Naperville City ‘Official’ Accepts Award As Punishment

One would think that being linked to a really bad decision, would cause someone to want to distance himself as far away as possible from the spotlight of that decision, but not so in the case of Naperville Director of Public Utilities – Electric Mark Curran. On November 4 Curran received the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency (IMEA) Board Member of the year award.

In what may have been the second worst, if not worst decision, ever made by Naperville city officials, the City of Naperville contracted with IMEA in 2007 to purchase electricity as its source of electric for residents and businesses, not for one year, or 10 years, or 20 years, but for 28 years until the year 2035. The Cubs may have another 19 World Series championships by the time the long-term, outrageously iron-clad contract, with absolutely no performance provisions included, comes to an end. The horrible Iran nuclear deal on the national level is what the IMEA-Naperville deal is on the local level. Bad business. Naperville city officials should be ashamed of themselves for being so naive.

But there is Curran, the poster boy, accepting his award for his commitment to Naperville’s more than 59,000 electric accounts; a 28-year commitment for outrageous electric rates. Curran should be thanking the Naperville city council, and legal department for approving the contract. Let’s not leave out Naperville city manager Doug Krieger for over-seeing the entire debacle.

IMEA has 24 board members, with one board member (Curran) representing Naperville, though Naperville represents almost 40% of the agency’s buying power. There are 32 public electric systems as part of the purchasing consortium, with Naperville being the largest investor by far with that 40%. Naperville city officials blew it big time and the residents and businesses of Naperville are left with high electric rates that are going higher and higher.

This was followed by another hideous decision by the Naperville city council to forcefully install Smart Meters on the homes of residents and businesses with the promise that it would save users money. As of today, not one dime has been saved by anyone in Naperville. Current city council members Judith Brodhead and Paul Hinterlong were part of the council that approved the heavy-handed installation of those meters, with the blessing of Smart Meter ambassador John Krummen, whom is also on the city council now. Both Brodhead and Krummen are up for re-election next April.

In case you’re wondering what was the worst decision ever made Naperville city officials, that happened around 1970, when Naperville decided to say ‘no’ to what is now Westfield Mall in Aurora. Developers of the mall wanted the City of Naperville to approve the mall to be built on the southeast corner of Rt. 59 and Aurora Avenue. City officials voted ‘no’ because of the increased traffic. So the mall was built across the street in Aurora, resulting in the same amount of traffic, and the City of Aurora benefiting from 41 years worth of sales taxes. At least the 28 year bad deal will come to an end, but the continued loss of sales tax will go on and on.

Naperville city officials can’t seem to get it right. They vote ‘no’ when they should vote ‘yes’, and they vote ‘yes’ when they should vote ‘no’. And who remains to pick up the pieces? The good folks of Naperville, that’s who.

Show 8 Comments


  1. Gerard Schilling

    With respect to IMEA and smart meters one should follow the money to see if the major players financially benefited from these questionable, unwarranted, unjustified and fiscally irresponsible acts that most people with any business experience knew were crazy from their conception through completion. Some of us said so from the very beginning.

  2. Jim Haselhorst

    Yes the costs associated with IMEA have been greater then expect, but Naperville residents are still getting electricity cheaper then if the power utility had been sold to ComEd, who customer’s pay higher rates then Naperville resident.

    • CM. K.

      Are you guessing or knowing it by facts?

      If you select ComEd in the following web site,

      You will see ComEd is charging 6.388 cents per kWh. My recent Naperville utility bill shows Naperville billed residents at almost 11 cents per kWh.

      • CM. K.

        Some corrections. The true price needs to include the “delivery charge”. The Naperville City web site did a caculation.

        It stated:
        “2) Naperville’s price increased from 11.243 cents per kWh to 12.293 cents per kWh as a result of rate increase effective 2/1/16. This increase dropped Naperville from 2nd
        lowest to 35th lowest on this list. This does not include the monthly Purchased Power Adjustment. ”

        So considering the mounting debt (including $13.2 million borrowed from Naperville Water department), major infrastructure improvement cost, and long term pension obligation, there is really nothing we can be proud of on the Naperville electricity rate.

        • Jim Haselhorst

          Does your new ranking include the planned increases for other providers or just Naperville?

        • CM. K.

          In the PDF, created by City of Naperville, described the contract expiration date for each city listed.

          And I assumed you have checked the website and the comparison. This is NOT my ranking! It’s done by the City of Naperville.

      • Jim Haselhorst

        Don’t know were this site gets it data, but I pay electrical bills for a ComEd customer and they are presently paying 12.12 cents per KWh.

        • CM. K.

          I’m wondering what did you mean “Don’t know were this site gets it data”? The “site” is the City of Naperville web site!

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