Jan 312013

It’s over and it ended exactly like everyone expected. It didn’t end like it does in the movies when the good guys win, and the bad guys lose. It ended like it does when someone stands up against city hall, and city hall pounds him into submission. That’s exactly what happened during the most recent referendum hearing regarding a do-over vote for changing the way Naperville elects its officials. In 2010, 28,238 residents voted to change our council representation from an ‘at large’ format to a mix of ward representation with some ‘at large’. In essence this would make it easier to elect qualified, informed and responsive council members, and eliminate ‘clueless’ council members along with resident-unfriendly current members. It was a landslide vote winning by a two to one ratio. This was a major blow to the then Naperville city council. However, Naperville city officials were successful in delaying the implementation of the voter’s victory until the year 2015; a full five years after the vote. It’s amazing that if the city wants to physically force a device on a resident’s home, they can do so immediately by cutting the lock on your fence, forcing their way onto your property, installing an unwanted device, handcuffing the homeowner, hauling them off to jail, with little if any regard for children or pets left behind. That happens within minutes, but it takes five years to implement the results of a vote.

By stalling for five years, it gave Naperville officials, an opportunity to help support (via the Naperville Electoral Board)  a referendum for a do-over vote this spring.

This is the same Naperville Electoral Board that helped defeat a non-binding referendum in the last election which would have  allowed residents to vote for or against the installation of smart meters, yet in this recent referendum they want residents to vote twice on the same issue. So it’s all relative to what Naperville city officials want, rather than what residents need.

This is the same Naperville Electoral Board that was cited during the last referendum hearing by the State of Illinois for violating the freedom of information act. (FOIA). Even though the board was involved in wrong-doing, they get to do it again, and it looks as though they may be cited again for the same violation in this referendum. The Naperville Electoral Board consists of Mayor George Pradel, councilman Doug Krause, and city clerk Pam LaFeber. It was also the same attorneys but this time representing opposing sides. It’s like deja vu all all over again.Naperville's Referendum Objectors Paul E. Sjordal and William C. Dawe For a moment I thought I was in a flux capacitor, when I noticed the objector to the referendum  looking similar to last year’s referendum objector. Could it be there is a  Professional Objector’s Association.

As expected, the Naperville Electoral Board was partial towards the folks that want a do-over vote. The Board had to actually vote to determine if they were biased, and they unanimously voted ‘no’.  At times it seemed as though the Board might ask the “do-over” side if they would like some appetizers or desert during the hearings. While on the other side,  the Naperville Electoral Board ran Ibendahl through the gauntlet. He had to ask for permission to make a comment, he had to ask permission to ask a question, he had to ask permission in order to ask permission. At one point during the hearing it appeared the Naperville Electoral Board wanted him to stand on one leg, arms stretched out, and holding a block of salt in each hand. They didn’t do it, but they did threaten to fine him, along with his client for costs and fees for bad faith conduct. Apparently asking questions, making comments, and representing his client (along with 28,238 residents) is something that irritates the Naperville Electoral Board.

Watch and listen to the following video clips regarding how Naperville Electoral Board member (councilman Doug Krause) deals with moving the hearing along quickly. The first clip is during this week’s referendum hearing when Krause “loses it” interfacing with Ibendahl because Krause feels Ibendahl is wasting time. Yet in the second clip, from last year’s smart meter vote referendum, Krause has no problem letting attorney Kevin McQuillan fumble with papers with time passing.

Naperville Electoral Board Member Doug Krause asking to speed things up:

Attorney Kevin McQuillan Wasting Time:

Attorney Kevin McQuillan Wasting More Time:

For Krause, along with other Board members, time is all relative depending upon which side the board favors. And the side that the Naperville Electoral Boards favors is the Naperville Electoral Board’s side

Jan 282013

Sometimes something is so obvious that it’s embarrassing, like a huge zit on the tip of your nose. This time the ‘nose’ is the citizen objection for a referendum to reverse the decision of the 2010 referendum that was approved by a voter landslide for a new system of electing council members, and the ‘huge zit’ is the Naperville electoral board’s obvious effort to deny the objection at all cost, and push the ‘do-over’ vote on the residents again.

The Naperville electoral board consists of Mayor George Pradel, councilman Doug Krause, city clerk Pam LaFeber and orchestrated by city attorney Margo Ely. The official result of the three-member vote will be announced this week after deliberations, however the un-official result of the board’s vote was known the day after the 2010 election. Hang on for the non-spoiler alert….the Naperville electoral board will vote 3-0 to deny the objection, thereby putting their stamp of approval for a do-over vote.

This is so obvious that it is embarrassing to anyone with a IQ above their shoe size. The bottom line is that the Naperville city council does not want to change how council members are elected. The reason is simple…they all want to keep things as they are including their positions on the city council. If the Naperville city council allowed residents to vote using the new system, then most council members could and most likely would lose their election and get booted out office. Is it any wonder why the Naperville Electoral Board consisting of two council members and one council appointee, along with the appointed city attorney would so blatantly embarrass themselves.

Watch and listen as Naperville city council candidate  Tom Glass “outs” the Naperville electoral board, ‘blows the whistle for unsportsmanlike conduct’ on the board’s part, and reminds them that they will again be likely found in violation FOIA (Freedom Of Information Act); a violation that all too often Naperville officials encroach.

Caution….getting between a local Naperville politician and their insatiable desire for power and control over residents can be a hazard to your health or your dog’s life. Just ask the two Naperville mom’s (Kim Bendis and Jennifer Stahl) who were arrested for protecting their homes and family’s health from Naperville city officials, or the resident who was concerned about his dog’s life if he didn’t relent to city manager Doug Krieger’s mandate for city workers and police to do ‘whatever is necessary’ to forcefully enter residents’ premises.

When Naperville city officials lose the do-over vote, how about another do-over and go for three out of five.

Jan 242013

Naperville city officials from the city council, to the electoral board, to the city manager, the city attorney, and the Naperville police had a terrible day on Thursday. And it was only made terrible because they tried to bully, push, threaten, and intimidate Naperville residents.

While the Naperville Electoral Board was trying to bully, push, threaten, intimidate, and shutdown Naperville resident Paul Sjordal’s attorney Doug Ibendahl in the city hall building regarding a re-do vote on a 2010 referendum, Naperville city officials were doing the same on the streets and at the homes of Naperville residents by utilizing city workers and police to bully, push, threaten, and intimidate residents by forceful installation of smart meters on the homes of those against the installation of those meters.

The Naperville city council along with city manager Doug Krieger have made Naperville the new Cicero of the western suburbs. What’s happening in Naperville politics makes Chicago and Cicero look like wholesome government operations.

The first atrocity occurred at Naperville city hall during a hearing of the Naperville Electoral Board hearing on whether or not to approve a binding referendum seeking to keep the current process of electing city council members at large. In 2010 Naperville residents voted by a landslide to change to a ward type of representation. The city of Napeville said they couldn’t implement it until 2015 (five years) Now a small group comes forward and in essence wants a do-over vote to reverse the 2010 vote. The Naperville Electoral Board, consisting of council members Mayor Pradel and Doug Krause, along with city attorney Margo Ely and city clerk Pam LaFeber are making it too obvious that they would prefer a do-over vote, and as such are making it difficult if not impossible for attorney Doug Ibendahl (representing objector Paul Sjordal) to deny the referendum.

Watch and listen as Ibendahl corners city attorney Margo Ely on an apparent ‘non-truth’, and she quickly and nervously tries to shut him down, then Mayor Pradel jumps on like a street mugging, and then council member Doug Krause jumps in claiming ‘unsportsmanlike conduct’ on Ibendahl with Krause’s own unsportsmanlike conduct. The pivoting point is when Ibendahl asks for it to be put in the record, and Mayor Pradel, in King George fashion, denies the request. How ridiculous when it’s already available to the world on video.

Now while all this is going on in city hall, Naperville city officials are having residents arrested at their homes for protecting their homes and families from the forced installation of smart meters (electric). The issue is still in federal court awaiting a decision, yet Naperville officials in the form of the city council and city manager (Doug Krieger) are employing fear and intimidation on Naperville residents.

Naperville police arrested two mothers (Kim Bendis and Jennifer Stahl) for protecting their homes and families, while one resident was concerned his dog might get shot if he tried to protect his home. Watch and listen to Naperville residents

It was a bad day for all Naperville residents, and an even worse day for Naperville officials.

Jan 232013

Have you ever noticed how someone can be the ‘ring leader’ and get other people on board for some project or cause, and then the next thing you know, the initiator leaves the scene, and in no time, can’t be found, while the rest of followers are left ‘holding the bag’ wondering how this could have happened.

That might be the route the Naperville city council is taking with regard to the Smart meter debacle. The flag carrier and trumpet blower for pushing Smart Meters on the residents of Naperville has been council member Robert Fieseler. Initially all the other eight council members joined Fieseler like lemmings in lockstep supporting the Smart Meter fiasco and forcing residents into compliance.

Some things changed since the inception of this charade including two council members leaving the council; one was booted out during the election, and the other wisely knowing it was time to leave, wisely decided to leave. Two new council members were added; Steve Chirico and Joe McElroy. Neither has done anything to change the decision or question the sanity of the program, however neither bears the responsibility of the initial decision. One council member (Doug Krause) has “seen the light” and the folly of his original thought supporting Smart Meters and has since then come to his senses by reversing his position and now supports the residents of Naperville.

Of the remaining five members of the council, two typically follow the crowd (Judy Brodhead and Paul Hinterlong) and will tag along for a ride anywhere. That leaves three remaining; Mayor Pradel who has stated this will be his last term as Mayor, and Kenn Miller who is not running for re-election, so that takes them out of the picture. That leaves council member Grant Wehrli ‘holding the bag’ for the ill-conceived idea of forced installation of Digital Utility Meters (DUM), not-so smart meters.

That takes us back to the ‘ring leader’ council member Robert Fieseler. How is he trying to take himself off the hook and leave Wehrli holding the ‘bad decision’ bag? Fieseler wrote an article for the trade journal ‘Applied Design’, which implied that those opposing Smart Meters had legitimate concerns. Some of the concerns of the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness group include health, privacy, cost, security, and the hot topic (pun intended) of Smart Meters overheating and causing fires.

It appears that councilman Bob Fieseler is out-smarting councilman Grant Wehrli on Smart Meters. I suppose you could say that Fieseler’s catch phrase for his next election could be, “Follow me….I’ll be right behind you.”

Jan 202013

Have you ever noticed how sometimes trying to get a straight answer is like trying to pull teeth. It happens all the time, and most often when trying to get an answer from a government official, especially at the local level. What is a bit unusual is when a government official, in this case Naperville councilman Doug Krause is trying to get a straight answer from Mark Curran, the Naperville Public Utilities Director of Electric.

It happened during the January 15 Naperville city council meeting when Krause asked Curran where the money is coming from in order to pay for over $1.5 million of additional expense for the ill-conceived Naperville Smart Meter project. Trying to get a straight answer from Curran was like a parent (Krause) trying to get a straight answer from a teenager (Curran) who ducks, dodges, and deflects repeated efforts by Krause for Curran to ‘come clean’ and be honest with the council, and with Naperville residents.

Watch and listen as councilman Doug Krause uses persistence to extract the truth from Curran.

Curran’s first response is ‘the capital fund’, then he says it comes from ‘some other projects’, then it moves to ‘borrowing’ and ‘bonds’, and then finally the truth is revealed ….it’s coming from increased electric rates; in other words, it’s coming from the residents and businesses of Naperville.

In defense of Mark Curran, it must be very difficult trying to defend the indefensible. It’s his job to make a ‘bad deal’ sound like a ‘good deal’, and try to get everyone to buy into it. Ironically he is getting the residents to ‘buy’ into a bad deal by raising the electric rates.

Other than his performance on the Naperville Electoral Board, councilman Krause has almost consistently been a voice for the residents of Naperville. Not one other council member can come close to Krause’s efforts for the residents of Naperville.

Obviously councilman Krause knew the answer, as did everyone who has followed the Naperville Smart Grid Initiative. Give councilman Krause credit for shinning a light on the truth.