A forum for comments about Naperville news and issues.

Smart meter issue never dies

| 189 Comments

It looks like the opponents of Naperville's smart metermeters.jpg installations are not going down without a fight.
Bill Mego say they're safe.
Bob Fischer says the fight is a waste of money.
Why is this issue dragging out? Where do you stand? And when they come to install the meter, will you allow it?
UPDATE: Judge agrees referendum should not be on ballot.
Related: Opponent claims email shows improprieties.

UPDATE The Naperville City Council has been cited for violating the Open Meetings Act during a hearing on Smart Meters. Does this renew or embolden the opposition to Smart Meters? Have you changed your mind on the issue? Anybody want to say "I told you so?"

189 Comments

Having lived here for 34 years now, I can tell you that the councils, past and present, are famous for not following the will of the people. They do not listen on the big issues like this one. The meter program is a big waste of money, plain and simple. But the council was going to have their way on it and dump $11 million of city money (our money) on this.

Of course, now we have a group out there that wants to overturn the ward referendum. I would like to see the Sun have this as a new topic to write opinions on.

Jade 33,

Best wishes to all of the organizations involved in today's protest as well as your continued efforts to get out the truth about what has transpired.

It is truly a shame that our elected Naperville officials allowed themselves to became total whores for "free" federal tax dollars who were blinded by the carrot dangled by DOE instead of first fully understanding the risks and benefits of this technology and the level of acceptance of it by our community.

The fact that our elected Naperville officials kept the electorate in the dark about what was going on until well into the 11th hour either underscores their arrogance and lack of connection to the community or they fully understood what would happen if people were informed and they made a conscious decision to exclude the electorate until it was too late to do anything.

The lack of a personal connection to the residential community by the current city council members along with the need for the residential community to contact every single city council member on every issue they feel passionate about only exemplifies the vote for a ward system of representation by the majority of voters was a very wise decision.

Changing to a ward system of representation might be too late to undo the smart meter mess but it a first step in the correct political direction to fix a house that has long been broken and has not done their job of representing the residential community well, a house that is overly concerned by the needs and wants of the business community and developers and often at the detriment of the residential community, a house that does not have good oversight and control over the work product and work ethic of city staff, and a house who listens to recommendations from city staff more than they listen to recommendations of the residential community.

Do you believe in the right to say what goes on your property? Do you believe in the right to choose what risks you and your family assume? Do you believe you have a right in how your tax dollars are spent?
Then, Take Back Your Power and join Naperville Smart Meter Awareness on Thursday October 4th from 11:30-1:00 at the corner of Washington and Chicago Avenue in downtown Naperville for a rally to Take Back Your Power! We are joining dozens of organizations from around the country and abroad to protest the city's forced installation of "smart" meters on all our homes, schools, businesses and places of worship.
"Smart" meters are proving to be a complete waste of money and failing to live up to its marketed taglines. Rather than consumer benefits, consumers are hit with higher bills, fire damage to their property, and risks to their security, privacy and well-being.
Jam the Scam as we Take Back Our Power on Oct. 4th 11:30-1:00 downtown Naperville!
Check out www.napervillesmartmeterawareness.org

I do not know how I missed it! I read it 3x week.

Sorry.

Smart meters are causing house fires!

See the following website for a new story on smart meters causing house fires:

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120830/NEWS11/120829748/comed-smart-meters-associated-with-three-fires-in-suburban-chicago-homes

SmartMeters are associated with house fires. Shortly after installation the meters are overheating, bursting into flames, and causing fires. Many across the nation. Several right here in Illinois. Yet not a word about this safety risk to consumers?

Some installation programs have been suspended because of the fires. We need to know more about the make and models associated with the fires and if the make and model being installed in Naperville are a match. Would also be interesting to know where these meters are manufactured (China?)and who they have been tested and certified by (UL?).

As a bit of reference point there are a ton of house fires that have been associated with cheap China made motors in attic ventilation fans yet the flow of cheap imports continues without regulation to protect unsuspecting consumers.

Now consumers are being forced to let the local utility install these new meters and shortly after installation their homes are catching fire. Not good.

In addition to monitoring our actions inside our homes with the smart meters, the FEDS are now drafting regulations for "black boxes" inside our vehicles so that they can provide evidence against us in the event of a crash, or maybe just speeding if they add a GPS chip to the citizen monitoring and evidence collection device installed in our property..... just like the "smart meter" aka monitoring and control network.

This will be like having a full time policeman inside our house monitoring what time we wash the dishes and having a policeman sitting in our back seats in case we do something bad.

Orwell we are here.

It's really unfortunate that our City Council is a bunch of Quislings.

Secret meetings, spying on the citizens, what's next, oh yeah informing on us to the EPA for inappropriate use of energy or perhaps just administering the fines, after they turn off the AC with their smart thermostats that are "optional now and mandatory later" for power rationing.

Perhaps the City Council should come out of the closet and wear their brown shirts to the next meeting.Toothbrush mustaches would look great on all of them.

TWAU,

Thanks for the response. My bad re: confusing you with La Cuc. I should not be so sloppy.

Pax vobiscum,

M

marko56,

You have me confused with La Cucharacha ---- I never called you "Markie".

The thing with the council's shoddy treatment of citizens is a chicken/egg argument ---- did the vitriol come before the shoddy treatment, or after? JOMO, the council's dismissive, arrogant attitude drove the vitriol (a wrong response, again JOMO.

I read much of the research out there, and I have a different viewpoint. That is okay - it is America and we are allowed to intelligently disagree without being accused of wearing a tin foil hat, yes?


As far as the upcharge, yes there should be one, just not $25 as that number creates profit (quite a bit on a per-meter basis).As I was told exactly how the number came to be, it simpy represented another stick to the eye by the council.

TWAU, baby:

First, let me say I'm charmed that you refer to me as "Markie." Such a fond nickname! To quote Sally Field, you must really, really like me.

Like you, I attended meetings on the smart meters (or "smeters," in order to abbreviate). And I researched them diligently online, as I don't want my children, spouse, pets or various squirrels on my property in any danger (although I wouldn't mind a few irradiated rabbits here and there). And my research showed -- to me -- that there is no credible evidence of threat. Not one.

I also believe that the concerns of citizens over government or industry control or data collection are misplaced. In the first place, our electricity provider ALREADY collects data about our power usage; they simply do so on foot. In this day and age, it is absurd to rely on meter readers when the technology exists to provide the data digitally. Smeters will allow for a more streamlined and efficient utilities network, and while that will not lower electricity costs immediately, it will pay benefits down the road and keep costs in check. In an era when communities have a potential choice of power providers, utilities have (for the first time) an incentive to keep rates in check. And that's a good thing.

Tiered billing is indeed a possibility. If it's a choice between that and blanket rate increases, don't you think tiered billing would be preferable? This is the 21st century, and we have to stop pretending that technology stands still.

Finally, regarding your observations of our city council members and staff: I couldn't agree more. The city has shown that it is all too eager to grab money that is on the table (Look, for example, at the widening of the intersection at Washington and 75th streets. The only reason the city agreed to such a massive project, over the objection of nearby residents, was the availability of state funds as long as the city widened the intersection to the state's standards). The Council also acted in an arrogant manner. But given the vitriol that was sent their way, I can understand why Council members became frustrated with some residents. But I have no problem with the upcharge for people who refuse smeters. The utility faces added costs due to the old meters; they should charge for them. Nor do I have a problem with police presence during installation, given some of the radical statements that some citizens have made about protection of their property, etc.

I've lived here 20 years. This is no longer a sleepy, small home town, despite its appearance. Naperville is one of the largest cities in the state, and it is acting that way, for better or worse.

See ya.

Marko56,

I read and attended virtually everything related to this project. I sat down and reviewed the capital budget, and that was how I found out the smart grid and smartmeter were two different things and that the bulk of the budget was going to the meters. I sat and listened, and asked questions, and found out the grid itself, and it's upgrade, was by itself a great use of money and time.

I interviewed the staff, the consultants, the people arguing against the  smartmeters, and several council members.

My conclusion  was simple and obvious: 

First, all the talk about safety was based on existing government studies that supported the concept  of general safety and ignored all studies that questioned the safety.

Second, as in all "causes" some of those that were  against the  smartmeters were in the class of "zealots", and were suspicious of any government projects.

Third, several council members were grossly ignorant and dismissive of the voting public. From my viewpoint that treated those who questioned the project in a totally unacceptable manner, including taunts of the "tin foil hat" nature. Last I looked, none of the council members had performed any studies on their own, and mine were  research physicists.

Fourth, given the highly-educated nature of the Naperville population, it is clear that the major reason for the smartmeters is twofold: first, to allow for tiered-billing

Fifth, secondary reasons include: 

>to allow the possibility for controlled electricity delivery (ie rolling blackouts)
>to allow a view into individual power usage
Now, before you go into a limited-viewpoint rant on this one, please be aware that in cities where smartmeters already exist, the power consumption data has already been used to locate illegal farming activity AND to ascertain personnel location in murder cases.

Sixth, the money was out there and Naperville wanted it

Seventh, some city employees and officials saw an opps to be "the father of tech" and look good for voters, etc.

Eighth, the upgrade to the grid  alone  was enough to pinpoint any and all outages to within something like 30 yards, thus smartmeters are a little redundant

Ninth, the city is strong-arming those who want to  opt out with the $ 25 monthly charge.  It is an arbitrary number designed to discourage opting out, and as such is both usurious and if challenged in court will not stand up 

Tenth,   and very importantly, the city of Naperville was severely secretive and was in clear violation of the  open meetings act! They were  shadowy and in essence lied regularly to the citizenry.

Let me close by repeating my earlier comment that blindly accepting something that is so ardently being shoved down our throats is EXACTLY  how wonderful things like asbestos and other government-approved “uber-products” were introduced into our lives. Remember, they were all deemed safe.  Also remember it was once  "governments" that insisted the world was flat and the penalty for not complying with that thought was quite severe.


All in all, the city and council handled the project badly, violated laws, lied to the citizens, verbally  mistreated other citizens, possibly wasted a lot of money (and created future tax issues), when it all could have been done much better.

 I fully supported the grid upgrade, but I still feel the city should have allowed those who wanted to to opt out without the usurious and arbitrary cost.

Markie,

Since the city's violation of the open meetings act, I have yet to see one post talking about hijacking, or spying. Your argument is exactly what MOST of us who oppose this insane waste of money are talking about. You deflect the real argument by saying we're all paranoid. No, we're not. It's about lying, cheating, and wreckless spending. Read the posts.

I talked about ROI. Not immediate payback. Again, there is NO, as in ZERO payback. I don't care about immediate. There must be a return on investment. It's only financial common sense.

Your point about us having a duty to the common good is interesting. I think it makes sense, however, this not an argument that the city makes. They say we'll save money. Where? How?

You reject others arguments using two arguments that nobody in recent memory has made. Talk about the facts, and we can have a discussion. Make things up and there's no use. Also, I have absolutely no reason to believe that you know anything about the safety of these meters. What is your background? City Councilman? They seem to know everything. Maybe then, after we know the facts, we can believe you.

Dear walker amongst us,

I would certainly have more sympathy with those who oppose smart meters if they didn't advertise their paranoia every chance they get. They seem to oppose smart meters because they believe that the government will somehow hijack their electricity, spy on their use of blenders to mix margaritas, and use these objects as a means of eventually taking over every freedom we now enjoy. At the same time, there are those who don't believe in investing a single dime because any money we spend now won't have an immediate payback, and those people somehow object to the notion that we as a community have a duty to the common good -- a notion that has propelled this nation for over two centuries.

In my opinion, neither of these arguments are valid.

Believe me, I've done my fair share of research on these meters, and I've found that most of the people who object on the basis of safety have not done their own homework. They are safe; they are sensible; they are the next step in our electric grid.

I do agree that the Council needs to be more open, but I also think there comes a time when discussion needs to end and we as a community need to move on.

What a waste of our education system , use of the internet, and mis-application of the first amendment.

Bullies and low thinkers within an educated community only serve to highlight the need for others who do not blindly accept the status quo, especially when the status quo is based on the simpleness of a government program!

Lacking the ability to address the debate with intelligence and data, these bullies of narrow mind and more narrow skills tend to fall back on insults in the hopes of marginalizing the thoughts of others. You know---like the stuff marko56 and others insists on writing about those who do not fall in to goose-step with their thoughts on smart meters. Tin foil hat, anyone?

Like the mindless drones of the insect kingdom, folks like marko56 attack their own neighbors and citizens, blindly defending any and all beliefs that don’t conform to their own limited thoughts. This is a form of confirmation bias and is disappointing to find so prevalent in what is considered an open, educated community. It is also how wonderful things like asbestos and other government-approved “uber-products” were introduced into our lives.

To paraphrase one of America’s biggest idiots, I suppose there are many who believe “the debate on smart meters is over” but the he inconvenient truth is that there has been little true debate on them, the science is still quite open, and there is a reason so many communities either never approved them or did, and reversed that approval based on new data they collected.

Now, really folks ----- is it so hard to at least accept we do not all have to have the exact same beliefs at the exact same level , all the time?

I'm all for technology. Here's the question. So, giving feedback to the utility and having faster repairs (like 1 hour vs. 1.125 hours) saves us $22M? Over what time period? Never mind that there is no ROI on the project, and the elected officials lied and cheated to get their way. It's all for our own good. Thank god we have forward thinking arrogant people like you in the Republic. Once again, go to the tin foil, or Luddite BS to hide the truth. Talk about facts. Poor argument. Yeesh, again.

What a waste of keystroking and cyberspace.

Smart meters are just that: smart. They give immediate feedback to the utility, allow the utility to make repairs more quickly and efficiently by pinpointing problem areas, and are the way of the future.

I'm always astounded when a community of educated people acts like a group of paranoid Luddites. Yeesh.

IF only this was the only thing they did. Hiding meetings, tip of the ice burg. Follow the money please AG, those numbers don't add up, but this management team/council doesn't believe ANY of the rules apply to them, so they probably actually believe the Mayor when he says they are clean. There is nothing clean in City Management, or in City Council - that is simply a fact, and the Smart Meter fiasco is only the most outrageous example of how these folks operate.

Is anyone really surprised by this? The council is famous for bending the rules when they need to with large initiatives like this one. The city is now nearing the end of this project. Goodbye $11 million of our taxpayer money.

Maybe we just didn't want to waste $22 mil on a system to tell us not to use electricity during peak hours. This is a pure waste of taxpayers money to make some individuals feel more important about themselves and their jobs.

The only surprise here is that it took so long for the AG to look at it (ome to the of it, perhaps nomsurprisenat all?).

Anyone who attended the info meetings, the Concil meetings, etc., had to be either naive or brain dead to not see the city was being abusive, obfuscating, etc., in all of their dealings on the issue of smartmeters.

It all started with their clever marketing of trying to tie smartmeters as being synonymous with "smart grid", and it continued with their forceful advertising of the $11 million from the fed while downplaying the $11 million from us.

Of course, who can forget the assurances we received from our council that the meters are safe? Or the derogatory manner in which they dealt with citizens that dared question their scientific prowess? They were very clear that anyone who has doubts wore tin foil hats.

All in all, just another example of the hired help (read:politicians) thinking they are smarter than those who pay the bills.

I saw Overpaid Teachers comments on the web this am. OT, come on. Most of us know what this is about. It's not about the safety of the meters. Like many of us said, it's about lack of transparency. The City got caught, although their arrogance and stupidity (Mayor) won't allow them to understand what they did. The City Manager made an appropriate comment in todays paper, and that's good. The Mayor? We're clean? Not so much.

Here's a question for the blog. First, does a quasi-judicial hearing include a real judge or something like that, as opposed to staff and officials that have a conflict of interest in the matter?

If you weren't sure about allowing comments, why not check with someone, like the AG? Cause you know better?

If you were sure, why not let the public speak? This is the one that bothers me the most. It's because they were trying to stifle public comment and quash any opposition. Let them speak, then screw them. That's what they should have done.

This is Tuesday night. We'll see when and if you even publish this. Well Sun, a day late in reporting the City's VIOLATION of a STATE LAW regarding the Open Meetings Act. An act designed to spread sunshine on government's business. The Trib and Daily Herald had this in the paper and on the web this morning. Your article was weak at best. Raps knuckles? How about, they hid meetings, and the content of the meetings from the public? They denied the public's ability to vote on an important issue. How about the Mayor's comments to the Daily Herald? The AG is just an outside party? How about the ultimate outside party? We're clean? No, you VIOLATED the law. That's the opposite of clean. Weren't you a cop? What else did you do? Here's an about face. The Mayor of Chicago, and Cook County President would never stand for this. But our bumbling, stumbling Mayor declares this clean? What a farce. What a joke.

Apparently smokescreen cannot read very well!

I can only encourage you to go back through this thread, to reread thenSUN stories on the protests (including the original ones), review the cit council mtgs --- then MAYBE you will comprehend what those  folks have against the  smartmeters.

I have done so, and I can ascertain that tinfoil hats has nothing to do with it. There are valid concerns on health -   Just because some, such as Bill Mego, believe it is minimal is still a recognition it exists (thus the emphasis on the word "minimal").

The fact that you cannot comprehend this means you are  either slow, do't want to, or just enjoy insulting your fellow citizens.

IMO the jury is still out about the safety of radio waves. I've read way too many conflicting studies to believe this has been definitively decided. Hair not falling out in one week of use only shines a light on the major difference between acute (short term) and chronic (long term) effects.

Anyone who believes this system can not be hacked would be well advised to educate themselves about how powerful the ability of hackers are today. There are entire buildings operated by the NSA worrying about what hackers can do and hackers working for terrorists. How many secure government, bank, and credit card computers have been hacked just in the last 12 months?

The banks don't have to tell you how much computer hackers have stolen so they don't... just know it is in the billions, has been going on for years, and the banks still don't have an absolute fix or guarantee.

And an electric meter the size of a melon hanging off the back of your house is more secure than all of the government and bank computers that have already been hacked? Does anyone really believe that?

It isn't the loss of data or data privacy that concerns me with hackers. What concerns me is the hackers ability to remotely control and shut down the entire smart grid system. Nothing would cripple the US or our economy faster than terrorists living half way around the world controlling our utility systems.

And no one has a clue if they did hack and take control how long it might be before or if we could get control back.

While this feature sounds great in the hands of ethical law-abiding people, in the hands of criminals and terrorists it could wreck all kinds of havoc.

Does that mean you are not going to answer my question?

Smokescreen wrote:

"Since the smart meters cause no ill health effects, do not damage household electroonics, and pose no safety hazard, and do not intrude on privacy, what is the REAL reason for opposing them?"

You appear to have an inordinate amount of blind faith on the one side of the argument on the health issue related to smartmeters. You might want to brush up on the hard data.

Saying they do not intrude on privacy is both factually wrong and naive.

Thannyou move to your real agenda --- trying to turn this into a political issue! Of course!

Since the smart meters cause no ill health effects, do not damage household electroonics, and pose no safety hazard, and do not intrude on privacy, what is the REAL reason for opposing them?

Money?
-dont like the spending by the local government?
-fear that tiered pricing may be imposed and may raise you bill?

Political?
-dislike of anything called 'green' since it is associated with democrats?
-fearful of change as a matter of course?

Other?


anon,

Thank you for your April 14, 2012 4:02 PM | Reply too Edward Owen ---- very well put!

Edward Owen,

And there you go again! You need to dig deep and try to find a ittle grace and gravitas.

It is simple: the only reason I even posted at all was because some on these blogs, such as you and on the issue of smartmeters in particular, find it necessary to avoid intelligent discourse and instead try to undermine those they disagree with, usually by attacking them personally.

In fact, you were not even in the discussion but elected to butt in by, yes, attacking those who disagree with the smartmeters by jumping to tin hats, etc.

As I said, I got my meter the first week and, as expected, I still have my hair.

However, I fully understand those who oppose the smartmeters for whatever the reason, from safety to cost to big government, and I certainly do NOT think less of them for being against it, or for being putout over having them jammed down their throats.

j

JOIN US TOMORROW - RAIN OR SHINE - AT THE RALLY
1:00-2:30
Naperville Municipal Center (City Hall, front steps)
400 S Eagle St (Eagle/Aurora Ave, West of Washington)

Our politicians neither know, nor care at this point, if these meters cause harm or not. They are all too caught up in their own egocentric stance to even consider anything outside the company line.

To be clear, I doubt very much any serious physical harm will come of smart meters, however I don't think adding yet another layer of RF to our environment is a great thing. The bigger concern I have, and that most people I know have, is the fact that City Management couldn't care less about the feelings of the residents, AND that they feel perfectly justified in spending significantly MORE THAN 22 MILLION of our tax dollars on a pet project that they know would never get past a referendum vote.

The arrogance, the lies, attacks on anyone who questions the integrity of this ill conceived project, THAT is what MANY of us are concerned about. Those issues go way beyond stupid meters, and can't be brushed off with another tin hat joke from the handful of blind followers the Council, Management, and their Consultants have sucked in.

Love your meter, or hate it, it doesn't matter, what does matter is the sleazy way this project has been forced down everyones throat - and the sleazy way this Council and Management team treat everyone outside their inner circle. It's unethical at best, criminal at worst, and if there is even a sliver of justice left anywhere in Naperville, it will at least prove to be unelectable going forward.

Only then will you be able to understand contructs outside of Seuss.

xxx

ah yes HR, I bet the smart meters have started affecting my abilities already - better get a lead apron, gee I wish Karen Silkwood was still around she could advise us what to do.

so again I ask, what is your point? Are you saying that the smart meters pose some dastardly harm to us, and our local politicians know this yet are conspiring to cover it up? sounds like you've blown the cover off this vast conspiracy. I'll bet you no longer eat apples because of Alar?

Edward Owens,

Nope!

 Now, be clear that YOU are the smarta$$   who  posted   on the oh-so-many uses of the word "blindly" in some pathetic attempt to point out your perceived superiority ( or, more likely, your lack of understanding of the subject matter or complex thought & analysis).

Counted again (see post dated 3/29, 6:58 pm), and  again ur wrong. Still just two!

Oooh, you got me on the typing error ----  I did use the word "blind" one time, so I am guessing that you  are equating it with "blindly".  I am sure there were other typos as I am using a 4 inch screen

Edward, you still need to either read better or comprehend better. To do so, you need to read and review occurrence order, the actual words, context, etc. Only then will you be able to understand contructs outside of Seuss.

You are invited! Join Naperville Smart Meter Awareness, supporters, and residents for the:
"TAKE BACK YOUR POWER!" RALLY
Sunday, April 15, 2012
1:00 - 2:30 pm
Naperville Municipal Center, front steps
400 S. Eagle St.

See you there!
More information at: http://www.napervillesmartmeterawareness.org/

Your are invited!
"TAKE BACK YOUR POWER" RALLY
Sunday April 15, 2012
1:00 to 2:30 PM
Naperville Municipal Center (City Hall-front steps)
400 S. Eagle Street

If you believe in your right to: PROTECT YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR HOME, KEEP A CLASS 2B CARCINOGEN OFF OUR HOME AND SCHOOLS, MAINTAIN YOUR CIVIL PROPERTY RIGHTS AND PRIVACY IN YOUR OWN HOME, AND VOTE ON HOW $22 MILLION IS SPENT BY THE NAPERVILLE CITY COUNCIL, please join Naperville Smart Meter Awareness, supporters, and residents for the "TAKE BACK YOUR POWER" Rally, Sunday, April 15, 2012, from 1:00 - 2:30p.m., at the Naperville Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St. See you there!

More information at: http://www.napervillesmartmeterawareness.org/

Uh, twice by count. Yep, just recounted ---- twice.

xxx

History Reducks, The Name's Edward Owens - google it if you'd like.

blindly
lind
blindly

try again HR, of course you spelled it wrong once so maybe you missed it, but 2 out of 3 ain't a bad try.

You brought up Karen Silkwood and then say, "You still miss the point ---- it is NOT about smart meters, govt, etc" - you're all over the board HR, do you actually have a point? now it's about belittling and not about govt? I thought it was about the evil conspiracy of pulling the wool over everyone's eyes?

Yep, exactly on all points. If the City and those it has managed to buy or brainwash REALLY believed they had a majority, they wouldn't have recruited a stand in to file an objection to the referendum. They know full well that the results would have come back that they had wasted MORE THAN 22 Million of our tax dollars on an ego driven self enriching project that the majority of people in the City either don't want, or don't care one bit about.

Henry Owen,

Uh, twice by count.  Yep, just recounted ---- twice.

Actually YOU equated plutonium poisoning with smart meters, not me.

  You lacked  the ability to distinguish the point of my original comments because you could not fight through your own mental models and dogma. Your animus against those who oppose smart meters is  so high you are incapable of discussing broader subjects that swirl around said meters (note: I got my smart meter on day three of the program --- no probs!)

You still miss the point ---- it is NOT about smart meters, govt,  etc., it IS about the people  like you and Jim whose reflex is to belittle and marginalize those who don't follow your blind allegiance.

It is you, not I, who felt so  "enlightened" that you were  compelled to belittle those people who bucked smary meters (tin hats, etc).  By the way, how do you know how many are for or against smart meters? Do you have some data, versus personal opinion, you'd like to share?

Anyway, as you can see, you STILL miss the point as, for once, it really IS about you (and not the smart meters)!

HR,

I would agree with you that there isn't a single person at city hall with the professional qualifications or experience that enables them to speak credibly on the subject of Smart Meter safety.

Has city hall formulated their own personal opinion regarding safety? From what they are saying it would seem so.

Which means they are nothing more than bobble heads for whatever someone else has likely claimed.

So what is really needed is to peel the onion back another layer or two or three to learn what factual, scientific information or studies these other people have used to sell the program to city hall, whether the studies are relevant to the Smart Meter, and if the conclusions being told are relevant to the intended installation, use, and maintenance of Smart Meters.

Context, relevance, and specifics are important, not broad generalities and certainly not broad brushed claims nor the dismissive attitude displayed by many, especially the head of the electric department.

Then of course we could talk about truth, or more aptly the lack thereof. Half-truths and outright lies along with spin and distortion coming from city hall gives me less reason to trust them and more reason to question the total lack of transparency and openness with the community.

If city hall has nothing to hide then why did they go to such extremes to keep the citizens of Naperville in the dark with no public discussion, no public input, and only announced the project when it was so far advanced that it couldn't possibly be stopped?

We don't need Naperville city government to act like it is our mother. We don't need Naperville city government to act like a dictatorship. We don't need Naperville city government to act like citizens don't matter or exist. We don't need Naperville city government to hide behind closed doors and operate in secrecy like a bunch of communist party bosses.

If the current elected officials can not or will not improve communication and citizen input about long term capital expenditures of this magnitude then it is time we replaced each and every one of them with a fresh slate of candidates who will.

Not allowing the non-binding referendum to appear on the ballot was especially stupid and short-sighted and a decision that will come back to haunt all of them come the next couple of elections. And it is time for everyone in Naperville to stop electing stupid council members and stupid mayors.

The parallel is clealy about folks like you and Jim who not only blindly accept tha which those in charge tell you, but deem it necessay to try and belittle or marginalize those who don't follow your lind allegiance

It IS about conflicting reports on safety, concern by citizens of all ilks, of a lack of transparency by elected officials, and of the divide of those who question and those who blindly follow.

xxx

How many times can you use the word blindly? You're attempt to equate plutonium poisoning with the smart meter program - bad analogy.

I get your point, You claim that our local government is a conspiracy group hiding relevant information - this you seem to feel is enlightened thinking on your part. Anyone who disagrees or accepts that smart meters are safe / ok is simply "blind"? if questioning your parallel makes you feel marginalized then you should revise your argument - there are many more people unopposed to the smart meter program than opposed. If that makes us blind in your opinion, then I'd ask who's belittling now?

To: Edward Owens

....And you have a lack of ability to understand an argument outside of either your dogma or wheelhouse!

The parallel is clealy about folks like you and Jim who not only blindly accept tha which those in charge tell you, but deem it necessay to try and belittle or marginalize those who don't follow your lind allegiance.

Silkwood was belittled because she A) bucked her own's trend of accepting the dogma being pushed on her (ie it is very safe, the fed gov says it is safe, it brings in jobs or will save money, lah, blah, blah), and B) she did not fall into goosestep with her local mayor and other officials.

In other words ----- it ain't about plutonium or electricity!

It IS about conflicting reports on safety, concern by citizens of all ilks, of a lack of transparency by elected officials, and of the divide of those who question and those who blindly follow.

In fact, it was almost an exact parallel. She was always moaning about stuff the governmemt agencies had already deemed completely safe. This lady just would not shut up!

This lady was relentless. Even her neighbors and family gave up on her, said she was a nut, was a commie, a rabble rouser, etc. Her local police, mayor, better business bureau ---- they all marinalized her as a member of the tinfoil hat crowd.

Perhaps you have heard of her. Her name was Silkwood, Karen Silkwood.

xxx

Exact Parallel? Silkwoods case was about Plutonium, the smart meters are about electricity. It's not a wonder that people make comments about tin foil hats when your argument is trying to equate something like Silkwood and the smart meter program. you would have better luck on message boards regarding the alien autopsy.

Guys like Jim don't like to talk about the lack of justification for the 22 million PLUS price tag, or the lack of transparency provided by management. They certainly don't want to talk about the flat out dishonesty that is used to sell this project on a day to day basis. There just aren't any smart alec responses that dispute those facts, therefore they ignore all of that and focus on tin foil hat jokes. Pretty sad, but when you are hiding from the truth, it's all you're really left with.

Anybody who says they are pro-Smart Meter stands to turn a buck in some way or another. Follow the money.

There are a ton of people making money off of all of these changes. And if they are making money where is it coming from? Your pocket and mine, simple as that.

Don't complain next summer when you are looking at your electric bill wondering how and why it jumped a couple of hundred dollars. All the pro-Smart Meter guys are just getting paid back is all.

Go ahead and try to conserve and use less electricity. Good luck with that. Even if you figure out some way to lower consumption the rate will still have increased so much that your total bill will still be higher.

Did anyone really believe the City of Naperville spent over one half million dollars for marketing Smart Meters to convince all of us that Smart Meters was a good thing and that the city was then going to be happy collecting less and less every month from all of the supposed savings Smart Meters were going to deliver?

Yeah, the tin hat crowd does come across as pretty loony. But then again so does the pro-Smart Meter crowd who has been guzzling all the free Kool-Aid handed out by city hall.

Naperville has evolved into a city with big houses filled by people with small minds.

Oh gee - another funny clever follower of the Naperville Management Dictatorship. Could you please ask them to hand out some new put downs for you guys to use, these are beyond old - they are downright boring and only serve to prove exactly how closed minded the self serving pro smart meter contingent really is.

Yeah, yeah ---- I hear ya!

Back in the early 70s there was a lady like these smartmeter scaredy-cat nuts.

In fact, it was almost an exact parallel. She was always moaning about stuff the governmemt agencies had already deemed completely safe. This lady just would not shut up!

This lady was relentless. Even her neighbors and family gave up on her, said she was a nut, was a commie, a rabble rouser, etc. Her local police, mayor, better business bureau ---- they all marinalized her as a member of the tinfoil hat crowd.

Perhaps you have heard of her. Her name was Silkwood, Karen Silkwood.

Brilliant comment Jim. You're about a month late for this discussion. Also, you missed most of the points. Many of us that are anti-meter have issues with the lack of justification for the project, and the lack ot transparency. Apparently, the radio waves have baked your brain.

Sun, I've seen a number of articles about cities that voted for a change from Com-Ed to supply electricty. Naperville has it's own utility and has always touted it's lower rates compared to Com-Ed. I'm curious, are the rates that cities that voted for the new suppliers going to be less than the Naperville rates? If so, maybe time to sell the utility.

My wife and I saw the anti-smart meter contingent in the Naperville St. Patricks day parade. Unfortunately we were watching from a spot near the end, and they had run out of the tinfoil sheets they were passing out so spectators could make their own hats.

If we look at city hall administration and department heads like a coach and a team of players and compare them on their ability to win and deliver it becomes obvious that we need to sack the coach and start releasing these players as free agents.

First and foremost, the entire culture at city hall is broken and corrupt. The only way to correct this kind of situation is to remove the entire cast of characters that allowed the current culture to develop in the first place.

Second, there are better qualified, better educated professionals in the marketplace who will do a better job for the citizens of Naperville at a far more competitive rate.

People who would be grateful to have a job and be thankful to be working as opposed to this group who feel entitled to suck city resources dry for their own personal enrichment.

The team can only get sacked by the coach and the coach can only get sacked by the city council. As citizens we need to focus our energy on sacking the coach as a central issue of the next election of city council members.

Those who desire change need to personally communicate to all the candidates for city council that they are displeased with how city hall operated and they will only vote for candidates who's campaign platform promises a new city manager.

Then pay close attention to what each candidate promises and vote accordingly.

You are exactly right LaC. It is business as usual, delay, ignore, pretend a problem doesn't exist, and then go on and do whatever you want to do without concern for ethics or the residents or what is really in the communities best interest. The council and the management decided on this project (as they have many others) without seeking input from the people it will impact - and they are going to have their way regardless of what impact it has on the rest of us.

A referendum on the fall ballot would be an excellent idea, if only to call more attention to what is happening and what the status quo has become in this City. Beyond that, everyone needs to VOTE and replace this Council in hopes of replacing Management along the way.

Sadly, so few pay attention and simply vote on name recognition or the whitewash of facts published in local papers like the Sun. When the only information available to the average voter is a rehash of what the candidates pretend to be on their web-sites, average residents can't be expected to understand the desperate need for change.

Seems like we need some legislation to protect those who file petitions going forward.

The time line is against letting the justice system, especially appeals, be fairly used by all when someone files an 11th hour objection.

In this case another valid legal question should have been whether the actual objector had sufficient legal standing or interest in the case. It is an afront to democracy when one person can block hundreds if not thousands. Even worse if the person is just being used as a shill.

Seems like this may be a dead topic, but I'll go on anyway,

The recent appellate court ruling was an administrative victory for the staff and city council. Basically, they dragged out the process and as the court said, it's now a moot point. Early voting is going on and that's that. I'm still curious to know why they were so opposed to the referendum. If their cause was just and they spent $400k on PR how could you lose? And if you do lose, you just spin it as voters didn't know, like Grant did with wards.

But it's over now. Democracy loses, the elite, arrogant city council and their buddies win and life goes on. Here's an idea, take your time, frame another question, get the proper signatures and put an advisory referendum on the ballot this fall. It won't stop the project, but the voters will get to speak.

Sun editors,

If the SUN really wanted to be a service to a community, it would do a review of the petition in question and report onthe results.

Two things prompt this request:

First, reading today's SUN article on Cuningham getting back in "the race", as the original detemination that his petition was invalid due to bad signatures and irregularities was reversed (on intent), and

Second, when the Council/election board decided against the anti-smart meter group (based on invalid signatures and irrgularities on their petition), Councilman Krause made the remark on record that he briefly reviewed a few of the items in question, found them passble, and added he believe that iftheywere all reviewed the petition might pass.

Combining these two points highlights one thing to me: Despite all the arguing and name calling, etc., we still have no real clue EXACTLY why the petition was declared invalid (ie specifics ---- was it two numbers transposed on an address (like the Cunningham case), were entire pages of signatues lost over one signature on a page being odd, etc), was it ineligible writing, was it wrong counties put ona page ahead of time, etc. In all of these cases, it certainly would SEEM a lot like the Cunnigham case.

Anyway, instead of just copying down words from meetings, why doesn't the SUN go out on a limb and dosome indepth reporting and give the community some useful, valid data instead of regurgitatigmeeting minutes?

Thanks.

"Perhaps it is related to the "demand response programs" that will "automatically reduce" energy consumption -- and in the process save money."

Demand response programs sound like a new bureauspeak term for what has been commonly known for decages as load shedding. Load shedding is when the utility company takes a customer off line when the utility company needs or wants to. Usually the utility company dangles a financial carrot of a low rate for their ability to do so.

I'm guessing our current rates will be the carrot rates with Smart Meters at an absolute minimum, probably even higher. Let's not forget WE have to pay back $11 million out of the $22 million the program is costing.

I wouldn't even want to hazard a guess on what anyone who wants to continue with 24/7 flat rate billing will be paying after Smart Meters are fully deployed.

Did everyone see Mark Curran's opinion piece in Sunday's paper?

If not, I'll point out two of the "great" features of the smart grid. One, we'll be able to see our usage on an on request basis, so we won't have to wait until the bill comes to see our usage! I don't know about anyone else, but I can predict my electric bill pretty accurately right now and I hardly ever say " gee, I wish I could see how much electricity I've used in the last two weeks." But, maybe I'm in the minority.

Another "great feature" is the "optional new thermostat" that will provide that very same info without logging onto the website. What else will this thermostat do?

Perhaps it is related to the "demand response programs" that will "automatically reduce" energy consumption -- and in the process save money.

I'll hazard a guess, just a guess, that in order to obtain the best electric rates, consumers will eventually have to turn over control of their heating and cooling to the collective judgement of the city's electric utility.

Well, maybe that's a good thing. After all, government has demonstrated it's unique capacity to do so many things well.

FB,

That would mean that they admit that there was a problem. That's never going to happen. It's a closed organization over there. Including the Mayor, City Coucil and employees. They should be ashamed that residents think that way. Where is the Daily Herald watchdog, or Pam Zeckman? Probably too slimy for them to get a hold of. Sun, you could probably do something here with an investigation. Come on.

Their model is screw up, bumble, lie, spin, lie, screw up, spin again, get sued, lie, spin. What a farce.

RE: PR person. She should be let go, but they probably won't do that. Actually, and oddly enough, the next person in line for that job is someone who used to work for the Naperville Sun. Since she probably does most of the work around there now anyway, she'd be a good fit to get the correct information out to the public. It's just sad, really. The citizens deserve a lot better for their money.

They have to run them by City Hall.

SNT,

You wrote: "If the results of the DOE endorsed studies indicate changes should be made to the program, they should advise the city. As I recall, the city had to hire an administrator to implement the program under the direction of a federal consultant to make sure the program is implemented to meet federal guidelines for the $11 million federal matching grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)."

See the problem here is receiving the fed grant money becomes a legal contract. The City of Naperville is legally obligated to perform exactly within the terms of the contract and if it fails to do so our REAL tax dollars would have to be paid back to the feds. That is why both the city and the feds have "administrators" watching over how the money is spent.

The terms of the grant do not provide for changes as a result of anything learned by other DOE exploratory grants awarded in other communities. Even if the DOE knew at this point that they were throwing money down a rat hole it too late because the contract has been signed. And that is just ONE example of the problems with why federal grants like this are wrong for America and wrong for Naperville.

It will be decades before any really useful benefits might result from Smart Meters other than changing the way we are billed for electrical usage. It is debatable if changing the billing is a benefit to most consumers. I expect a new billing system to be fully implemented by the City of Naperville within 12 months of full deployment of Smart Meters through out the city.

Other than billing changes and corresponding rate increases to our monthly bills there is nothing useful for the average consumer to gain from this technology now and for the foreseeable future. Fact is there are very few appliances on the market today that can communicate with Smart Meters, such appliances will carry a premium price, and even fewer consumers who will upgrade to these appliances just to reap the benefits. The ROI just is not there.

Looking at the average life of appliances, including the average life of each Smart Meter, it is highly likely that we will be on V.2 or V.3 of Smart Meters before enough appliances have naturally been replaced at the end of their useful life to see any potential benefit... and this still requires either conscious agreement by the consumer to operate these appliances in off hours or to voluntarily allow the electric department to take control of the operation of their appliances during peak demand hours.

At this point I am predicting three things. The first thing I am predicting is the rate structure the City of Naperville will dangle in front of consumers will have the lowest rate for those who will allow the electric department to remotely control their appliances and the City will lock them into getting that rate for a term of one or two years with a penalty if anyone needs to change from one rate plan to another. Of course, to get the lowest rate plan you will be required to have certain appliances that can be controlled by the Smart Meter. First up on the mandatory list will be your thermostat.

The second thing I am predicting is whoever the people are in the city electric department that started the whole ball rolling in this direction with Smart Meters will ultimately become the scape goats after the political fallout that results from the next city council election.

The third thing I am predicting is a new round of tax credits or tax rebates by the feds to incentivize consumers to go out and purchase new appliances... similar to recent tax credits for energy efficient improvement to the home structure. And another round on the federal tax money treadmill will commence. Notice how they ran the last one... only so much money available... so they created an atmosphere where people were competing with each other to get the free fed money whether they needed new appliances or not.

It's kind of like the example they use in MBA schools to auction a $10 bill during one of the class sessions. Students get caught up in the emotion of competing and the "winner" ends up paying well over $10 for a $10 bill. And these are graduate students who are being taught negotiating strategies and mind games that are used by corporations to legally extract dollars from consumer wallets.

Anyone want to guess what less educated consumer will do when exploited by these same mind games and negotiating strategies. Make no mistake. Everything spoken, written, and otherwise distributed by the City of Naperville has been carefully written and reviewed to cast Smart Meters in the most favorable light possible. The full truth about Smart Meters has not been told. We have only been told what the City officials want us to know. As a negotiating technique the City of Naperville has simply presented Smart Meters as a program that is without choice, including even the choice of the electorate to voice their opinion through a non-binding referendum.

To find out the rest of the story about Smart Meters you have to be willing to inform yourself. Hopefully more Naperville residents will take the time to do just that.

SNiT,

I'd be glad to discuss the salient points any time. All you have to do is be specific instead of wasting words with vague generalities. If you disagree about something specific then state it.

Your argument is so vague no one buy you knows what it is.

I find it humorous how you try to paraphrase my comments into your own incorrect statements that don't even match the meaning of what I have said, and then you make ridiculous comments in response tp YOUR misrepresentations of my comments. It would be good if you could actually read my comments, and comprehend them as written without reading your own false perceptions into them.

Ah yes, better for us to waste it than others. Because we do know how to waste money-think Carrillon, Children's Museum. You're right, we're only wasting half of the project budget using fed money, we're wasting the other $11M ourselves. So we're only half as stupid as I thought. Great logic.

BTW, you're contridicting yourslef when you say you don't care if this was a referendum or not. You can't say you don't care, but you care about the language and who was included. The anit's screwed up here. You're correct. At least stick to that point.

Anyone know what happened to the PR person who sent the e-mail?

Also, I haven't heard anything from the second court date? Anyone? Bueller?

SNT,

We are not exactly charting new ground on referendum questions being worded as two-part questions or how informed voters may or may not be about the question being asked. I can cite all kinds of school district referendums in either 203 or 204 as worse case examples than what the Smart Grid questions asked.

There are a lot of us who are fed up with bureaucrats and citizens among us who are trapped in a mindset of never ending cycles of competing for federal grants to "bring our tax money home". Once a city becomes a whore for fed dollars it gets harder and harder to wean itself off that dependence and that is exactly what the feds want.

Reality is there is no free ride and the feds will always take more than they give back until enough people get fed up, demand reform, and elect those who have the will to change the status quo.

There are many of us, and our number are growing, who would rather see less federal taxation and an end to all of the local grants and other federal purse strings. Naperville is fully capable of making our own local decisions in terms of what we need and want without the feds dangling dollars to get it done.

Smart Grid would make a great textbook example of what some wanted, but which the community at large does not need.

If the results of the DOE endorsed studies indicate changes should be made to the program, they should advise the city. As I recall, the city had to hire an administrator to implement the program under the direction of a federal consultant to make sure the program is implemented to meet federal guidelines for the $11 million federal matching grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Again, wrong SNT!

The grid was already being upgraded as an ongoing project. The fed mone was useful in completing that and cam to approx $ mil of the $11 mil. The rest was for smart meters, which is the issue at debate .

You keepmreferring to the group that is opposing this as uninformed, misinformed, knee-jerk reactors, you have implied stupidity, etc. However, history is full of cases where the governments and other leaders of the world declared something perfectly safe, yet time proved otherwise. Ever hear of Silkwood? Asbestos? Lead? Mercury?
Then world is flat?

Heck, more apropos ---- look at windmills. We have been to,d they are perfectly safe, they will save the world, yet we know are being made more and more aware of the health risks associated with them AND their detrimental effects on the environment.

Simply put, taking the lead of the city council and demeaning those who question both the health risks and the financial risks of the smart meters is not a winning strategy.

Why does it take so long for comments to post on these Naperville Sun blogs? I notice it often takes 12 hours or more for comments to appear here. Most blogs at other sites seem to post within minutes.

SNT,

That is fine with me if you wish to disagree. There are plenty of studies that support everything I wrote, many of which were funded by similar DOE grants.

First of all, I stand by what I stated in my previous posts, other than a few sarcastic comments. I don't care whether there is a non-binding referendum question or not, but the question should not be misleading, or subject to a knee-jerk reaction from voters who have been misinformed, or unimformed about the project. It also shouldn't be limited to the response from DuPage residents.

If you consider the 11 milliion federal matching grant as OUE tax money, imagie OUR money being spent on another cities electrical upgrades when they won the grant instead of US!!!! We would have lost the chance to get OUE tax money coming BACK to us, and instead it would have been spent to benefit another community somewhere else in the country.

We would still need to make upgrades to our electrical system, without the benefit of the federal grant that provides additional funds for improvements to benefit the citizens of Naperville.

SNT,

Like you, I disagree. I think my insipid name calling adds passion to my agruments while you nay say and pout. I could care less whether you think I'm credible or not.

Did the anti-Smart group make mistakes with the mechanics of the referendum? Obviously yes. Unfortunately they are up against professional politicians and staff that do not want this on a ballot because it would look bad for them. They know they'd lose. Otherwise, let the ADVISORY referendum happen. They'll continue this project no matter what the vote. You still don't understand the concept. It's about letting the voters be heard. You could care less who is disenfranchised, come on. You don't even want this on a ballot.

Nice spin on the cost. The project costs $22M-$11M from the Feds, so our tax money, not FREE money, and $11M from the utility, so our rate money. If you are trying to say it's only $3M more than was originally budgeted, that's just plain wrong. If that were the case, if the budget was $11M this would be cost nuetral. If the budget was over $11M we'd be saving money. Your statement is plain irresponsible,

You may be ok with letting this Council make all of your decisions, but I am not. I think that there are projects that should have al least had an advisory referendum. They remain, the Carrillon, Children's Museum and Smart Grid project. We elected this Council to lead us. They need to know when to ask the voters to help decide and when not to. They are 0-3 in this area. They think they know best and could care less what the peasants think.

I don't agree with your analogy, or your assessment of the impact of the Smart Grid initiative, including Smart Meters, on Naperville electrical customers,

To: Anonymous February 6, 2012 9:25 AM

Anonymous, you should ask your friend the "Napergate Man" for assistance. He'd know what to do! As a "Citizen Journalist" you should know what to do as well.

INEXPERIENCED,

As they say you can lead a horse to water...

Yes, there are lots of Div 3, someone who is EXPERIENCED would know exactly which Div 3 to read and how to understand, comprehend, and apply what is written.

What is even more amusing is you are in Article 5 and what you need is right there under your nose and you are totally clueless. Go back to Article 5 and this time actually read Div 3 all the way to the end. Then apply those provisions to the action long taken by the city council to organize and structure city hall, officers, and employees.

La Cuc,

"EXPERIENCED" is trying to argue his/her opinion that the City Attorney is NOT an officer of the City of Naperville despite what is clearly stated in both the city municipal code and as provided in state statute.

SNT,

A better analogy is Smart Meter is trying to address a dripping faucet when compared to the wasted electricity in most homes. The amount of wasted electricity in the existing Grid itself is analogous to a broken water main.

We are not fixing the broken water main, yet we are spending $22 million to fix leaky faucets.

Despite all of the pie-in-the-sky B.S. about what SmartMeter can do the hard truth is there is almost nothing that can be done to use or better manage the info/data a SmartMeter will provide the average residential customer.

Further, to potentially tap even some residential savings we will have to spend thousands and thousands of dollars to upgrade to newer appliances which will cost a premium price because of their ability to be both energy efficient and to communicate with the SmartMeter.

It will take decades before the full potential of any savings from SmartMeters could be achieved at which time the SmartMeters themselves will have aged and need to be replaced and we may still not have addressed the huge amount of waste in the actual distribution grid because there hasn't been one word mentioned about addressing that problem. Unless, of course, that is yet another black hole project the city is keeping residents in the dark about. Which I wouldn't doubt because that one is going to cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Maybe now you are starting to understand why the need to increase electric rates, except they again haven't been honest about what they are doing. The same kind of stuff as the toll road... raise tolls so they can embark on a multi-billion dollar expansion project.

The bottom line is there has been no proven, positive RETURN ON INVESTMENT to Naperville residential customers and we will definitely be seeing much higher electric bills with time of day and demand charges. That is clearly a negative ROI no matter how you want to look at it, analyze it, or justify it.

No matter how you or anyone else tries to peddle any benefits of SmartMeter the truth is Naperville residential electrical customers will soon be paying a lot more for electricity. WE own the city electric department and that does not benefit US.

LaCuc,
Your insipid name-calling does nothing to improve your arguments, or credibility. My analogy was relevant, unlike yours. Also, I responded to one of your previous posts, but my reply did not show up on the blog.

I understand the concept of a referendum, but apparently the proponents of the referendum (the anti-smart meter people with the Smart Meter Awareness Group) DON'T. According to a Daily Herald article, they were responsible for filing with Will County to have the question on the ballot, but they never filed, so it would NOT have been on the Will County ballot, even if they had won their challenges.

That means over 27,000 registered voters would have been disenfranchised by the actions, or inactions, of these anti-SmartMeter people. They must be DuPage elitists or something, would you say? Imagine, excluding Will residents from voting on this all-important referendum question. I'll bet they knew they didn't have a chance of getting positive votes from the folks down here in these parts. Especially with that misleading 2-part question “Shall the City of Naperville immediately and permanently stop the implementation of the $22 million smart meter project and dismantle all related equipment?” Huh?

I don't know what part of town you live in, but we have two local papers (Sun and Herald), two local access TV stations (6 and 17 on WOW), and internet access to stay informed around here. We can stay informed if we want to.

Why do these anti-SmartMeter people keep saying WE are spending 22 million dollars for SmartMeters? The entire four-phase SmartGrid project (SmartMeters are just a part of it) is worth 22 million, but I understand OUR share is around 3 million more than we already budgeted to upgrade our 360 million electrical network BEFORE the initiative.

We don't need small-minded obstructionists trying to decide things for us here in Naperville. The proponents of the referendum question blatantly try to mislead the uninformed, as their referendum question itself exemplifies.

Our decisions have slready been made by the people we have entrusted to decide on these matters. The vote was UNANIMOUS for the "22 million" project back in 2010, and just one "nay" on the SmartMeter vote last year.

The consequences of taking action to stop the project are clearly not in the best interest of the citizens of Naperville. It would result in OUR LOSS. We would still need to spend our share for needed improvements over the next several years, and we would LOSE the 11 million federal grant WE applied for, and RECEIVED to help fund enhanced upgrades. Let's be fiscally responsible here.

PS. My heart goes out to the family, friends, and students of the late Shaun Wild. i'm saddened to think of the loss for all who knew him.

Can you two please clue me in as to what you are talking about with regard to who is or is not an officer or employee? I think I lost the train of though.

SNT,

Funny that you won't respond to my analogy, yet you offer one up for our consumption. What arrogance.

Let me take a swipe at your analogy. Knowing usage is good. In fact, I get a bill each month that tells me how much electricity I use. Thanks for teeing this up. Why do we need to spend $22M for something we already have now?

Lasty, you are correct. We own the electric utility. Not the Grant Wehrli, not Councilman Bob, all of us. So let all of us decide if we want to spend $22M on this thing, What's the harm? We all own it-like you said. We should all get a say in running it.

Anonymous 2/3/12 @ 1:52

Here's a big hint, try reading Division 3 next.

-------------------------------------
Gee, how many division 3's are there in the Illinois Municipal Code?

The only one that counts is Article 5 on managerial government. No where does that Article list the city attorney as an officer of the city.

You keep on putting them up and I'll keep on shooting them down.

BTW, Ms. Ely hasn't told me she's an officer, so I guess you are wrong.

Uncommon,

Outstanding post and reality check for the uninformed who prefer their "data" from the lawyers, realtors, retired cops, etc., on the council.

Unsense,
I don't agree with most of what you say, but to address just one of your comments, here is an analogy regarding the information SmartMeters provide consumers:

If you go around eating whatever you want whenever you want without thinking about it, and without knowing how many calories you are eating, there's a good chance you will overeat, and possibly consume more calories than you realize.

If you don't want to overeat, it is helpful to know how many calories you are taking in, and how you might change your eating habits to cut down on unwanted, and unnecessary calories. Just having that information can help you lose weight, if you choose to lose weight. No one is forcing you to lose weight, but just knowing how many calories you are consuming, and how you are consuming them, might help you avoid overeating, and gaining weight. Who wouln't mind trimming off a few pounds these days?

That's how knowing your electrical consumption through the information generated by the SmartMeter can be beneficial to each household. It's just one way we Naperville residence can save money on our electical use, if we choose to use the information to our advantage..

We OWN our electric company, so what benefits IT benefits US.

Inexperienced,

You've convinced me that if the City Attorney herself called you up and told you she was an Officer you would tell her she is wrong!

Keep reading thought, you are gaining meaningful EXPERIENCE day-by-day!

Here's a big hint, try reading Division 3 next.

Empty Pockets,

So far the Naperville Sun has done a terrible job of reporting on Smart Grid initiatives funded by the DOE all across the US. For some terribly small minded reason they have chosen to focus only on what is being funded here in Naperville and that is a shame.

In a typical US Gov fashion the DOE has funded all kinds of Smart Grid ideas across the US, Essentially dangling matching funding dollars and getting local communities to jump at the bait of becoming guinea pigs for the R & D. The US and DOE knows some will work, some will fail, some will be embraced, some will be loathed, and they are just standing back waiting to see what sticks out of the whole mess.

From a strictly technical point of view there is absolutely zero need for a Smart Meter on every home. To illustrate this, a good example to consider is a large office building which usually has multiple breaker panel boards located on every floor. These large commercial buildings will not be installing a Smart Meter for every one of their breaker panels. Yet more electricity passes through a typical commercial breaker panel than passes through a residential breaker panel.

Truthfully though,from managing the Grid itself having a single Smart Meter located at every transformer would accomplish the exact same goal of knowing what is being consumed where in the grid and at a much small fraction of the cost we are paying to install new Smart Meters at every residential customer.

See, the hidden lie is what the city really wants is to install new electric meters on every electric customer so they can change the way they bill us for our electricity. This is more about increasing revenue dollars than it is about decreasing demand or consumption. The city knows full well the residents of Naperville are still going to run electrical appliances when they need and want to run them. Sure we can all purchase more efficient appliances when the existing ones wear out (if we can afford the more efficient ones), but once we bring that refrigerator home we plug it in and forget about it.

Back to better managing line loss and other inefficiencies in the Grid itself there are plenty of news media reports in other parts of the country that have returned far better results than time of day metering using new software solutions that cost virtually nothing compared to the cost of Smart Meters. Yes, just reprogramming the electric department and utility company computers is being found to yield a significantly higher reduction in wasted electricity and way, way more dollar savings than even the best Smart Grid meters have been able to produce.

So why is none of this being reported by the Sun and why is the City of Naperville still full bore on a course of action that has been factually proven to have literally zero return on investment to the residential customer, no significant decrease in real time demand, and more importantly does absolutely nothing to decrease the biggest amount of waste in the electrical distribution system... and that is waste in the actual Grid that brings electricity to our homes?

With Smart Meters we are only fooling ourselves if we think we are doing something that is good for ourselves, our community, or even our environment. Sadly the current approach is pretty much like putting a band-aid on cancer; well intended perhaps, just terribly misguided.

The city council is a bunch of nice people who do have a tough job at times. Reality is not one of them is an engineer, not one of them knows squat about electrical engineering principals, and the entire lot of them depends upon the advice they receive from city staff and outside consultants, many of which have their own agenda in terms of products and services the are trying to sell. This is exactly why these kinds of big dollar municipal projects need to have a lengthy public review, debate, and inquiry process. Having public referendums, whether binding or non-binding, is also an excellent way to know what the people want or will tolerate.

Years ago we had some visionary leaders in our community. Thanks to their efforts we at least have a city run electric department. However, something changed in terms of leadership and Naperville, unlike other communities, doesn't own or control internet services and we get what we see with service and prices. This same lack of leadership is why Fox Valley Mall is now in Aurora instead of Naperville and why we have 2 school districts instead of 1.

In the end Smart Meters will be more of an albatross than a lifesaver, sadly the current city council makeup hasn't figured that out yet.

Haven't we already gone over this? The last person to be appointed an attorney by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the City Council was Marv Glink. Ms. Ely was employed by the City Manager. She is not an officer under 65 ILCS 5/3.1-30-5 because the Mayor didn't appoint her. You have an extremely short memory.

(65 ILCS 5/3.1-30-5) (from Ch. 24, par. 3.1-30-5)
Sec. 3.1-30-5. Appointed officers in all municipalities.
(a) The mayor or president, as the case may be, by and with the advice and consent of the city council or the board of trustees, may appoint ...., (5) an attorney or a corporation counsel,

Smart grid is another way to accomodate renewable energy. Smart grid is just another way of turning down electric consumption, if the energy company can not meet demand.

Instead of abolishing monopolies in the utility industry, and allowing utilites to develop their own needs, it now becomes the taxpayers responsibilty to pay for capital investment of a smart grid all over America.

The "managerial society" is one of failure, just wait till you the taxpayers get the bill for this exstravaganza. This will probably occur through the loss of purchasing power of your US Greenbacks.

Oh wait, they the "managerial experts" of America are not done yet, high speed passenger service is next on the agenda.

Who The?

Nice summary post. Spot on.

The only thing I could possibly add is this:

At the review commission we had Pradel and Krause as the two city council members on the commission, a clear majority in terms of 2 out of 3 votes deciding if the referendum lives or dies. Both of these council members were being asked to consider the validity of a referendum petition questioning the Smart Grid program which was already passed by the city council.

Anybody want to guess how Pradel and Kraus voted on Smart Grid?

Let's see if we can all follow the action here

>Some citizens in Naperville exercise their rights to challenge the somewhat opaque actions of the city leaders in the matter of the smart meter portion of the electrical upgrade project

>They go out and collect  about 4200 citizens of the area on a petition asking for a non-binding referendum

>A city employee sends a letter/email to the city attorney and the city clerk that is more than a little suggestive about the signed petition and how it can be challenged

>A city councilman lies a FOIA request and obtains a copy of the petition (allegedly it is the only copy obtained)

>Soon thereafter, a citizen comes out of the woodwork with a legal challenge to the petition (again, allegedly, this same person has been a past recipient of SECA funds)

>The  matter makes it to a review board, where the city is represented by the same city attorney and city clerk (along with one councilman and the mayor)

>the review Board never  performs a binder check  of the signatures but instead assumes the lawyers will do it.  The petition is denied based on a challenge of the signatures, meaning the signatures are determined to be valid in only about 3700 cases

> In short, the city leaders decided to challenge and than ignore 3700 valid signatures and citizens.

I think at this point we can all see and here it--- it is waddling, it is quacking, it has feathers............

SNT,

Having the Mayor mention the words Smart Grid in a speech that the public is not invited to is hardly debate, and please don't tell me he could even answer a question about the project. What local TV are you talking about? ABC, NBC, the Naperville channel, whatever that is?

I agree that there were press releases about the project, but I was expecting forums for residents to ask questions and hear the Council debate the issues. That did not happen-UNTIL AFTER THE VOTE! That's when they hired the PR firm for $400k to tell them how to spin this properly. Again, workshops are not for public debate and hardly reported on.

I don't think you get the cencept of a referendum. The smart Grid Awareness people don't want to make the decision for you, they want you to vote on the question. You might want to change your handle to "lemming."


Inexperienced,

"Quit grasping at straws" You may think these are straws, there are others who have a different opinion.

"If they were so clear, you'd have cited them." Actually I did take the time to cite the correct section and there is nothing unclear about the powers and duties.

"The City Attorney is an employee of the city manager and serves at the pleasure of the city manager." White this is true it is also not relevant to the fact that the position of City Attorney is an officer both under Illinois Statutes and our own Municipal Code.

"Different type of "officer"." Really? Then how come you don't have an actual state statute to cite to back this up or is this just another one of your INEXPERIENCED opinions? Doesn't matter because the primary job is City Attorney and that has already been shown conclusively been to be an officer position.

"Please cite the statute where the city attorney is an officer of the city under the managerial form of government." The city municipal code references have already been clearly cited. And yes, INEXPERIENCED, there are actual Illinois state statues that address both elected and appointed officers, though each is covered in different Sections. Since we are talking about appointed officers in Naperville as these officer positions are not elected officers you need to review and learn a little bit about the relevant Section which is titled "Appointed Officers In All Municipalities".

Quit grasping at straws

--------------------------------------
"The powers and duties spelled out in 1-8C-2 (1.) clearly indicates the City Attorney is an officer of the city."

If they were so clear, you'd have cited them. The City Attorney is an employee of the city manager and serves at the pleasure of the city manager.

------------------------------------------------------------------
"Further, under 1-13-9 (11.) the City Attorney is also designated as the Naperville Ethics Officer."

Different type of "officer".

---------------------------------------------------------------
"As stated previously the fact that the City Attorney is an employee of the city and compensated by the city in her position does not matter in terms of who is considered an officer under state statutes."

Please cite the statute where the city attorney is an officer of the city under the managerial form of government.

LA CUC:
Forgot to post that I am ACDC from an earlier post.

SNT,

Nice try, but no ones buying the bridge you are trying to sell today.

In a democratic society you are entitled to your opinion and I respect that even if our recollection of how this was communicated, by whom, and when may differ significantly. So let's just say we agree to disagree.

Now that an appeal has been filed we will all have to wait until the next act in this play is written by those who matter far more than your opinion or mine. That is the beauty of a democracy... we can all feel passionate about something one way or the other... but both sides get treated fairly regardless of how big or little either side may be and no matter how much you would love to be able to just dismiss those with whom you disagree.

So if you are annoyed, learn to live with it as it is the price we all pay for freedom. Just know there are plenty of Naperville citizens just as, if not more, annoyed with your thoughts and opinions too.

Experienced,

Sorry, again you are wrong.

The powers and duties spelled out in 1-8C-2 (1.) clearly indicates the City Attorney is an officer of the city. This is the et seq. part of 1-8C-1 you referenced. Obviously in your "experience" you did not bother to read the entire section.

Further, under 1-13-9 (11.) the City Attorney is also designated as the Naperville Ethics Officer.

There may be other references elsewhere in the Municipal Code, but these are adequate for present purposes.

As stated previously the fact that the City Attorney is an employee of the city and compensated by the city in her position does not matter in terms of who is considered an officer under state statutes.

Experienced,

Kind of hair splitting. You have your opinion, I have mine.

Regardless, she is an attorney and therefore has a higher knowledge and expectation of performance under the law and as an Officer of the Court. She is also the Ethics Officer which just squeezes the legal vise harder if she failed to take proper action if any illegal political activity was conducted and most especially if she was cognizant.

LA CUC.

Thank you for re-stating some of what I initially mentioned at the beginning of these posts.

This is not so much about health issues for me. We are bombarded by "waves" everywhere and all of the time. This is about a complete waste of tax payer money for something we did not ask for, needed or even voter approved for such a large scale project (If anything, this is the meter salesman's dream!!). And neither were the Carillon and Children's Museum. Wasn't the public in an uproar over laying off a couple of police officers some months ago? So we spend millions on this?

All of this is the reason why we need districts and term limits that the Sun and Grant Wehrli are so much against. Something even I was not for years ago. And by the way, Grant Wehrli was not initially elected to the council, he was appointed. Strange how that did not go to the next largest vote getter from the previous election. I have seen him on television and his contempt for any opinion differing from his just irritates me to no avail. Thankfully, the mayor is retiring and Doug Krause has been there way too long.

-1,

Not only are city officers and city employees prohibited from political activity while on the job they are also prohibited from using city tools and equipment for anything other than official duties.

An officer or employee using city property, such as a computer owned by the city of Naperville, to perform a prohibited political activity would be an additional violation and exactly the kind of illegal misappropriation you referred to.

Anonymous,

Your lack of knowledge, and lack of understanding of the facts is becoming annoying, but I have to give you credit for having a vivid imagination.

I stand behind my statement, as you quoted, as TRUE AND ACCURATE. I just checked the Daily Herald to help determine approximately when, as a member of the public, I knew about the Naperville Smart Grid initiative. Based upon coverage of the State of the City address by Mayor Pradel in a Daily Herald article on January 26, 2010 they reported:

"Pradel highlighted the city's green initiatives including online payment of utility bills, the purchase of hybrid vehicles and the Smart Grid energy project."

That speech was broadcast repeatedly on local TV at that time, and as a member of the public, I knew about the NSGI project prior to that speech, bringing my awareness of it back to 2009 or earlier.

I also recall seeing televised seminars (or workshops) featuring knowlegable people discussing the details of the project. Anyone could have attended those meetings live, or seen them replayed repeatedly on local television,

The project details were vetted over a good long period of time before the vote, and it was a topic of discussion in the last election.

I find the majority of your statements far from the truth. The fact that you haven't kept yourself informed about these matters over the years is no one's fault but your own. Just because you didn't know about it, ddn't agree with it, or weren't personally consulted about it doesn't mean the decision was the result of some sinister political activity by the City, and our elected officials. Quite the contrary. You are a good example of why we need elected officials who stay informed about these matters. Making informed decisions on behalf of the citizen's of Naperville, as my quote states, is the job they were ELECTED to do.

I'm interested to know how many votes the Smart Grid Awareness Group got in the last City Council election to make them think they can act as the decisionmakers for the rest of us. They're not doing Naperville citizens, like me. any favors.


Ms. Ely is not Corporate Counsel. She is City Attorney. 1-8c-1 et seq. Two different positions. The last corporate counsel was Marv Glink. She is an employee of the City Manager and not an officer of the City.


I guess you cannot read my short correction to my statement. I also think you are casting a very broad net with all of the definitions you cite.

Anyway:

Check (5 ILCS 430/5-15) and see these two phrases:

Sec. 5-15. Prohibited political activities.
(a) State employees shall not intentionally perform any prohibited political activity during any compensated time (other than vacation, personal, or compensatory time off). State employees shall not intentionally misappropriate any State property or resources by engaging in any prohibited political activity for the benefit of any campaign for elective office or any political organization.
.....
(e) Nothing in this Section prohibits activities that are otherwise appropriate for a State employee to engage in as a part of his or her official State employment duties or activities that are undertaken by a State employee on a voluntary basis as permitted by law.

The question is whether or not the activities in question are part of employment duties. Very doubtful for a communications director.

-1

moderator: I tried to post a link soon after your request was made..it did not show up.

SNT,

You wrote: "The SmartMeter/SmartGrid initiative has been discussed, debated, studied, and presented to the public for several years. After many of these discussions, debates, and studies, our well-infomed elected officials on City Council VOTED YES to the initiative, and instructed City Management to proceed with the project. This is a democracy, and that's how these things are done. We elect our Mayor and Ciity Council to make informed decisions on our behalf."

This is patently false. Any discussion, debate, studies, and/or presentations was between those selling Smart Meter to city staff and then in turn to city council. The public was brought into the discussion at the very end and the time line is more like several months than several years. More importantly Smart Meters were never introduced to see if citizens wanted them or embraced the idea. From the very first word presented to the public it was already being presented "as if the train had left the station".

This is not open and transparent government with the citizens being able to express their opinions and participate in a democratic process. What we have in Naperville today is a closed, manipulative city government that spends more time and effort "managing" citizens for the outcome city hall desires than giving citizens true input into a democratic process.

The very nature of how a petition on a NON-BINDING referendum was handled by city hall staff, city officers, and elected council men speaks volumes about the lack of a true democratic process in Naperville today. One major issue after another the citizens of Naperville are being blindsided by our own city council who take deliberate steps to shut us out and keep us in the dark.

The reputation of political corruption in Illinois makes us all look like fools in the eyes of our countrymen. Sadly most people naively look to Cook County and Chicago or even Springfield when there is talk of political corruption. The fact is we need to face it that political corruption is alive and well right here in Naperville and it is up to each and every one of us to do something to end it. Corrupt officials feed off of apathetic voters.

Of course you don't. Let's forget about the e-mail. It's only illegal. Ethics, shmethics, who needs those? Let's just get on with it! Oh, but let's investigate the SMAG people. So hypocritical. You must be an attorney or a City Councilman, or both.

This was and remains a bad idea. It was not debated and/or discussed, it was rammed down our throats. Like the Carrillon and the Children's Museum. The central theme here is to make decisions behind closed doors, have a quick depate where the opposition is told to sit down and shut up, then have a spin campaign to make it look like they care. Case in point, the ambassadors are a great idea. IF, you had them before the vote to help the public understand the project.

Again, I'm not against smart meters. I'm against the way business is done by this City Council. There is just too much evidence of smoke filled rooms, back room politices, and deals that are made to help their friends. You seem fine with that, I'm not.

One last example of the hypocricy here. This Council won't put anything on a referendum. Why? Because they know they will lose and look bad. However, Grant Wehrli wants to put the district issue, which the voters did pass, back on the ballot. It is all about themselves with this group, not about the residents.

Experienced,

You wrote: "Sorry, neither are officers of the city. They are both employees of the city manager and subject to being an employee at will."

Yes, both are employees of the City of Naperville. However, under both City of Naperville Municipal Code and Illinois Revised Statutes both are considered officers. In fact, Title 1, Chapter 6 of the Municipal Code identifies 5 positions in the City of Naperville that are classified as administrative officers and all 5 of them are also employees of the city. Under Illinois Statutes "officers" can be both elected and appointed and is regardless of whether or not the person is compensated. Both the City Clerk and Corporate Counsel are appointed administrative officer positions.


-1,

You wrote: "If someone can cite which relevant section of the definition of "Prohibited political activity" was violated, I'd be happy to change my mind."

Ok, let me oblige you. Let's start with the City of Naperville Municipal Code, Title 1, Chapter 13 which addresses conflict of interest. Under Section 1-13-9 (1.) The City of Naperville has adopted and made applicable to the officers and employees of the City of Naperville. Under Section 1-13-9 (4.) The participation in political activities prohibited under the Act by any officer or employee of the City is hereby prohibited. Under Title 1, Chapter 7 are the municipal personnel policies. Section 1-7-8 (3.)states in full: "Political Activity: No employee shall engage in any political activity during working hours. Any employee who is elected to any office of the City shall resign upon election. No employee, who is not on a leave of absence pursuant to this Section, shall solicit, orally or by letter, or receive or pay, or be in any manner concerned in soliciting, receiving or paying any assessment, subscription or contribution for any party or political purpose whatever. No employee shall solicit, orally or by letter, or be in any manner concerned in soliciting any assessment, contribution or payment for any party or any political purpose whatever, from any employee in any department of the City.

Any wilful violation, or violation through culpable negligence, of any of the above prohibitions shall be sufficient grounds for the discharge of any employee guilty of such violation."

Next let's turn to 5 ILCS 430 "State Officials and Employees Ethics Act" which, to remind you, has been adopted by the City of Naperville as part of the municipal ordinances governing conflict of interest. Within the act "Prohibited political activity" means:
"(1) Preparing for, organizing, or participating in any political meeting, political rally, political demonstration, or other political event.
(2) Soliciting contributions, including but not limited to the purchase of, selling, distributing, or receiving payment for tickets for any political fundraiser, political meeting, or other political event.
(3) Soliciting, planning the solicitation of, or preparing any document or report regarding any thing of value intended as a campaign contribution.
(4) Planning, conducting, or participating in a public opinion poll in connection with a campaign for elective office or on behalf of a political organization for political purposes or for or against any referendum question.
(5) Surveying or gathering information from potential or actual voters in an election to determine probable vote outcome in connection with a campaign for elective office or on behalf of a political organization for political purposes or for or against any referendum question.
(6) Assisting at the polls on election day on behalf of any political organization or candidate for elective office or for or against any referendum question.
(7) Soliciting votes on behalf of a candidate for elective office or a political organization or for or against any referendum question or helping in an effort to get voters to the polls.
(8) Initiating for circulation, preparing, circulating, reviewing, or filing any petition on behalf of a candidate for elective office or for or against any referendum question.
(9) Making contributions on behalf of any candidate for elective office in that capacity or in connection with a campaign for elective office.
(10) Preparing or reviewing responses to candidate questionnaires in connection with a campaign for elective office or on behalf of a political organization for political purposes.
(11) Distributing, preparing for distribution, or mailing campaign literature, campaign signs, or other campaign material on behalf of any candidate for elective office or for or against any referendum question.
(12) Campaigning for any elective office or for or against any referendum question.
(13) Managing or working on a campaign for elective office or for or against any referendum question.
(14) Serving as a delegate, alternate, or proxy to a political party convention.
(15) Participating in any recount or challenge to the outcome of any election, except to the extent that under subsection(d)of Section 6 of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution each house of the General Assembly shall judge the elections, returns, and qualifications of its members."

Of the 15 prohibited political activities outlined above it would appear, either in whole or in part, the following prohibited activities may have been performed by the city employee during the execution of her official duties: (1), (4), (7), (8), (10), (11), (12), (13). Clearly the States Attorney should be investigating this so that all citizens of Naperville can be assured whether or not any prohibited political activity took place by this or any other city employees or city officers during the execution of their official duties. The citizens of Naperville have a right to be assured that illegal political activies are not being conducted by city hall staff and if any illegal activities took place that such activities have been properly investigated and if necessary prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Not having read the job description of the Community Relations Manager I can not say for any degree of certainty what is and is not expected of that person in their official duties. All I can say is that as a private citizen my reasonable expectation would be that such a person would be tasked with building relations between citizens and the city to include the city council and city staff. If what has been reported is true it would seem to be a slap in the face to the citizens of Naperville who are paying her salary. If what has been reported is true perhaps the title of this position might more correctly be changed to Community Manipulation Manager?

LaCuc,

I don't see the relationship between your analogy with the reality of the situation at hand, so I will not respond to your hypothetical situation.

Let's just base our discussion on the reality of the situation.

The SmartMeter/SmartGrid initiative has been discussed, debated, studied, and presented to the public for several years. After many of these discussions, debates, and studies, our well-infomed elected officials on City Council VOTED YES to the initiative, and instructed City Management to proceed with the project. This is a democracy, and that's how these things are done. We elect our Mayor and Ciity Council to make informed decisions on our behalf.

Several individuals spoke out on several occasions at City Council meetings, both before and after the initiative was approved by City Council, with a variety of concerns abut the SmartGrid and/or SmartMeters. At those meetings, members of City Council, the City Management, staff, and other speakers attempted to answer any objections, and allay any unrealistic concerns of the speakers by presenting the known facts.

Apparently angered by the response from City Council, the Smart Grid Awareness Group decided to circulate a petition to put a question on the ballot for a referendum on the initiative, already passed by City Council., and a work-in-progress for staff. To quote a city representative at one of the meetings (not my own words) "This train has already left the station."

City employees, and "SmartGrid Ambassadors" have been working to inform the public about the program through seminars and other forms of public relations for quite some time.

Checking to make sure signatures are valid on petitions is very common, and appropriate, pro or con. The man who objected to the referendum question (I also agree it is a two part question, and misleading), and brought it before the Electoral Board questioned the number of valid signatures, and after the Board received the results from the voters rolls from Will and DuPage found there were insufficient valid signatures by law. It was upheld in court.

Also, despite what the SMAG group tries to profess, here is the answer to the question about funding this project from:

Director of Public Utilities Mark Curran on January 22, 2012 2:45AM Napersun.com
"Q: How much is this project going to cost?"

"A: The $22 million project is funded partly from an $11 million federal matching grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The city is selling bonds to fund the electric utility’s $11 million portion of the project. The total cost of the City’s portion of the project is $13.9 million, including interest on the bonds, and will be paid by the electric utility’s enterprise fund. No property tax dollars are being used for this project, and the NSGI will not increase electric rates or raise taxes."

Let's just get on with it.

SNT,

The facts are the facts only when everyone agrees upon the facts.

Let's not forget that a puppet at the urging of our city staff mounted an opposition to a citizen petition. From any aspect that is just wrong. I for one would like to know if the city funneled any tax payer money to these puppets and to know more about who paid their legal bills.

From all that has been reported the opposition claimed that X number of signatures were invalid. So far in terms of what has been reported neither the original petitioner nor the election review board factually verified if the disputed signatures were valid or invalid. So far this case has been decided on the unverified premise of the opposing party.

Whether or not the opponents of Smart Meters are making something out of nothing is debatable and that is part of the reason many Naperville citizens would like to see issues like this at least put forth on a non-binding referendum instead of being blind sided by a city council and a city staff who continue to operate behind closed doors.

What Mr. Egan does in terms of city of Naperville business, township, county, state, or federal politics is his business just like any other private citizen. Any prohibition against political activiites by Mr. Egan would apply only to Naperville Park District and that is not the case here. Mr. Egan has done absolutely nothing wrong.

As for the city employee; if what has been reported is factual and true it would certainly suggest that some prohibited political activity may have occurred while in the course of performing official duties. If there is indeed any basis in fact I hope that this employees is prosecuted to the full extent of the law if nothing else to be a reminder and caution to city employees at all levels to tread carefully and cautiously in matters that are for the people to decide and none of city employees business regardless of how they may feel personally or professionally about an issue.

SNT,

I appreciate your motives. An anology. Say that four incumbent City Councilmen are running for four slots with four people challenging them. Each has to collect signatures to get on the ballot. The Community Relations person sends an e-mail to the City Attorney and City Clerk saying that someone should initiate a review of incumbent's petitions because if there is one spoiled signature the whole page may be spoiled and we might be able to get the incumbents that we don't want back kicked off the ballot.

Political or City business?

Oooooooh, the Community Relations director is involved here somehow? Now, I'm definitely intrigued by this.

anon,

My words are my own words. I am just a resident of Naperville with no political connections or leanings. My words are nothing more than an honest, and heartfelt concern for our city, and residents. I feel it is my duty as a Naperville citizen to keep up with what is going on here, and I will continue to do just that.

I continue to disagree with your asseertiions, including the ones mentioned in your post.

Unsense,

I just respnded to your post to me, but I may not have included my "handle". That reply was from me.

Unsense,

I don't agree with your premises at all. This SMAG goup is trying to make something out of nothing. Deciding if signatures on a petition meet the legal requirements is not biased one way or the other. The facts are the facts,

A city employee writing an email concerning city business is not the same as the "prohibited pollitial activity" of initiating, preparing to circulate, reviewing, and/or circulating a petition for or against a referendum, as the statute shows in -1's post January 28, 2012 1:43 PM.

The activities performed by elected Park District Board official Bill Eagan, as a member of SMAG, would fit the definition of prohibited "political activity" as defined in -1's previous post.

SNT,

So in your mind the end justifies the means?

Because city staff is pro Smart Meters it is acceptable to you for city staff to be con on the ability of residents of Naperville having a referendum question on the ballot?

Is it acceptable to you for elected and appointed officials who have already participated officially and as directed by elected officials to get the Smart Meter project to where it is, and who therefore may have both a personal and professional conflict of interest, to be asked to make an impartial decision on something as sensitive as if a referendum questioning said project meets all of the litmus tests required by law? Under what circumstances would you feel these elected and appointed officials should recuse themselves?

Is it acceptable to you for elected and appointed officials and city employees to conduct political activities (anything a citizens can vote on that is placed on an official ballot is a political activity) while carrying out their official duties?

Please explain your logic.

-1 "I see the stuff about prohibited activities. But where is the Initiating for circulation, preparing, circulating, reviewing,..." part?

Sorry, neither are officers of the city. They are both employees of the city manager and subject to being an employee at will.

-1,

Let's focus on WHO the memo was sent. One of the recipients was Ely. She is an officer as is the City Clerk who was another of the recipients. Both officers and employees of the city are prohibited from engaging in political activities.

Ely was quoted as saying she didn't remember the email. Typical lawyer attempt to dodge it because if she acknowledged receiving and reading it she knew she had her hand caught in the cookie jar. Simple as that.

Prohibited political activities are most commonly referred to within the context of public employees not being able to campaign for or against candidates running for election while they are on duty, however that prohibition also extends to referendums and other issues that might be placed on a ballot. What these people do on their own time is their business, what they do while on duty is OUR business.

The person who wrote the email is in serious trouble. The recipients of the email may also be in serious trouble based upon what they did with the memo. IF they forwarded it or replied to it with their own personal comments they may be in just as much legal trouble as the person who started it.

Let's see if the Naperville Police investigate. I seem to remember they were pretty quick to take on corruption at the Naperville Park District a couple of years ago. If not, the States Attorney should investigate to see if any laws have been broken and if there is any corruption or collusion.

La Cuc,
It's my not-so-wild guess the staffer who allegedly sent the email in question DID NOT review the petition. The petition was reviewed by the hearing board composed of Mayor Pradel, Doug Krause, and Pam LeFebre, under the guidance of legal, and in compliance with state law. The petition review was done when the board was hearing the objection to the filing of the petition. By the way, voting records are considered public records.

Minus,

Agreed. Nuff said.

SNT,

I'm guessing, and this not a wild guess, that her job description does not include reviewing petitions that have resident's signatures on them. That is for Councilmen and their political people. This is not an agree to disagree situation. Yes, the Smart Grid is City business. But, the petition and referendum are not.

You're right about the number of votes. That's the law. But you can't say let's uphold the law on the signature issue and not on the ethics ordinance. It's called hypocricy.

The only people I've heard use these words/phrases are Council/Management/Pawns for the above. It isn't coincidence that every time someone on these boards is arguing in favor of the City initiative the words are almost direct quotes from Council meetings. Pretty sad stuff when the City has to resort to the kind of playground tactics they have in order to squelch a much larger than acknowledged group of citizens from having some say in a project that costs us all MORE than the 22 million publicly advertised price tag.

You state the policy, but what exactly are the "political activities prohibited by the Act"? Show me where it says city staffers can't send emails related to city business to other members of city government?

LaCuc,

The SmartGrid/SmartMeter initiative is city business. I find the alledged comments made by a city staffer, in her role with the city, within the domain of city business.

Your ends justifying the means comment indicates something about YOU. It implies if no suggestion to challenge the signatures were made, and the petitioners had gotten away with submitting invalid signatures, and an insufficient number of signatures, it would have been OK. Who's fault is it that there were not enough valid signatures on the petition to put the referendum on the ballot? Here's a hint, it's NOT the city staffer's fault.

I sit corrected:

" (8) Initiating for circulation, preparing, circulating, reviewing, or filing any petition on behalf of a candidate for elective office or for or against any referendum question. "

I can certainly see where the activity can be construed as initiating.., although there may be a backdoor out via official duties.

-1

I will not link to it, as that would likely throw this post into the spam folder, but I do not believe the activity of the city worker amounted to prohibited political activities according to state law.

If someone can cite which relevant section of the definition of "Prohibited political activity" was violated, I'd be happy to change my mind. Let nothing in this post imply that the city worker should or should not have done what she did.

5 ILCS 430/1-5

-1

I agree. "WHY all the concern about a NON BINDING ref, in the first place"

Why all the drama? Why do we need a poorly worded, misleadingly written referndum question on the ballot? The nature of a referendum question is the fact that it automatically limits the response to the question to a small percentage of the population who choose to vote in our local elections.

On top of that, there was no indication the signers of the petition were against the SmartGrid/SmartMeter program in the first place. Bottom line, there weren't enough signatures by law to put the non-binding (in other words, useless) referendum on the ballot, and there is no one to blame about the lack of signatures except the group that didn't obtain enough valid signatures by law.

SNT,

The ethics policy: "The participation in political activities prohibited under the Act by any officer or employee of the City is hereby prohibited."

Exactly what part of "any" don't you comprehend? Or is it the phrase "political activities" that stymies you?

SNT,

Your warped comments just about wrap up our discussion. An e-mail regarding a referendum that voters may potentially vote on is clealy political. It's not city business. Staff has no role in a referendum other than to execute the wishes of the CIty Council, or Court in this case. That is the domain of the elected officials and the voters.

The ends justify the means comment tells me a lot about you. The PR person clearly violated the City's etics ordinance, and you could care less.

I'm curious. What is the City going to do about that? They have an obligation under the law. Maybe someone ought to FOIA more e-mails? Although, I would suspect that they've learned their lesson about e-mails and everything is being handled in secret closed door meetings at this point.

Ask yourself this then swnt - WHY all the concern about a NON BINDING ref. in the first place? IF this is such a great thing for Naperville, why not just put it out there - signatures or not (and there were plenty, thousands more available if they had the manpower). Such a great thing, such a great investment - it would pass with flying colors right?

I am not a member of the Smart Grid Awareness group, and I don't have a lot of huge concerns about the meters - what I have a problem with is the wasted money (whether it comes from YOUR taxes or YOUR utility bills or anywhere else, it is still OUR money), the lies, and the political dirt that is rampant throughout this process .

Take what the City is selling at face value if you want to - but it will cost you and everyone else who lives here (except of course the Management Team who more than cover the additional expense with their bonus pay and car allowances) .

I don't consider a city staff member emailing a suggestion regarding city business as "political" activity. Especially when the suggestion proved to be correct, and appropriate under the circumstances. The signatures didn't pass the smell test.

SNT,

What is your opinion of the staff e-mail about contesting the signatures and the people that were copied on it?

The following is part of the City's ethics ordinance.

The participation in political activities prohibited under the Act by any officer or employee of the City is hereby prohibited.

Clearly, this ordinance and the State law was violated here.

Perhaps I worded my comment in a way that was misunderstood. Let me rephrase it. The SMAG group of nine individuals, using fear mongering and misinformation, are trying to smack down the city, our elected officials, and the citizens of Naperville with their continued nonsense that CAN cost taxpayer money.

Who's smacking who? It is the duty of the city to act in the best interest of it's citizens, not just appeal to a small group with an opposing, and questionable viewpoint.

SNT,

You're correct, there is a difference in where the funds come from. And, when city staff, who get paid from homeowner's property taxes, try to stop residents from voting on a referendum, that's an even bigger problem.

What investigation are you talking about? They are doing nothing against the law. As far as misrepresentation, both sides are guilty of that.

I think Smart Meters are good too. The process of getting them is criminal. The city (staff and Council) should be ashamed of themselves. What a joke.

Yeah, SNT ------ let's smack down those pesky citizens trying to exercise their free rights!

Who the heck do they think they are, anyway! Americans?

While the Smart Grid/Smart Meter program does not draw funds from homeowner's property taxes, this SMAG group's continued legal nonsense against the city, and citizens of Naperville CAN.

I'd like to see an investigation into the people behind the SMAG group, and expose the fear mongering, and misrepresentation of facts they use to promote their agenda,

Based upon the known facts, the Snart Grid/Smart Meter project will be a good thing here in Naperville, and I look forward to it.

Actually marcus - there were plenty of signatures, and not even the pawn who initiated the lawsuit or his lawyer is claiming that the signatures in question were not legitimate, simply that they could not be verified. Don't worry though, there are hundreds of others who would have signed if asked who will vote their signatures at the next election. With any luck, that will be the end of the Dictatorship years for this City.

I think it was reported somewhere that the e-mail was written by Nadja L ..... The entire issue is disturbing and sadly just more business as usual for this Management Group/Council. Voting Council out in 2013 is the answer, the question however remains, how much more damage will these people do before we get the opportunity.

Sorry that I did not see the Sun article on the e-mail before my last post. Sun, that was a good article. Keep digging. There is something big and ugly here. The PR person wrote the e-mail? And sent it to the City Attorney and City Clerk-who was on the commission? And that's not a problem? I do agree with the CIty Attorney that it doesn't change the outcome of the original issue. They don't have enough signatures. But, we have a whole new set of issues.

I googled the PR person.

She doesn't live in Naperville, so why is she involved with what referendums are voted on in Naperville? Besides that, she's staff. Not an elected official.
She has worked for the Republican Party. So, she knows about petitions and politics.
She obviously engages in polical behavior at work and on work time. Can she do that? Isn't it against a city policy or a law?

I'm interested to see what happens here. The fish stinks from the head down.

Good post.

I'm even more concerned about the e-mail or memo now that I've had time to digest this more. I am very interested to know who wrote it. An attorney? The City Manager? The City Clerk who was on the panel? The city attorney denies remembering it. Please Sun, FOIA the e-mail and post it.

It really does look like staff does not want this on a referendum. Last I knew, they worked for us. Sounds like insubordination to me.

This could be bad for someone, in addition to the residents.

Today's Sun reported the first court decision was in favor of the city. Hopefully that decision will be appealed.

More interesting was Ely was reported as presiding over the election commission. If that is true then maybe the AG should be investigating if the election commission is conducting government business legally and properly.

Even more interesting was the report of a city hall staff memo written moments after the petition was filed suggesting ways to fight the petition and who to use. I guess in this city anything is fair game except letting the actual citizens debate what they want without the city meddling in our business.

I'm more disgusted than ever with this kind of meddling and personal conduct at city hall and the lack of leadership from the city manager on down.

Clearly it is time to get our Naperville City Hall's house in order. It is time department heads stop creating their little bureaucratic fiefdoms and start managing with our best interest in mind not theirs own.

The culture in which city hall operates has to be defined and modeled by each city council member. Right now the city council is not doing their job and it shows.

BH,

I understand the law and misspoke. I don't get the comment about things not going their way. They oppose the project-that's ok. Wasn't it Rant Wehrli that wants a redo on Council Wards because it didn't go his way?

They didn't have enough signatures, and the City does not want this on a referendum because they know it would lose. Why else object? It's advisory. This project, like the Carrillon, and Children's Museum was shoved down the taxpayers throats with little or no discussion. These projects benefit the Councilmen and their friends. All of them should have been on a referendum.

One last point. The fact that we have City staff sending e-mails around saying that someone should challenge the petition is very troubling. That is not staff's job. This is our town and our money not staff's money. I can see an elected official bringing it up and that's fine.

Sun, can you tell who sent the e-mail in the FOIA, what it said and who it went to?


The good or bad of smart meters aside, the petitions didn't meet the legal requirements. The purpose of the law regarding the number of signatures on advisory referendums is to be sure there is sufficient public concern over the issue. Apparently there wasn't over this issue because the group didn't get enough signatures from registered Naperville voters to qualify. And speaking of registered voters, they will have a chance at the next election to replace half the council and we will see if it is a silent majority in support of or against this technology.

Sounds like it's Council/Management that is getting desperate here. Can't stand it when people don't fall in step with their directives and half truths and think for themselves. A clean sweep of all Council and upper Management is the only way this City will thrive again.

La Cuca,
Nice try but the electoral board makeup is staight from the state law. The Mayor, the longest serving Councilmman and the City Clerk. Just because things didn't go your way you are now throwing insults out and demeaning people.
Yet another fine example of how the SMAG people think the law doesn't apply to them and if things don't go their way they blame others. This whole thing is about to go against them and all we are going to hear is "it's all somebody elses fault but ours. We are right and you all are wrong... including the courts!"
Keep it classy La Cuca and SMAG.

SMAG is made up of: Jennefer Stahl, Lisa Rooney, Kim Bendis, Tom Glass, Sandy Glass, John Glass Amanda Rykov, Jerry Schilling and Bill Eagan. Funny how there is nine of them. I think they should all run for council! Just think how great Naperville would be with this group steering the ship. Our population would go from 150,000 to about 29 in a year...
That's if no one challenged their petitions!

Uncommon,

Outstanding pos.

Uncommon,

Well put. That board was comprised of the lowest IQ people they could find so that they could manipulate the decision. When they met with the Legal Department, and other City Council members, for their direction, didn't that violate at least the integrity of this process. Aren't they supposed to be independent?

The idea is to stifle and stand in the way of any debate or discussion. Use the FOIA process against citizens. What is the City Council afraid of? Maybe I'm wrong, it's not that they are afraid, it's just that they are right and the common folk are wrong. Off with their heads.

Bailey,

I hate to rain on your parade but the question of whether or not the law has been uphold has yet to be decided in a court of law.

The election commission is led by a mayor with a high school education so I would take his interpretation of any correct application of the law with a grain of salt.

I suspect the election commission receives legal advice from the city legal department and considering that department's dismal leadership and track record in court I wouldn't take too much stock in their ability to interpret the law correctly either.

Congrats to Mr. Eagan and to every other citizen who has the courage to stand up and exercises their constitutionally protected rights. Last time I checked our elected official do not give up their individual rights just to represent us and it should not be any other way in a free society.

We have more to fear from small minded people like you than from wasting tax dollars to ensure we have open and transparent government at all levels.

I for one am GLAD to live in Naperville and even more so to see the LAW upheld.
The Luddites known as Naperville Smart Meter Awareness Group, or SMAG, thinks the law doesn't apply to them. Binding question or not the LAW clearly states what is required. Had the SMAG group followed the law this would BE on the ballot.

Anyone else take notice that Mr. Bill Eagan, a Naperville Park district Commissioner is one of the petitioners that is now suing the City? Everything must be perfect at the Park District if he has this much time to tell the city what to do. Let's not forget that Eagan ran unopposed for the seat he now holds.... This is the kind of trash you get when no one is vetted out before they take office. I'll remember this Mr. Eagan come election time.

Mr. Eagan is also an "advisor" to the SMAG group. A group that is costing us taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars with this nonsense. He is costing us way more than he has ever saved us taxpayers... You'd think a CPA could figure that out!

Once again the Mayor, a city council member, and the city clerk have made me ashamed to live in Naperville.

The action last week was politically foolish because it was a non-binding referendum. The smart choice would have been to just put it on the ballot. Now they have incensed and antagonized voters and they will pay a high political price for their shortsightedness.

Waiting until the midnight hour to rule does not help their case either.

I am really happy to see this one play out in court even though I know it is going to be yet another big waste of taxpayer dollars on lawyers. Let's see what the decision of someone with independent objectivity has to say about what has transpired, thought either way I expect any decision will be appealed and more time and money will be squandered because we do not have open and transparent government in Naperville.

At the same time it seems questionable to spend the time and energy trying to get a non-binding referendum question on the ballot because even if it ends up on the ballot and even if the vote is a majority against this council will still do as they please as they always do and they will proceed with smart meters regardless of what the voters do or do not want.

To me, it would seem more productive to get a court ordered injunction to halt the entire project before it is too late.

Smart grid YES. Smart meters NO.

Most likely all that you have heard is true - yet somehow these folks always manage to skate. Would be nice to see a real investigation by a state or federal agency because short that, it will probably be just another in the long list of unethical behavior they are rewarded for.

Why not take a different approach and call the AG's office in Springfield and ask them investigate the open meetings violations issues?

FOIA all of their e-mails and see what was said.

LA,


The smart  GRID is upgraded, is the future, and is needed across the country.

Smart meters?  Not so much.

The smartmeters are not required for a smart grid,  or or an upgraded grid. They ARE needed for true tier pricing and for controlled, allocated rolling blackouts. Note here that tier pricing will simply represent yet  another assault on older/retired people in Naperville.

That's it, folks.

There was NO public vote on the $22,000,000.00 project prior to it's acceptance ---- the decision to spend $15.000.000.00 of taxpayers money ($11mil plus est interest) was done in closed session, not   in the sunshine as some erroneously suggest.

The council has been dismissive and demeaning when dealing with citizens that have questioned the meters --- just review the meeting tapes.

The council has been coercive and usurious in their demand of $25 per month for "Meter reading" from those who for WHATEVER the reason want to keep the old meter. $300.00 a year? Really? Even though the city is paying a water meter to read our water meters every month? Right.

There have been some members of the council more nasty in their abusive behavior than others.

I have been told several disturbing things:
> that there has been at least one council member who has personally called and berated citizens who signed the petition.

>there has been ONE person who has used a FOIA request get the signed petition. That one person was a councilman.  Shortly after, a private citizen filed a lawsuit to avoid a referendum, a lawsuit based on questioning of the petition itself. You do the math!

What  really bugs me ( who has a smart meter) is when people are so  afraid of democracy and sunshine that they take extraordinary measures to avoid both.

Do we really need elected officials that are this afraid of sunshine?
 
I find myself asking why people blindly vote for and follow that same lead without thought or analysis of the  nuances and complexities of the argument and instead select a single aspect to attack their fellow citizens.


What's amazing La is that they get away with this stuff EVERY TIME!!!! The Sun doesn't care enough to even question what this Council/Management gang do - they have an absolutely free pass. Can you imagine what the City would be doing if the committee for that referendum had two Smart Grid Awareness Group members making the call? This deal is so dirty I hear they are thinking of casting the next swiffer commercial with excerpts from this event.

If you really want to laugh, check out Fiesller and his HEARTFELT sympathy and compassion for the neighbors of the chicken owner. he is completely offended and can't imagine how awful it must be to live that way. SERIOUSLY??? Couldn't care LESS about the 4,000 people who are concerned about the precious smart meters - they must all be crazy - but living next to a few chickens? How can anyone be expected to deal with such a horrendous plight!

Haven't had anything edited, just not posted. I have to say, quite a few were critical of the Mayor. I know the Sun, and others, love him. I like him too-as a human being, not as a public official.

BTW, didn't see anything in the blogs about the kangaroo court made up of the Mayor, Krause and the City Clerk.

I realize that it's probably in some law that the City convenes this group to review issues with petitions. However, wouldn't it be better if they didn't have two people who voted for the project on the committee? Even if it just looks more transparent? It just shows the arrogance of the group. They could care less what we think.

Additionally, they have also been eating/ editing my posts with alarming regularity.

I have a physical copy of the business Caden from the city ( with logo and all!) titled
"Business Case Fundamentals Updated on 9/7/2010".

Page three has the benefits, by category and by amount over 15 years, laid out.

Ops benefits ----------------------- $6.9 m

Distribution fficienctpy, etc. ---- $19.3 m

Customer Energy mgmt ------- $20.0 m

Total 15 yr: $46.2 mil

Plus Societal Benes of an ADDITIONAL $16.4 m


Per the biz case, these numbers are net PV using 4.24 %

Darn, I wish I knew enough about this topic to comment, but "the fact of the matter is" (famous D.F. quote), I am so confused about all of this. The only thing I can provide is that I would not trust the City of Naperville one bit. They've proven that to their employees and residents. So keep up the watchdogging.

Minus,

Missing posts? I've had that too. Thought it was old age. With regard to the numbers, no, we don't have any proof that the payback numbers are wrong. I suspect they are based on the assumptions. If they're right, I'll eat my posts, I mean crow. My concern is that if they are wrong, they'll simply forget about their claims, and spin it another way. That's the theme of what I'm seeing from the non-tin-foil naysayers like me. It's about how this was handled. Someone posted that the City did it right here. I totally disagree. Like the Carrillon and Children's Museum, this group spends public money, with little to no public imput, then puts on a spin campaign to make it look like they care about what the public thinks.

I'll go so far as to say that I'll bet that they violate the open meetings act on a regular basis. They have to. How else would they make all of their decisions before they vote with no public discussion. Vote em out.

Whats next..are they gonna tell us what type of light bulbs we are going to have to use? Oh, they already did that...

Anonymous and La Cuc:

I had a post with the $52M in 15 years claim by the city as well as the $22M in 13 years claim. If you go to the link I provided earlier and scroll up the page to my December 9, 09 7:35 AM post in the "City to Install smart electrical grid" topic, you should find a link to the city council minutes in the fall of 09 with the appropriate presentation. See page 8 of the presentation which appears to have been created by West Monroe partners.

You are calling it a lie. Okay. I call it rampant speculation which was immediately discarded by me as a theoretical piece of junk. What proof do you have that their number is wrong? Absolutely none. What proof do they have that their number is correct? Minimal, but more than someone calling it a lie. Even when all is said and done, it will be very hard to show that the $52M figure suggested by them is real or not. Maybe it's too small of a number. If people were swayed by this number....I have some parachutes to sell them.

As long as you are upset about this number, what about the City of Naperville catch phrase in that presentation "Great Service -- All the Time". Now THAT'S something to bark about.

Anyway, I'm going to once again have to stop posting since this system seems to eat enough posts to make it difficult to have a decent conversation.

To Taxed Enough...you may want to see what 1KWh of electricity delivered to the city means. If 1 KWh to the city equals 1 KWh at the end user's meter (VERY doubtful), then the 8.9 vs 6.4 figure is a bit high. It may be that additional costs are built into the end-user KWh rate. I doubt the monthly flat fee covers line losses and upgrades and maintenance. In fact the municipal code has much lower rates depending on HIGH usage and the ability to maintain their own transformer etc... for certain non-residential customers.

-1

moderator: I think the system eats posts with links if they are previewed more than once. Not sure but that may be the case. Someone at the suntimes may want to check.

You COULD claim anything, but the simplest view is that the city will spend $11,000,000.00 plus interest (I think for 15 years) to get an $11 million match for the entire project ($14 mil meters, $8 mil grid).

The ROI could also be stated as we were given $11 mil to spend an extra $14 mil on soemthing we did not need (the council claims they will notbo omtiered pricing, which is almost the entire reason for them, the other reason being we can view it, for a charge, to see when we use the most electricity).

So if the gov gives us say, $ mil if we add $ mil to it to buy $10 mil in WWII parachutes, is that a good ROI?

But that's not what they said. They said $46M. Not, $46M, or some other number that may not be as much but still ok. When we're talking ROI, let's get in the ball park. Please, they lie, and you're fine with it, I'm not.

Good post minus. Points well taken.

To -1, this is actually a good argument discussion going because we are bringing up some good points. I want to further comment on your responses to me and others here.

Privacy - I am in agreement with you I have concerns and really do not have faith in the city no matter what their documentation says.

Relation Ship between City Taxes - I unfortunately have not dug into the city budget including the Electric department to know about the 46M claims in system savings that the city has supposedly toughted. However the city has claims it will reduce the grid's operating costs. Therefore it either should result in a reduction of a system operation, i.e. grid fee on or bills or if the grid is supported by city taxes a reduction in that portion of the city tax levy.

I do understand your thought about why should you pay more but it comes down to why is Naperville's electric rate 8.9 cent/kWh, to further incense myself I just dug around on the IMEA web site and discovered that the average charge for IMEA thru April 2011 was 6.42 cent/kWh. So here is my connection why Smart Meters and IMEA are tied together along with you comment that IMEA will begin time of use charges. Based on this little bit of digging and my personal knowledge of where Naperville electric rates were. Long and short why are we being charged 8.9 when IMEA average sale price was 6.42. What is the surcharge from naperville due to, so again it comes down to trust of the city council which is poor to begin with. It comes down to properly leveraging size, on the surface IMEA might be doing that but there seems to be a disconnect based on IMEA information and my electric bills.

Everyone dig more on IMEA and what Naperville is doing, I am out of time taking a break from work.

Not my verbiage. No Clintonian acts here. I replied to a flawed statement when Taxed Enough asked where s/he was wrong.

Can you please give a link to the $46M claim. Thanks.

I'd also like for you to review the accounting of the $22M.

Since Smart meters are a natural progression of the distribution system, I could claim we got $11M of smart meters for $2.6M plus interest costs on accelerated capital improvements. That's a pretty good ROI. You got something better? The $11M was going to some other city otherwise.

-1

-1,

Sorry, dude, but you are now trying to pull a Clintonian move with your verbiage.

Let us be very, very clear:

THE CITY OF NAPERVILE HAS CONSISTENTLY CLAIMED A SAVINGS OF $46,000,000.00 OVER 15 YEARS On the smart grid and smart meter project (yes, they are two different things).

This not "some", or any other ignorable number, and they touted these savings LOUDLY and OFTEN early on in their sales pitches to the public. In fact, they were never shy about saying that due to the nature of being the electric provider to the actual residences and businesses, these savings would be realized by the consumer (that means us, by the way).

The 9/22/10 NAHC- sponsored meeting at City Hall included the entire "team", who patiently answered questions after their presentations.

That is the meeting were the entire budget was reviewed and it was first very obvious that of the $22 million, only $8 million was for the grid itself and $14 million was going for the "smart" meters.

Thanks for a civil response.

1) The electrical utility and the city taxes are separate beasts. Do not conflate them.

2) The IMEA contract is separate from the Smart *Grid*. I am assuming (yikes) that due diligence was done in trying to figure out the best long-term solution for power costs. That decision was joining the IMEA. The IMEA does have a large purchasing group so there may be relative savings from that despite the inability to produce all of the power itself. I have stated repeatedly that the IMEA may or may not be the right decision. I do not know. I think that can only be judged against what rates we could have gotten from another contract. The present contract is not Commonwealth Edison. Just because there are cost overruns with the plant in Southern Illinois does not mean it was the wrong decision. And sticking with a flat rate would cause some customers to pay much more than they otherwise would. with TOU pricing. Do you have any reports about other contractors that were considered? If so, I'd like to see them.

3) Please see prior posts by -1 (short for e^(i*pi) ). I am supportive of the Grid updates and the fact that smart meters were obtained. I am unhappy about a great deal of other issues with this project.

4) I think the wording of the referendum -- which was just denied apparently -- was nonsensical. I fully support people placing referendums which ask reasonable questions.

-1

1) The comment I was replying to was regarding the SMART METERS saving EVERYONE money. I have not heard anyone say this from a position of authority in the city or from any smart meter lovers. If they did, then I repeat my claim. that they are wrong.

2) There WILL be relative savings by upgrading the GRID.

3) Savings in #2 will be very hard to gauge.

4) As I stated before, I think many of the claims of savings are dubious at best.

http://blogs.suburbanchicagonews.com/newsblog/2009/12/city_to_install_smart_electric.html#comment-105146

5) It has not always been about the money. As other posters have noted, the GRID had accelerated updates which were already on the horizon. The "savings" were an attempt at a selling point which I think is weak at best.

6) Don't make ME pay for someone else's excessive use of expensive electricity.

7) I have privacy concerns.

8) I have concerns regarding the extra fee for those who want to opt out of the smart meter -- although I do support the city in its JOB of maintaining the system and upgrading meters when needed. Many people will not be in their houses forever and not allowing a smart meter now may cause extra cost in the future when there is a new homeowner. But $25/month when another city service (water) is traipsing through your lawn already?

-1

Minus,

Wrong again. This has always been about the money for the city and they have claimed return on investment for this project. Again, minus, what happens if that doesn't happen? My guess is... nothing. They get to say whatever they want and nobody cares. Shame on us.

Please tell me you don't still believe what the City tells you about what they are going to save? No one in their right mind believes that is anything but PR put together by consultants who are raking in millions on this project.

I read those documents over a year ago. I'm not doing it again. From memory:

It mentions some theoretical savings. It does not say *everyone* will save with the smart meters -- which was the claim by Taxed Enough. Making the system distribute power better will help everyone. The theoretical savings from less lost productivity from fewer outages are likely bunk since the system is pretty darn reliable now except in some older sections of the city.

Despite the an overall less lossy system, some WILL pay more with either flat rate or TOU what they do now.

try again.

-1

To -1, thank you for responding because your rebuttals acutally reinforce my points and the view of many on how the city council is shoving this down our throats. But a few comments from me on the points you make. Regarding saving money, first the city says it will reduce the City's electrical system operating costs, I believe that is what Anon's 46M dollar from city budgets come from. Regarding that point why isn't the city reducing our taxes. The city's web side makes two other comments that the meters with empower residents to control energy use and a comment about "reduce waste for our customers" i.e. they are implying that the smart meters will save us money because we use less electricity.

But you statements that fully back me up are where you state that the IMEA contract with the city will have time of use charges. I am not advocating that we subsidize people's energy usage, my problem lies in the cities marriage with IMEA, it clearly is bad because as I stated Naperville Electric was Commonwealth Edison's largest customer and because of that we got very good electric rates. So instead of leveraging that fact the city throws it way and joins the IMEA, which doesn't have large power generating reserves and therefore must buy expensive spot power in peak usage times. My problem is why is the city forcing the risk on the individual user and not leveraging it to overall the cheapest rates from a big supplier.

-1,

Sorry, but you ar wrong.

The city has been very clear they will save $46,000,000.00 over 15 years with the upgraded meters and grid. Just look at their budget ---- itis all laid out.

To Southwest Taxpayer on Jan. 11

First of all I am not desperate to Draw on anything. Too bad that I have offended you, but I call it like I see it. If you opt out of the smart meter which is being forced upon us then you are penalized with the $68 and then $25 per month. Its all about the money. Plain and simple. It seems kind of funny to me that if enough people opt out by paying a penalty every month it kind of defeats the so called purpose of this.

Meters installed with a cop present if you refuse the Smart Meter, then tell me then if this is not world war two Nazi Germany.

In closing it's all about the money and I stand on what I have previously said. The council is suppose to work for the people and not the people work for the council.

For all you smart meter hypochondriacs, here's something to help you after the meter goes in.

http://www.bioelectricshield.com/

Right now you might have a functional Motorola flip phone that was top of the line many years ago, but I'm sure most would agree a new Smart Phone would be preferable in this day and age. On top of that, consider if you had to upgrade that old flip phone for close to 82% of the cost to get the new Smart Phone worth more than double that cost.

It's called progress.

Taxed Enough Wrote:

I am still struggling with the supporters and cities claims that the smart meters are going to save everyone money. Please tell me how, the only thing the smart meters do is allow the utilities, in this case the city of Naperville to charge me a premium if I use electricity during the day in the heat of the summer. Please tell me where are am wrong with the following statements.

If anyone is claiming the smart meters are going to save everyone money, they are wrong. I have not heard anyone say that, so stop the Fox-ian rumor. On the other side, the opponents who keep saying costs will go up with the smart meters-- well yes. But causation is not there. Most people will see a rise in costs, smart meter or not smart meter, unless electricity prices on average go DOWN with time.

I fell almost silly supporting the city, but here it goes.

The cost of electricity is a pass through the the users of the electricity. The new IMEA contract will have Time of Use costs passed to the city, unlike the prior contract where it was a fixed cost to the city. Of course Municipal code right now also has a differential cost depending on user type and amount of usage. That will have to be changed with the new cost of obtaining electricity.

Smart meter or no smart meter the cost of the electricity to the city will be time of use. You do not have to agree with the (irrational) power market, but the IMEA will incur TOU costs due to that market. Previously it was (I think) Goldmann-Sachs who took on that "risk" to supply Naperville with the power at a fixed rate.

Since you are Taxed Enough, why would you think it is fair to "tax" those who choose to use less expensive electricity to support the habits of those who use more expensive electricity?

Are you really suggesting we should encourage the city to overcharge those who use less costly resources?

Regarding the meters: The flat fact of it is that if Naperville did not get the $11Million for the meters, then someone else would have. Yes, we would be paying for it either way, so we might as well have the meters to fit our cost system.

By the way, those who speak of "millions" in interest costs as if that is the present value are as foolish as a certain D203 board member.

To the City and to the Sun: Please find out why we cannot have a smart meter installed which transmits once each month for those who do not want Time Of Use rates. Don't give us any baloney about the system needs that transmitter to transmit other information. That's not going to happen with the alternate meters. If it is really that hard to change the frequency of information transmission, then we are getting stupid meters. If people would still be wigging out over having a once a month transmission..well..whatever.

City: Please give us a real accounting of where the $25 per month fee comes from for a non smart-meter. To these eyes, that seems like a bunch of (horse stuff).

-1

SNT - I'm sorry, but on this one you are just plain WRONG. The City had a perfectly functioning system already in place - way above average in the number of outages and outage times. The reason? They have been upgrading the grid for years and years - which was indeed a great thing. The PROBLEM is that egos and self promotion got in the way of common sense on this project. We are spending MILLIONS of dollars on meters that offer no benefit whatsoever. The grid itself was budgeted and scheduled to be upgraded (continued upgrades) over the next 4 years - at a cost of 9 million dollars. Instead of being satisfied with that (it was all that was necessary to keep Naperville well beyond up to par), this council and this management team decided to borrow money, spend 11 million along with the 11 million fed grant instead of the 9 million budgeted, while all the time patting themselves on the back for all the cuts they made to services etc. in the face of huge deficits.

At this point, they are spending well over the 11 million they talk about .... equipment that otherwise would have been replaced is being patched because all the money that otherwise would have paid to maintain this system is being wasted on meters and consultants and PR. In reality, while you will have a shiny new meter forced on you whether you want it or not, the system itself will not be better, it will be weaker, and this along with the misguided decision to sign on with the IMEA Coal plant that is millions over budget, WILL cost all of us in the not to distant future.

Believe what you are being fed by this group if you choose, but understand that honesty is not something they practice on any sort of regular basis. This egocentric experiment is going to be expensive for everyone, and the saddest part of it all is that it is ALL completely unnecessary.

I am still struggling with the supporters and cities claims that the smart meters are going to save everyone money. Please tell me how, the only thing the smart meters do is allow the utilities, in this case the city of Naperville to charge me a premium if I use electricity during the day in the heat of the summer. Please tell me where are am wrong with the following statements.

Nuclear power production costs are the same at night or during the day (don't split hairs that it is significantly cheaper since rejection heat is easier disapated in the cooler evenings and night), fuel cost and capital remains the same.

The same argument applies to coal and gas fired plants, capital and fuel costs remain the same whether it is night or day.

If you want wind energy the cost is the same what does it take to build the wind turbine and what is your lease for the land.

Since the fixed costs all remain the same the only thing the smart meters do is give the suppliers a reason to exploit the end consumer and charge more at peak times. FYI, the Illinois rates over 25 years ago had a summer surcharge on electricity use, the idea being that it would force people to use less energy in the peak summer time. The only thing is proved is that emotion and human comfort are bigger contributers to the electricity market behavior than the classic principals of supply and demand setting the prices. Thus the smart meters give the suppliers a way to increase the prices on us. There is no money savings and now we have spent a lot of capital on the meters that could have been used elsewhere or not spent at all and reduce our tax burden.

Last for those who haven't been in Naperville a long time, we as the city electric department used to be the single biggest electric customer that bought electricity from Commonwealth Edison and because of that we had the cheapest rates in the state. Now, we as naperville are part of this municipal production CO-OP that allows City Hall to feel they are big players because we are the biggest user of the CO-OP electricity but in the end, we the residents pay more. So do you still feel good about the smart meters, I don't and I haven't even had to go down the road of the health concerns with the additional EM fields generated.

Let's get real. The Smart Grid and Smart Meters are designed to upgrade outmoded systems. It is the wave of the future all over the country. I think it's money well spent to ultimately benefit all of us through improved infrastructure. It isn't some wild conspiracy by Naperville City Council to force a dangerous new system upon residents to scramble kid’s brains, just so the city can install a transmitter on people’s houses to snoop, or otherwise invade the privacy of the citizens they serve.

The Naperville Smart Grid initiative isn't new. I have known about it for a long time. The city hasn't kept it a secret, or tried to cover it up. They have been transparent about it. I have received numerous emails about it, and the city has set up seminars to explain it to interested residents. They have done it RIGHT.

When I watch the anti-smart grid people state their views at City Council Meetings, I empathize with the members of City Council trying to reason with the unreasonable. The anti-smart grid people I have seen generally do not base their opinions on the known facts, but instead expound upon ideation far from the reality of the situation. They often disrupt the meetings from the audience, interrupt Council members when they are speaking, and dismiss the facts. Council has to keep the meetings in order, and will inform those who are not in order, or not following the rules. They are not bullying the dissenters.

I am always amazed when people say they knew nothing about an issue, or a decision our elected officials were charged to make, when it was widely reported in local newspapers, featured on the city's website, emailed to citizens who signed up for city emails, televised on local TV, discussed at City Council meetings, and was the talk of town before and after the vote. Members of City Council aren't going to knock on each person’s door, and explain everything to every individual before they make a decision, and they SHOULDN'T. That doesn't mean they're hiding something.

P.S. (Mr. 77 | January 8, 2012 12:55 PM). Mr. 77, I am offended by the fact that you compare members of City Council to Nazi's, and the Naperville Police to the SS or Gestapo. You must be desperate to draw up such outlandishly hateful comparisons. These are our duly elected officials, and the law enforcement officers who serve us. This is a democracy, and these public servants are working for all of us, and deserve our respect.

This is how the City operates, and they STILL clearly don't get that it isn't ok. If people don't agree with City Council or City Management, first lie to them, if that doesn't shut them up ignore them, if that doesn't work then berate them, and if that doesn't work, just send the police out to force it down their throats anyway.

I'm not terribly worried about the health effects, but the way this City operates scares the heck out of me. Shame the Sun seems to be on their payroll, because a source of truth would be very valuable in this and so many other matters.

Godwin's law (also known as Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies or Godwin's Law of Nazi Analogies)[1][2] is a humorous observation made by Mike Godwin in 1990[2] that has become an Internet adage. It states: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."[2][3] In other words, Godwin observed that, given enough time, in any online discussion—regardless of topic or scope—someone inevitably criticizes some point made in the discussion by comparing it to beliefs held by Hitler and the Nazis.

Oh No! I agree 100% with what the ?. If its really you, I am stunned. Smart meters benefit only the government utility in Naperville and cost the electric consuming public more money. Pucker up, get ready to spend more money and those living on fixed incomes, an increasing amount of people in Naperville will have new things to do without to pay the bill.

Don't worry about the cost. We've saved how much on salt this year?

Sorry, Bob, but a good fight is never a waste of time or money. The bullying by our elected officials, the disdain they exhibit it to the common voter and citizen, the outright lying,then vast amounts of money being spent with no sunshine or transparency ----- you need to fight it to keep it from escalating.

Don't believe it?

Carillon, children's museum, trying to reverse the overwhelming vote for precincts and term limits, smart meters despite clear evidence they need more study...........


What if Adams, Jefferson, Washington, etc., thought that way?

The Naperville Electric Dept. needs to operate on a for profit basis and be subjected to all the taxes a private utility pays

Improvement to the system sholud be paid for out of profits, subsidies from the nearly bankrupt federal government is not a solution. Money from the federal government to Naperville only means federal tax money for other units of government.

I have not heard anyone write about the return on investment. Is ther a return on investment? The smart meter program will probalby be comparable to an individual buying a Chevy Volt.

Does any one remember the golf carts purchased for the meter patrol and how this was going to save money. Does anyone remeber the gas saving devices bought for city trucks, how did that work out.

Whatever they do higher elctric rates are on the way.

The real waste of money is this program to begin with and goes right along with why we need representative districts (and term limits) that Bill Mego and Tim West so much oppose. The argument that the government is matching $11 million is bogus. It is all tax money and our money for a large scale project that we did not ask for or voter approved (just like the carillon).

Being forced, with a Cop being present, to have a smart meter installed even if you don't want one?? Sounds to me like second world war Nazi Germany. This stinks. What is this town coming to. As far as I am concerned the council does what it wants, regardless. In my opinion, the council are a bunch of Nazi's with the Naperville Police as their SS or Gestapo.

Wake up people ---------- This must be stopped. I thought the the city council was to serve the citizens and not the citizens serve council.

Also, it seems funny that if you are willing to pay the one time fee of about $68.00 and then $25 per month to have your meter read you can keep your old meter. It's all about the money ! Who's pockets are getting lined on this one ??

Went on the City's website and there was a link but no video. Guess they don't want anyone to see what happened. Again, I think that the meters are safe, but I don't like the way this was handled. There was a rush for the money, then all sorts of public communication. Heres an idea. Admit you went too fast with little facts.

The City Council looks bad when it tries to stifle residents, period. Also, the Clerk saying they need extra days to do the FOIA when it coincides with some deadline for the anti-Gird people looks extremely bad. When will these people learn that this is about the residents not the arrogant City Council or staff? Although my guess is that the City Council just tells the staff what to do. There are some real issues here. It's too bad that there aren't any reporters to dig into this.

Naperville egos never die.

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