It was a great day for the residents of Naperville. As good of a day as it was for residents, it was as bad of a day for Naperville city officials including the Naperville city council, along with Mayor George Pradel and city manager Doug Krieger. When things are good for the residents, things are bad for city officials. Naperville city officials have created that inverse relationship.
On Wednesday, Naperville resident and mother, Kim Bendis was declared not guilty by a jury of her peers on a trumped-up charge of obstructing and resisting a peace officer. Kim Bendis is one of two Naperville moms who was cuffed and arrested for protecting her home and family from the City of Naperville’s forced installation of a so-called smart meter on her home. Naperville city officials sent installers and armed police to her residence to over-power her into submission. When she requested that they leave her property, they forcefully arrested her, and then installed the meter.
Naperville’s ill-advised actions gained national attention, most likely causing the city to drop to #33 in the rankings of most favorable cities in which to live.
Everybody knew city officials over-stepped the line of good behavior; everybody except the city officials who continued to make Kim and her husband’s life miserable by pushing the issue through the overloaded court system. City officials were doomed to lose again in court because the case was going to be decided by a fair and impartial jury of Kim’s peers. The Naperville city council doesn’t like it when a jury decides a case, they don’t like it when residents get to vote on an issue, they don’t like it when residents express their views. City officials don’t like it when they lose control. If it involves common sense, or wisdom, city officials lose.
This is the same city attorney who couldn’t get out of town fast enough when accusations were made that the City of Naperville promotes a hostile work environment. This is the same city manager (Doug Krieger) who was required to participate and complete a course in ‘sensitivity and harassment’ training. This is the same Mayor Pradel who presided over this travesty of justice by allowing the ‘cowboys’ on the city council to arrest residents. This is the same eight members of the city council who didn’t have the decency to stop bullying the Bendis family. This is the same councilwoman Judy Brodhead (the only woman on the council) who didn’t speak up in defense of Naperville women getting arrested for protecting their homes and families.
Not one council member spoke up in favor of doing the right thing. The bugle boy and the flag carrier (Grant Wehrli and Bob Fieseler) kept steam-rolling the residents. If you look up the word ‘bullying’ in the dictionary, you’ll see a picture of the Naperville city council . While they were downtown pounding down some cold brews, the Bendis family was trying to defend themselves in endless court battles.
The three newest council members, Steve Chirico, Joe McElroy, and Dave Wentz, did nothing to stop the bullying. Not one stood tall and challenged the other members of the council. They allowed it to continue. Since those three were not part of the solution, that made them part of the problem.
Naperville city officials wasted tax-payer dollars in the pursuit of this sham of a court case. And they want to get re-elected, so they can do this again to other residents. If the election was held tomorrow, most likely they would all get tossed out of the council chambers. Shame on the Naperville city council, Mayor Pradel, and Doug Krieger for allowing this bullying of the Bendis family to occur.