Naperville City Council Hiding Accountability By Filing Lawsuit

Naperville city officials don’t like talking when they screw things up. If you ever want to end a discussion with most Naperville city council members, simply ask him or her a question about one of their many screw-ups or anything to do with his or her accountability in the matter. There is no better way to clear out a room full of Naperville city officials , than to ‘call them out’ on a bad decision. They will leave that room faster than a room gets dark after turning off the light switch.

However, to the Naperville city council’s credit they have figured out a way to avoid tripping over each other when rushing out of a room to avoid answering residents’ questions. They simply file a lawsuit, as they did against Calico Energy Inc., and then hide behind the lawsuit, saying they can’t comment on a pending lawsuit. Brilliant on their part.

Calico is the company that the City of Naperville paid almost $780,000  to develop software supporting Naperville’s ill-advised Smart Grid program and specifically the forced installation of so-called Smart Meters on homes and businesses in Naperville. The council’s decision to use Calico has been a colossal failure. Calico was in line for more than $900,000 in payments for the ePortal work, which means Naperville city officials forked over 87% of the contract’s fees ($780,000 our tax dollars) and in return got nothing more than a vendor who is on the brink of bankruptcy according to City Attorney Margo Ely.

Watch and listen to Naperville resident Mike Anderson as he states the facts and questions the city council, and listen closely to councilman Bob Fieseler’s comments at the end.

Councilman Fieseler says, “Could we have done better….who knows”. Are you kidding me, $780,000 wasted and he still doesn’t know.

He then said, “one vendor out of 15”, implying that’s not so bad. First of all we don’t know about the other 14 vendors yet, and one inept vendor (decision on the council’s part) is one too many. How about the next 15 times Fieseler applies his vehicle’s brakes, they work 14 times.

Then councilman Bob Fieseler finishes by saying, “Be careful what we say as officials, because there is a lawsuit pending”. Councilmen Fieseler was the ‘flag carrier’ and councilman Grant Wehrli was the ‘bugle boy’ for pushing the Smart Meter fiasco on the residents of Naperville, and now they both hide behind a lawsuit.

Councilman Bob Fieseler will be running for re-election to the Naperville city council, while councilman Grant Wehrli, anticipating local voter-backlash and defeat in the next council election, has decided to run for election in Illlinois’ 41st District.

Sooner or later both will have to address their part in this debacle, because sooner or later the voters will be voting.

Show 6 Comments


  1. Gerard H. Schilling

    All government contracts should have performance bonds to protect against exactly this type of situation. Why didn’t this contract and do the other 14 have said performance bonds? If not why not? If not, shouldn’t this be yet another reason to fire the city lawyer and her reporting official the city manager? What other city contracts don’t have performance bonds?

  2. Buck Naper

    I wonder if Fieseler thinks if one out of fifteen Dreamliners crashed, it would be an acceptable number or part of Boeing’s learning curve. Calico was one of the top vendors that apparently Fieseler, who was on the Smart Meter Sterring committee, allowed the vendor to be paid out the majority of of the contract without receiving the finished product. It appears that incompetence is running the show, as Curran was quoted in the newspaper in September 2013 that the e-portal would be up and running by the end of the year. So either he had no idea that there was no product or he was not telling the public the truth? Fieseler, there is no “Tuesday morning quarterback” going on. Taxpayers have been warning that his smart meter program was flawed, poorly executed and a huge expense to the taxpayers and consumers for years! How about the “flawed” 2010 rate study, now being blamed on the $14 million dollar negative cash flow? How about the $7.5 Million dollar request from Curran to fund necessary equipment that is 90% unfunded?

    If Mr. Fieseler thinks that his response to the latest fiasco is adequate, he needs to be removed from the Steering Committe and oversight of the project. Wasn’t Fieseler the big proponent of the Green Fuels Depot project in partnership with now bankrupt Packer Engineering? Wasn’t one of the causes of the bankruptcy was that inventory of equipment was never verified by city employees?

    Those who DO, build their own companies in a free market. Those who can’t, govern and mandate their FUBARed ideas on the taxpayer.

  3. Jeff Perkins

    I wonder if enough of the voters will care, or whether they will even show up. To the extent that many of them know about the Smartgrid at all, they might think it was just another shovel-ready jobs program, and after all, that’s what government is for, right? To “create jobs”? So what if it is an epic waste. The grantwriters, the councilcritters, the municipal unions, and everyone else in this logrolling Tammany Hall will vote to keep the gravy train rolling, and I doubt there are enough chumbolones out here who care. The great, apolitical mass of Naperville voters would have to be personally discomfited to vote for change. Such as, oh, I don’t know, a hacker throwing the kill switch on their houses. But apparently Calico doesn’t have the Frenz it thought it did, so it is getting 501(c)(4) IRS type scrutiny. Watching these piranhas eat one of their own does have an element of amusement.

  4. Buck Naper

    Here’s the next shoe to drop. The Council signed a 35 year contract forcing us to buy electricity on the promise that our rates would be stable. This was based on the recommendation of Curran and others. What we need to demand is choice for electric providers, like most other progressive cities. If the Council wants to play roulette, somehow believing they have the expertise and talent to play in the engery market, let them play with their own wallets. Let the rest of us choose our provides, getting us out of this insane 35 year contract. When Prairie State Coal goes off line, how much will it cost to buy power at a auction?

    Fieseler claims he has an electric car and voted to have the city put in more charging stations. Since the vast majority do not drive them nor use them, isn’t he conflicted and should abstain from this use of taxpayer funds? Didn’t the city first use charging stations from a company called Bling, that went bankrupt?

  5. Ed James

    I haven’t posted in a while, due mainly to frustration with the City Council’s failure to accept any accountability for anything that happens here. But, this might take the cake. Fieseler is a bafoon, as in pretends to know something that he does not. He ain’t stupid, but he’s the most arrogant bafoon I’ve seen in quite a while.

    The speaker was right on, and that’s their response? Wow. Their track record in the IT arena is a little suspect. Hacked, no website for months, no oversight on this project… despite a trip to see them. BTW, what officials went on the trip? Maybe someone should get the records to see if the adhered to the State ethics laws?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *