Naperville city councilman Wehrli tries to hijack resident participation

Imagine if our Founding Fathers Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and Franklin had their meetings video recorded so that colonists throughout the 13 colonies could view them as we do today with our local city council meetings. I would imagine they would have been delighted and it would have made their job of ‘getting the word out’ so much easier. Rather than having just 20% of the colonists supporting the concept of independence from England, they could easily have had the majority supporting their effort. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a couple of hundred words coming from a Naperville city council member is worth a good video clip.

This is exactly what happened at the December 4 Naperville city council meeting when councilman Grant Wehrli attempted to hijack resident involvement regarding federal energy standards for the City’s electric utility rates.

Watch and listen as Wehrli along with city manager Doug Krieger try to circumvent resident involvement by selecting a time to discuss the issue which is inconvenient for resident participation.

So, let’s see if I have this straight. The King in the form of Wehrli is afraid that the issue of electric rates will prompt comments from residents, and he’d rather just push it quickly through the process. And city manager Krieger is all too willing to be an accomplice. Jefferson would not be a happy camper.

Fortunately, Naperville council members Doug Krause and Steve Chirico, in the style of Franklin and Adams, came to the rescue of residents, Watch and listen as Doug Krause objects to Wehrli’s hijacking, and Steve Chirico supports the value of resident participation.

This was followed by Wehrli’s back-peddling, which was followed by Wehrli’s tap dancing, followed by more back-peddling and more tap dancing. Both Krause and Chirico called Wehrli out on his maneuver and the video clip confirms the call.

So what would George Washington say to Wehrli if he had the chance. It might go something like this: “Grant, if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right.”

Show 9 Comments


  1. Barbara Serbick

    Is this what now serves as “representative government” in Naperville? I think Mr. Wehrli and Mr. Krieger should do us all a favor and resign their positions, if listening to the legitimate concerns of Naperville residents is just too much for them.

  2. Gerard H Schilling

    Federal Energy Standards that Wehrli is referring to is the need to go to time of day rates. The new proposed rate tables will double the cost to citizens for electric use during peak hours with saving only if you do heavy lifting in off hours but it is impossible for anyone to break even.

    He knows all hell will be forth coming when people see and understand these rate tables and other usage impediments.

    Krieger and his cronies are only too happy to advocate for increases to pay for additional double dippers like the increase in police force to do what other city departments are already paid to do. He now wants to hire a bunch more employees to protect our computer infrastructure after spending a million on no bid consultants to do the same. Time to fire this bum and get somebody who knows what they are doing!

  3. Taggart

    When Wehrli isn’t giving a heads up to Excelon about citizens participation in their local government he’s insulting, laughing, or rolling his eyes during citizens public forum. Wehrli also requested the city attorney to research out a legal way to overturn a voter approved referendum. The real hot air filibusters, in my opinion, are Wehrli and Krieger droning on with a plan to thwart, in my opinon, one of the benefits and possible intents of the Open Meetings Act. Citizen participation is essential if council members claim they were not informed of the details in a key employee contract. Furthermore, Mr. Krieger hired a police chief, who was out of the force for 7 years, which the city now has to defend to a pension board that the police chief is still not a police officer so the police chief can continue taking not only taxpayer salary but his police pension benefits. Was Council informed of that possible conflict? Citizen’s participation is essential to keep the arrogant, and ignorant politicians in check by publically questioning or supporting the rationale for oppressive taxes, rates, mandates, and ordinances that these Jesters want to impose upon us. So there we have it, publically stated plan to quell dissent and side step the few important opportunities for citizens during “Open Meetings”. It’s time to resign.

    • Edgar James


      I think you and I know the truth about the Marshall situation. The Council knew full well that he had a Police pension and planned to let it slide-what can they do anyway?. It is odd that they continue to lobby for pension reform then condone the Marshall and Pradel dips. I guess they choose to ignore them.

      The joke is that they continue to pay city legal staff to defend Marshall. There has to be more here. This makes no sense. You’d think that even the egomaniacal Council would say, “Bob, get an attorney, you’re on your own-good luck. We can’t be seen as supporting you.” But, apparently, they don’t even care what we think of them-they are above us.

      I’m guessing that Bob was told by someone that it was ok for him to go back as chief and continue to douple dip and then got caught-forcing staff to try and help him. One would think the Council would direct staff to back off of this, but I guess not. They just don’t care.

      • Harcharan

        LizW:City Council members need to utsardnend that it is their job to provide the information residents, who elected them to position in the first place, request regarding the Smart Meter program. I attended city council meetings where residents attempted to address concerns, while some of the city council members responded in disrespectful and condescending ways, without providing a legitimate answer.Residents have the right to have their questions and concerns addressed BEFORE the installation of a Smart Meter on their home. Period. Why the City Council went ahead with the process without fully researching the health, privacy, and financial concerns is irresponsible. Why they didn’t allow residents to vote on the issue demonstrates a lack of respect for the community they supposedly serve. There is a lot of cost involved in this process, and these are tough economic times. Do we need to remind them of that? They mention that it’s only a cost of $11 million to Naperville residents out of the $22 million, because the other $11 million is being federally funded. Do we need to explain to them that federal taxpayers are the ones who pay that other $11 million? They have the nerve to come up with a costly punishment to consumers who are concerned about having a hard-wired meter attached to their homes and opt for a wireless version. They are financially gouging the community members with an arbitrary charge of $365 the first year BEFORE they pay for ANY electricity! That is outrageous. How can they justify that charge? They don’t. They haven’t come up with an answer to residents. They don’t address the issue.Who is going to absorb the costs down the road if there are health problems? If there are costly system problems? If the meters don’t operate correctly? If experts’ need to be brought in to correct problems? If litigation is necessary? Will our City Council, who initiated the whole Smart Meter program without putting it to a vote amongst the community, really expect Naperville’s taxpayers to become financially responsible for THEIR hasty and poor decisions?? They will certainly try. Mark my words.

  4. edgar james

    I see Grant as very transparent here – as in you can see right through him. He’s evolved into not even caring about resident’s comments, and flaunting it. He’s even got the City Manager as a willing accomplice. Of course, this was all orchestrated in advance. Anyone think Wehrli didn’t meet with Krieger on this beforehand, and get the City Attorney’s take as well? I’m not a Krause fan, but I have to give him credit for calling this what it is.

  5. john groll

    Wow! This reminds me of my 16 years in Cicero as a business owner.

    Looks like a Naperville councilmen is taking a chapter of the handbook of the former Town Of Cicero President Betty Loren.

    She had decided that 10 am town meetings and zoning hearings was a very good way to keep the residents and business people out of the loop and allow her to run the town as she wished with no interference.

    She also had the Cicero Life News Paper to help support her and her corrupt hand picked town board. They could do no wrong.

    Of course really nothing has changed in Cicero except the taxes are now through the roof and business’ once there are long gone. The town is still run by people in the grave who died in the 70’s and 80’s.

    Betty even decided that Friday’s the town would close so she could catch a early plane to Vegas to spend her extra dough she got helping out her friends.

  6. Scott

    Wow, that is disgusting. I am going to forward this link to everyone I know in Naperville. Thank you for keeping us informed on the misdeeds of our “representatives”

  7. Dismayd

    All (above) examples of Illinois politics at its finest. We are truly special here in Naperville Illinois, we’ve got it at the federal, state and local level.

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