours at an estimated rate of $50 per hour. If you ask them how they arrived at a total of 1,475 hours, they ask you to file an FOIA for the answer. If you ask the city about how they arrive at the $50 per hour rate, you will have to fill out another FOIA request.
The whining and crying of the Naperville city council is only exceeded by that of city manager Doug Krieger. It is ironic that he whines about additional cost and extra work, since it was under his watch that the city of Naperville lost nearly $150,000 in federal funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development due to erroneous information submitted in an untimely manner. These dollars were earmarked for the non-profit Naperville group Loaves and Fishes Community Pantry. If the city of Naperville was a corporation, and Doug Krieger was the CEO of that corporation, he would have been issued his walking papers. Yet, he is allowed to continue as city manager and lurk in the inky shadows of city hall.
Additionally a few years ago a sitting council member filed suit against the city of Naperville and everybody within shouting distance of his council seat. The cost of that suit to the city was in the hundreds of thousands of dollars range, yet no one from the city whined and cried about that cost.
Recently the Naperville city council approved an expense well over $100,000 for an upgrade to the audio-visual system in council chambers.
There was no mention about that excessive expense. Yet, when citizens ask for information, the council and city manager begin to uncontrollably whine and cry and complain. Only one solution can console this bully (Naperville city officials) and that solution is citizens should stop asking questions. Doug Krieger along with the Naperville city council (not including Doug Krause) believe in the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which in Naperville means citizens should not ask questions, because city officials won’t tell the answers.
Naperville citizen-advocate and council member Doug Krause has the bottom line answer, “Perhaps if we were more transparent and answered more questions there wouldn’t need to be so many FOIAs in the first place.”
My guess is, if we asked Doug Krieger if that were true, he would ask us to file an FOIA request