Naperville and the Mysterious N.E.S.T. Task Force

With the battle over the existence of the Naperville Sister City Commission in the rear view mirror (thank you to Council for voting to keep it), we can now turn our attention to another arm of the City….the mysterious N.E.S.T. Task Force.

If one listens in on a City Council meeting you will hear N..E.S.T. referenced with great and increasing regularity. It is very common for this committee to be brought up during Council discussions on issues of sweeping import. They are treated as an authority and as a resource.

Should we renew the I.M.E.A. contract? Ask N.E.S.T.

Do we have enough car charging stations? Ask N.E.S.T.

Is the City’s sustainability plan sufficient? Ask N.E.S.T.

N.E.S.T. sends speakers to almost every meeting to use their three minutes of free air-time. They are referenced ad nauseum by Council and staff during the meetings. Literally billions of dollars, countless jobs and industries, and the sustainability of our environment are usually at issue when this group is mentioned.

All of this begs a spectacularly obvious, yet largely unanswered question, namely…

“who the @#$% are they?”

Who are the members of N.E.S.T. and how were they selected?

What are their individual qualifications and could any members have conflicts of interests?

When are their meetings, who can come, what happens at the meetings, what happened at prior meetings, who are they talking to on the dais, how much staff time is spent working with this group, and enumerable other questions exist because this group is cloaked in secrecy while designed as a “task force” and therefore exempt from Open Meetings Act rules.

In the context of campaign donations disclosures and commission appointments, transparency has been raised a great deal of late. Addressing transparency when it comes to a group that is playing a very large role in the spearheading of our City’s environmental sustainability initiatives should be taken more seriously.

Watchdog Takeaway: N.E.S.T. should be made into a formal City Commission. Doing so would serve as  a credibility boost to N.E.S.T. and it would add transparency for the public. As currently designed, the amount of weight N.E.S.T. is gaining at City Hall is very questionable given the lack of transparency there is as to how it operates.

Show 5 Comments


  1. Gerard H Schilling

    The Naperville Environment and Sustainability Task Force is a group of Naperville residents working together for clean energy in Naperville. We are recognized Task Force of the City of Naperville. As a whole, we generally meet on the 3rd Monday of each month, and our focused committees meet independently.

    Probably a bunch of elite, liberal, Democrats who love dictating to others how to live!

  2. Worried to go downtown

    Lush looted today in downtown Naperville, Saturday December 9th, 2023. Wonder if Karen Peck and Tim Thompson still think Safe Suburbs is overblowing crime downtown? Lush didn’t report the crime for some reason. I don’t get that. I guess they don’t want to scare customers away, but according to Peck and Thompson it’s just fine!!!

    • Stay home

      Downtown Naperville going downhill since Scott Wehrli and Josh Mcbroom were elected.

    • james haselhorst

      What is your source for this claim? I have search every source I know of and can find no report anywhere (police blotters, social media, print media, broadcast media, etc) that says Lush was looted anytime this year.

  3. K

    NEST meeting times are shared on their website NEST is not mysterious, but very much out in the open educating the community. Whomever wrote this article does not know about the history of the City, because the City did NOT want an official environmental or sustainability commission. A commission had been requested for many years by the original co-founders of NEST. NEST would likely continue if an environmental commission was formed, because commissions are limited to only a handful of participants.

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