Naperville Officials Accomplice To A “Crime”

The residents and businesses of Naperville have been on the receiving end of a ‘crime’. It actually started  in the inky shadows of city hall’s corridors, and it culminated with the recent announcement that the Naperville Public Utility of Electric is $25 million in the red, and city officials want residents and businesses to cover the loss, and that’s the crime.

So how did Naperville go from $5 million in the black as recently as last year, to $25 million in the hole one year later. How could this happen? City officials kept reassuring residents to trust when they said electric rates would not increase over a 5-year period by more than the rate of 0%, 0%, 2%, 2%, and 2%. City manager Doug Krieger said it, the mayor said it, the city council said it, Mark Curran, the Public Utility Director of Electric said it, the talking heads (Smart Grid Ambassadors) said it. Something went terribly wrong, and residents along with Naperville business could be paying astronomical electric rates for the next 21 years, until the year 2035. That’s even longer than term limits for council members, and they haven’t even gone into effect yet.

So who is responsible for letting this ‘crime’ happen? The list of possible culprits is lengthy, but if this was a corporation, who would be issued their walking papers?

The Naperville Public Utility of Electric is Naperville’s Titanic “even God can’t sink this ship”.  Who is Naperville’s Captain Edward Smith, Officer-in-Charge of-the-Bridge William Murdoch, and Crow’s Nest Lookout (Reginald Lee)?

They would be City Manager Doug Krieger (Ming the Merciless from Flash Gordon), city councilman Grant Wehrli, and Naperville’s Director of Public Utility Electric, Mark Curran.


All three have been crucial moving parts of this fiasco since 2007 when Naperville entered a horrible contract with IMEA (Illinois Municipal Electric Agency) which runs through the year 2035. Krieger was the finance director, Wehrli was one of three current council members who approved the contract (along with Pradel and Krause), and Curran has been with the city since 1991, and in his current position as Public Utility Director of Electric since 2010. Curren should have seen the iceberg and warned the Captain (Krieger) of impending doom (20 + years of high electric rates). Wehrli as the council’s point person with the Smart Grid needed to asking the right people the right questions and he didn’t. Krieger did not and has not exhibited the leadership necessary to steer the ship to safety. Time and again he has failed the residents and businesses of Naperville. Residents, through the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness group tried to warn them, but they would not listen. City officials simply had them arrested and thrown into the court system.

Those most responsible for the sorry state of electric rates in Naperville (Krieger, Wehrli, and Curran) most likely will be gone in short time. Wehrli is leaving the scene of the crime and running off to the state legislature, while Krieger and Curran will be working their ‘magic’ elsewhere. What will remain will be the residents, the businesses, the sky-rocketing electric rates, and a horrible contract through 2035.

Show 4 Comments


  1. Gerard H Schilling

    There is a solution and that’s to sell the electric company as it is not in the capability of any government to run it efficiently or effectively. Every time they do it, it is a disaster. Government employees have no incentive to do anything but grow the monster and avoid any responsibility or accountability for their actions or inactions. Time for a significant change both in our leadership as well as our city’s organization structure and asset composition. Things like golf courses, recreational centers, ambulance and fire service and our electric company should be sold off as they are services which are redundant, excessively expensive and will eventually bankrupt our city.

  2. Buck Naper

    There should have been a referendum before the city committed residents to a 35 year monopoly contract with IMEA? Even worse they agreed to force consumers to pay a $72M dollar “premium” which is costing all of us about $6M per year in higher costs. No we don’t pay the cheapest rates, as Curran and Krieger try to spin. The citizens in Glen Dale Heights and many others had the opportunity to vote for cheaper free market electricity. Council and staff spent our own tax dollars to thwart a non-binding referendum on “smart meters ” that are now useless to consumers as the e-portal system has been screwed up for a reported $700,000+ loss. Wasn’t it Wehrli who gave a heads up to Excelon corporate about the pending smart meter referendum? Hmmmmmm

  3. Sweetdee

    Where are all the Wehrli, Chirico, Feisler, et al. supporters now? They droned on and on, about how great they all were during the whole smart meter fiasco- how much money this whole thing would save us. How wrong, stupid, uninformed, the people who dared to questions “The Great and Powerful Council” were.

    The curtain has been pulled back to reveal not so great or powerful wizards Maybe they finally seeing our city council, city manager, and appointed staff for what they really are; incompetent, pompous, know-it-all bullies. Maybe the attacks on the people who raised questions will stop. Maybe the blind faith followers of the city council will start asking questions for themselves.

    This group of miscreants couldn’t competently govern their way out of a wet paper bag. They have taken a viable asset, and mismanaged it into a black or more aptly- red hole. We, the citizens of Naperville, will be paying for their scandalous “mistakes” for the next three decades.

  4. Chuck T. (Naperville)

    I have read the Tribune’s and the Sun’s reports on Naperville’s
    skyrocketing electricity rates. Hitching our wagon to coal and for 30
    years (who does that!) and with Peabody which has only a 5% stake.
    Mr. Krieger says that they are on a short leash but I must point out
    that they have picked the wrong dog (and I do mean dog).
    What I have not heard from this trusted body is where is the control
    of Prairie State and to define “better in the long run”. I am 67and a
    resident for 30 years; how long is long?
    I wish I could make it to today’s meeting to give my disgust to a job
    “not well done”.

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