Anybody can find themselves on the wrong side of an issue occasionally. It happens to all of us. However there are some who find themselves on the wrong side of decisions and issues quite often. When it comes to Naperville city officials, the names that keep popping up are councilmen Bob Fieseler, Grant Wehrli, and Naperville city manager Doug Krieger.
Their problem is that they can’t run from their voting record. Naperville residents problem is that they suffer from the results of Fieseler’s and Wehrli’s decisions. When you add city manager Doug Krieger’s ill-advised decisions to the mix, that leaves the residents of Naperville behind a gigantic 8-ball.
Both Fieseler and Wehrli, along with Krieger continue to push the fingers of Naperville residents into live electrical sockets, and it doesn’t stop. It started in 2007 with the horrible decision to purchase power from the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency (IMEA). Both Fieseler and Wehrli were naive in thinking purchasing power from ‘renewable sources’ and ‘going green’ would be a better investment than using less expensive natural gas alternatives. They were oh so wrong, and now the residents of Naperville find themselves looking at higher energy rates than most other communities throughout the country.
After digging that hole, when most others would throw away their shovels, they continued to dig the hole deeper by doing a money-grab from the Department of Energy and pushing a not-so Smart Grid program at Naperville residents and forcing the installation of not-so Smart Meters on homes and businesses in Naperville. This lead to the arrests of two Naperville women for protecting their homes and families from those forced installations. The City of Naperville’s image took a major hit when the arrests were seen throughout the country as an example of ‘local government gone wild’.
Not only were councilmen Fieseler and Wehrli instrumental in fostering negative press towards Naperville, they also supported and spear-headed another ill-advised decision to choose a vendor to develop an e-portal system for the grid, that failed miserably and cost Naperville residents almost $800,000. Then to add insult to injury for residents, the city filed a lawsuit against the nearly bankrupt company which will cost residents even more money. There simply is no end to how much tax-payer money, Naperville city officials are willing to waste towards lost causes.
Chances are that if you are looking for city manager Doug Krieger, you will find him somewhere in the inky shadows of city hall, approving another expense-acquisition for more shovels. As for Fieseler and Wehrli, they are most likely at the local Home Depot or Menards in the shovel department.
So city officials broke their own law by failing to have the necessary cash reserves for the Electric Utility. In fact they are about $20M in the hole. Who’s going to jail, like the 2 moms who were warning about the situation? Who’s getting fired? Funny thing is that staff is saying the deficit had nothing to do with the over $14M that the city spent on the meters? The $30M Curran said we would save is now a negative $30 M, a swing of $60M. The meters are useless to the consumer as Curran and others lost over $800,000.00 on a e-portal project that Fieseler says now won’t be ready until late 2015. The rate study, that should have been supervised by Curran advised 2% rate increases, but was off by 9-16%. To fully stabilized the finances of the electric company rates need to be increased by 9% and 10%. The Council raised our water rates, and the utility has about $13M in cash reserves. Instead of rebating that back to the consumers, they propose lending that to the failing Electric Utility. Now we have painfully high water rates, nosebleed electric rates, cancelled infrastructure projects, useless “smart meters” and I’m thinking the Electric Utility will find it expensive to issue any more bonds. With this kind of management, without any apparent consequences to those who forced us here is dismal.
Read it and ask, “Who was in charge, here.” It’s only going to get worse…
The city of Naperville paid a $72 million premium simply to join IMEA. Instead of prosecuting Naperville moms for protecting their homes, Margo Ely should be working to recover this money from IMEA, since they have failed to provide the stable, affordable electric power that they promised.
Could it be that the chickens have come home to roost? When you award contracts on a pie-in-the-sky project like smart grid/meter without knowledge, ability or oversight to consultants who have had no previous experience with it and are awarded 25 to 30% of the contract price and when our city had current employees currently on the roles who could easily do it one has to ask where is the money going and why.
We as concerned tax payers and citizens asked the right questions and were/are being stone- walled by the beneficiaries of this project which isn’t us. The three amigos mentioned in this article continue to make green utopian decisions based their ideologies/personal interests verses the best interests of Napervillians. Maybe change will be in the air next election cycle.