Naperville City Officials KO’d With Technical Problems

It was November of 2013 when the Naperville city council approved a lofty strategic five-year plan focusing on three goals:

  • Be an E-Government innovator
  • Improve traffic flow and congestion
  • Set the standard for community education and involvement

Fortunately for city officials they still have four years left to deliver results. If the next four years are anything like the first year, they may have to revise the five-year plan into a ten-year plan, because not much has been accomplished.

When the plan was approved, city officials were high-fiving each other. It wasn’t until recently, that the city council learned that it’s going to take a lot of time and even more money than expected to become an innovator of electronic government.

City manager Doug Krieger broke the news to the council when he said, “Technology is a very complex topic, and it’s also a very expensive one.” This came as a huge revelation to council members, which apparently caught them totally by surprise. This is another reason why Naperville needs a fresh flow of new council members with strong business backgrounds. Doing technology right is not a quick, easy, inexpensive fix.

Krieger went on to say that part of the problem is that the city uses approximately 130 separate computer systems, and “most of those systems don’t ‘talk’ to each other”. City employees are often very frustrated with the need to use a time-wasting series of security-related passwords in order to get their work done.

In the meantime, residents get impatient with the inefficiency of the entire process. Calling the city for help, only makes it worse for the caller who either gets disconnected, forwarded to the wrong department, or is forced to listen to mindless music.

The least the city could do is provide some nice relaxing classical music, or city manager Doug Krieger’s stand-up comedy routine with jokes that got him in trouble earlier in the year requiring ‘sensitivity and harassment’ training. We still haven’t heard Krieger’s punchline to the joke that cost residents $5000 in legal fees.

Show 5 Comments


  1. Gerard H Schilling

    A 130 computer systems independent of each other is an impossibility because when a year and half ago the entire Naperville computer system was brought down by a hacker costing us 1.5 million and two months to correct and replace something (130 systems if not why not?).

    This is a never ending saga with this inept city manager who seems to specialize in abusing women either employees or citizens (smart meter fiasco). Time for a change in the city manager and if the only way to do it is trade out council so be it.

  2. greg

    what is happening with our “Smart” meter technology? any news?

  3. Bahhhhhh

    So which employee has been head of procurement? Apparently there is no one really accountable to the taxpayers to make sure our money is being spent in a coordinated, efficient manor according to a well thought out technology master plan. The “smart meter”/electric utility program has been a financial disaster. Naperville insiders, including Fieseler pushed this political agenda on all of us. The technology was not ready for real time use, and is reported to be already obsolete. 130 different computer systems? Who approved this mess? Who is ultimately responsible? Our mascot mayor? Our unelected city manager? Our council, some of which didn’t understand the IMEA contract? Well, at least the liquor revenues continue to flow into the city coffers to pay for all of these ridiculous technology schemes. As Krieger was reported to comment that a woman pushed down on the street was not seriously injured. I guess we all feel better.

  4. Ed James

    I heard that they are going out for bid to replace the $800k portal that they all went to see, said was fine, then failed. Can you believe they spend almost $1M on something, it goes wrong, and nobody says anything about it, and nobody loses their jobs. What a great place to work, no accountability.

  5. Bhaaaa

    The really bad part about Naperville’s ridiculous government by committee is that there is no professional, qualified CEO Mayor directly responsible to the taxpayers. Citizens must tolerate waste and incompetence until a majority of politicians decide to agree to fire the manager. The voters have to throw out 5 council members just to get rid of the city manager, instead of voting directly to mandate a change in top management. It’s time for a change.

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