The City of Naperville’s legal department enjoys dragging residents into court. Can you blame them. It’s job security. The City will be back in court on July 8, but this time not as a plaintiff; the City will be a defendant. You won’t find it on the City’s website or in Naperville’s “Connected” newsletter. City officials don’t like broadcasting court situations, though they are the ones creating most of those situations. Win or lose, it’s not the city official’s money they are wasting, it’s tax dollars from residents and businesses that city officials are squandering. If city official’s were held financially responsible and accountable for their actions, chances are very few situations would result in court action.
This lawsuit was filed by a group of Naperville residents (Naperville Smart Meter Awareness Group) over the forced installation of about 57,000 not-so Smart meters on homes and businesses throughout the city. City officials bullied residents when police escorts accompanied installers with the threat of arrest. Some residents were arrested, handcuffed, and tossed into squad cars, and booked. In some cases charges were wisely dropped by the City, however in another case (Kim Bendis), the City used every possible tactic to destroy the Naperville resident in court action. The City lost the case in court when the good guys won and Kim Bendis was acquitted last October.
Now the City of Naperville takes a turn as the defendant. On July 8th, the court will rule on whether or not to accept a third amended complaint. Either way, the court did not dismiss an equal protection claim regarding Smart Meter Awareness group members being dealt with differently than non-members of the group in terms of keeping an analog meter. That claim will go forward.
The group’s attorney, Doug Ibendahl, said members simply wanted the opportunity to keep their original analog meter without additional fees being levied on the request. Naperville city officials had the opportunity to do the right thing, allowing residents a choice, and thereby keeping it out of court, and they didn’t have the wisdom to do it. Hence court action against the City.
Why must Naperville city officials make things more difficult than they need to be. The three current city council members who were influential in letting things get out of control were then sitting council members Judy Brodhead and Paul Hinterlong, along with then Smart Meter ambassador (city council mouthpiece) John Krummen who now sits on the council.
It’s always nice when the good guys win in court. It happens on Judge Judy. It happened with Kim Bendis. When the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness group wins, that qualifies for the Triple Crown of winners.