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81 Comments

Who are you thinking?

Just a bit of an interesting observation about the 11 candidates running for city council in April and which ward/district they reside:

Ward 1 Wentz, Davis

Ward 2 Hinterlong

Ward 3 Glass, Floegel, Coyne, Malik

Ward 4 Krummen, Krause, Habel, Brodhead

Ward 5 NO CANDIDATE

Here is the link to the ward/district map if you aren't sure which one you are in:

http://www.naperville.il.us/emplibrary/DistrictMapFinal.pdf

I'm bored. I want to backhand someone in the face to spice things up.

The fear mongering about wards is more about loss of power, loss of control, and mostly about money.

If wards (or districts) work perfectly well at the county, state, and federal level I would certainly love to hear an intelligent argument as to why they can't or won't work at the local level.

The people spoke loudly and by a large percent when they voted FOR wards. I anticipate going back to at-large representation will fail for a couple of reasons. First and foremost the sitting city council clearly has no clue as to how badly they have angered the vast majority of Naperville voters by their self-dealing tactics. Second, the city going to court to delay the implementation (at the urging of the sitting city council) was another slap in the face to the will of the voters.

On the long shot that the referendum succeeds there will be two likely courses of action that follow:

First, there will be a law suit to demand the will of the people from the first vote be fully implemented because if it isn't the whole electoral process becomes a mockery of fairness and justice. Once the ward system is implemented then an equitable amount of time should be allowed to dismantle the ward system and return it to the at large system. Fair is fair and I've heard the ACLU is already interested and watching this one.

Second, the binding referendum process has been blown wide open by this. The city council should have been more careful about what they wished for when they did this. The people can now circulate their own binding petition and I know one group that is ready to go for wards again and another group that is ready to go after dismantling the smart grid and another group that wants to tie city hall's hands with regard to TIF's and tax abatement's like they just gave Walmart.

The current city council is going to regret they ever pointed the way forward with binding referendums. Until now most people believed all the people could do were put forth non-binding referendum questions and only the city council could put a binding referendum on the ballot. This is a major game changer and all hell is about to break loose.

Speaking of Water street, I just saw that Oyne is running for council.

If I recall correctly, he was on the Plan Commission when it roundly approved the Water St. Project at 90 ft tall!

And, in my opinion, Coyne was adamant during the discussions over the past several months that he did NOT need to see more data or a new proposal as he already knew the 90 ft one was great for Naperville.

Of course, we all kept pushing, and now the project is about 60 ft or so, the signage is less obtrusive, and the overall project is much closer to having a "Naperville" feel.

In my opinion, given what we would have been stuck with if we relied on Coyne I cannot fathom him being on the City Council.

Two comments:

1. Loved the inept Mayor saying that he is worried that the downtown will become a "night club" district if Ballydoyle comes in. What is a "night club" George? Somewhere where the Rat Pack hangs out-like in Vegas? Or, are you worried that Quigley's owners may not like another Irish pub?

2. Grant Wehrli's rant about the Chamber letter made the front page of the DH. I hope the Sun will report on it. HIs refusal to back the Water St. project because he wanted to prohibit the name "Riverwalk" in it is just plain wrong. Several businesses already use the name. It's really not too much Government, it's too much Grant.

When does it stop? When Naperville becomes Wehrliville?

It's unfortunate that such a qualified candidate acts the way he does. He does not respect other's opinions, he is disrespectful to people that speak before the Council, and he does not look to build concensus. He's not the only one.

I think he's a smart guy, just too full of himself. But, he does have the ability to change-so I'd like to see that. In all of them.

To answer your question LaCuc, according to the City of Naperville website, Councilman Wehrli was on the following boards and commissions:

Community Concert Center Board
Historic Sites Commission, Former Member
Plan Commission, Former Chairman
Riverwalk Commission
Naperville Education Foundation, Former Member
Naper Settlement Board
Naperville Development Partnership

I particularly remember watching him on the Plan Commission before he was chosen to fill the temporary council seat you mentioned. I couldn't think of a more qualified person at the time. He then WON his election. There's nothing wrong with winning an election based on the name recognition earned over time. To me, that's what's right about our current election process. To me, it's much better than winning just because you live in a certain subdivision of town.

Judging from your comments you don't like Councilman Wehrli, or his personality as you see it. Everyone has reasons why they vote for, or don't vote for a candidate. I guess your vote is one vote he won't get if he runs next time.

Wherli was elected due to the exact problem and reason most of this council gets elected. Name recognition. It's his parents who have been known in Naperville forever, and they might deserve recognition, but anyone who has ever watched a City Council Meeting and watched Grant the Rant with one of his tantrums would know he wasn't a qualified City Council Representative for this City. It's who you know, not at all what you know, that get's people elected right now, and that needs to change. Anything that leads to voters being MORE informed about who is representing them (perhaps districts helps with this, perhaps not, but it's worth a shot) is worth trying. Apparently most voters, who by the way can't vote on a referendum due to what name sounds familiar, get that - and if the City Council doesn't like it, that is unfortunate, as they have given little or no consideration to what the residents believe in or don't as they have made decisions for us the past several years.

BTW - Krieger said he would be able to eliminate the $450 a month car allowances for Directors and his other friends in 2013. Has that happened? Why do I have doubts? Probably because taking money from his cronies isn't a popular decision with those how are considered "important" - but as a tax payer, it is bad enough to pay these inept Directors and Managers a salary they don't deserve, to pay for their cars as well is insulting. Check into their bonus pay too - the only way they earn it is by lying and taking money from those who aren't connected the way they are - not one of the current team deserves what they make, much less an extra nickle.

He was appointed the first time he sat on the Council. That's what I am referring to. That is a huge advantage over other candidates. BTW, what City Commissions was he on? I don't recall that.

Thanks for the comments on respecting votes and voters. Kind of like the district referendum. You need to respect that vote.

Wehrli is the most self-serving, arrogant, pompous Councilman up there. And that's saying a lot. His latest gripe about not supporting Water Street because he didn't want the name "Riverwalk" in there is a hoot. Vote for no for the project, not because you didn't get your way with naming rights. He ought to think about Naperville stealing the name from San Antonio before he claims it for the Wehrli family,

Sun, that Captcha is spotty.

LaCuc,

When Councilman Wherli last ran for City Council he was ELECTED with MORE votes than any other candidate. Who he knows, and what he knows are important qualifications to do the best job for us here in Naperville. Maybe you call that being an "insider". He was born and raised here. I really don't care who is related to him, or not related to him, but Councilman Wherli has said he grew up in a family where giving back to the community is important, from laying bricks to build the Riverwalk, to working on city commissions, to serving on City Council, and I believe it because he's done it all.

When are you going to realize every member of our City Council was ELECTED by the voters of Naperville? You don't seem to respect THOSE votes. Obviously people don't agree with YOU. Maybe you should just give it up.

They are all connected and insiders. That's the point. You don't get it.

Remember, Wehril got appointed to an open spot by the inept Mayor. He was not elected. That's how incest starts.

When are you going to understand that a 2:1 vote shows that people don't agree with you? Let it go.

Oh believe me, I noticed Chirco and McElroy get in .... just more of the same sadly. Chirco, again, Wherli's brother in law. is no different than a softer spoken Furstenau. his views are just as narrow and his approach just as self serving. These are two examples of why the at large system ISN'T working - insiders who think just like the current members are given a leg up, and we end up with more of the same, followed by more of the same.

If anyone was truly looking out for the residents here, the referendum on the Smart Meters would have been allowed (as LaC pointed out, it was NON BINDING, it would only have left the current Council embarrassed as they should have been for forcing this project down our throats - there would not have been ANY action required legally, only ethically). THEN the vote that was already taken would have been honored, and we wouldn't be hearing right now that we need ANOTHER vote to make sure we poor saps understand what we voted for in the first place. Spare me.

We should at least give a chance to a new system, a new system that was voted on and approved by the residents instead of having this City decide for us that we didn't know what we meant. I voted for districts, and I was quite certain what I meant, and this new ploy by our self appointed rulers is insulting.

Anononon,
First, I am not associated with any city official or employee, and my comments are my own. You actually sound like YOU are a city insider claiming you know "what goes on behind the scenes".

I don't know if you noticed, but the voters of Naperville DO elect new people to City Council without the need for election districts. For example, CHIRICO was elected for the first time two years ago, along with another rookie, Joe McElroy. Two years before that Paul Hinterlong, and Judy Brodhead were elected to City Council for the first time.

Many of your opinions, and the arguments of other pro-district/anti-smart-meter people, are not based on facts, or simply based on out-of-context misrepresentations of facts.

Over the years, many new councilmen have been elected because of their experience on the board of the Naperville Planning and Zoning Commission. Residents, like myself, have been watching them in action in that role for years, and often feel confident they have gained the knowledge and experience with our city government to make educated decisions. That's in part how they gained their name recognition, but I agree name recognition in itself is not enough.

Bottom line, Naperville voters have chosen our City Council, and I’d like to see it stay that way. Let’s not let outsiders, and special interest groups manipulate our local government.

Friday's article on the sequester is at best disingenuous, and at best pandering (or both!)

Did the writers do ANY research? Do they realize the cuts are only to the projected increase in spending? That the numbers provided are not accurate, or mathematically possible, per the sequester? That Obama can redirect the dollars cut to any applicable department?

SNT,

The fear mongering is that we'll end up like Chicago if we have wards. Dean Reschke said it several times.

I, like many others, are opposed to smart meters not because of percieved safety hazards, but because I don't think there is any ROI to justify the expense. I think the City Manager made up the figures to justify the project. Also, I think they should have had a non-binding referendum for the project. The City Council rammed this down our throats with little discussion, then hired a PR firm for $400k to make it look like they wanted input... after the fact.

There is so much wrong with this argument it is impossible to know where to start. You sound very much like a member of this council, or possibly an ally of a member who has agreed to put the company line out there for all to hear.

This council likes to fall back on "rules" when they favor their argument, and ignore them when they don't. They didn't like the Smart Meter Referendum, so they found a lacky to protest it on technical issues so that the public wouldn't have a chance to vote. They knew full well that if it was voted on, it would very likely lose, and they had no intention of stopping their wasteful spending ego project based on something as insignificant as a public referendum.

The public DID vote on the districts, but that isn't good enough for this council, as they know better what we all want than we do right? WRONG!!! This is the thinking that IS the problem. This council, and the handful off people who are playing for their benefit, want it both ways. No referendum if it won't support their personal agenda, then a second vote to tear down what has already been voted on so that it will meet their personal agenda.

There is a group of people in Naperville who seem to think they know best, and that they get to decide all, and the rest of us peons just need to sit back and take whatever they feel like dishing out. Voter apathy is what allows this to continue. How many people vote on name recognition alone? Way too many, I assure you. That is what has kept the inept like this Mayor, or Grant Wherli, or his brother in law Chirco, sitting where they are. If the majority of the residents had even a clue what goes on behind the scenes - they would be repulsed.

THAT is why people try to stand up against Smart Meters, and that is why so many people voted for districts. If people start voting for candidates from their own districts, maybe, just maybe, they will learn something more about their candidate than that their name sounds familiar. Name recognition kept Furstenau in office until he chose to completely self destruct under the weight of his own ego - so we really need to wait for the current council members to do the same before we make some changes?

LaCuc,

The objector to the Yes, At Large referendum went to court to appeal the Election Board’s decision to put the referendum on the April ballot. The court upheld the Board's decision. The judge confirmed the requirements for the referendum were fulfilled, and no bias was shown by the board at the hearing. The judge indicated it is the people's right, and part of living in a democracy.

Obviously, there's nothing fundamentally wrong with having the referendum on the ballot, no matter who supports or doesn’t support it. It's up to the voters. I am not aware of any "fear mongering" by Yes, At Large.

You don’t have to split up the city into election districts for voters to elect NEW people if the people of Naperville want new people in office.

In a previous post you said the CC should just shut up and listen to speakers at meetings, but most speakers act insulted by their silence if they don't respond. The old damned if you do, damned if you don't set up. To me, City Council has been very patient with comments, assertions, and quest ions by speakers. Early on, many anti-meter speakers were insulted when they were told their time was up, before all their questions were answered during Public Forum. How rude, and dismissive, would you say?

How many speakers had to tell CC that smart meters start fires despite the City Manager's RESPONSE that fires in meters in other cities have been found to be the result of faulty sockets, and Naperville is replacing any bad sockets during installation? Did the speakers hear that? Did THEY listen?

Do you really think the anti-smart-meter people would suddenly agree smart meters are perfectly fine for them just because the Smart Grid Initiative had been approved by a referendum vote?

Also, these anti-smart-meter people watchdogs don't seem to realize Naperville has been recording CC meetings, and other city events, from start to finish for YEARS! For all to see. They seem to think they invented video at the meetings. We have been watching our city officials in action LIVE… TV reruns… even on demand any time. We, the informed Naperville residents, KNOW what’s going on here. We don’t have to rely on staged, and directed watchdogs telling people what to think.


SNT,

First off, voters already made the decision to go to wards. The discussion we're having would not happen if not for the sitting Mayor and City Council manipulating the implementation of the system in order to get another shot at the thing. That is deplorable, it's wrong and a bad precedent.

That said, I think the current system encourages only connected and like-minded residents to run and win the election. There is no new blood. What you're doing is speculating to bolster your opinion. The voters voted, and we should have already implemented the system and actually SEE what happens. All your side is doing is fear mongering.

People want change, they voted for it, give it to them.

-1,
If I am correct, there is currently one member of City Council in District 5. Some members of City Council currently live near the borders of adjoining districts.

As time goes by, finding the best candidate in ANY district might pose a problem. We can always convince Uncle Joe to run when there are no other quality candidates in that area. As you ask, what are the residency requirements? With districts, voters will end up electing a candidate just because they live in their district instead of having the opportunity to elect the best candidate to represent them.

Conversely, there may be particular areas with SEVERAL excellent candidates who will not have the opportunity to be elected because there are too many top candidates running against each other in that district.

I'm not a mathematician, but I don't buy your idea that somehow districts will improve your voting power.

To me, splitting Naperville in to election districts will hinder, and complicate the election process, with no discernible benefits for voters, and residents.

Fortunately, Naperville is not like Aurora or Wheaton. I'm not impressed with the fact that other communities have election districts. I’d hate to see Naperville making changes to be more like Aurora.

SNT,

I think the current group is smarter, yet less respectful to residents than any of the CC's that I've seen-and that's over 40 years worth. Mayor Pradel, compared to Small, Rybicky, Price, clearly, clearly the worst. Not even close. No economic development skills, no leadership skills.

I agree that yelling at them probably doesn't work well, but these people are frustrated. IMO, we, the residents, should have had a referendum on smart meters, and we didn't. We had one on wards and one side won, now the same side that didn't want the smart meter referendum wants the ward referendum. It's fundamentally unfair. The Council doesn't want wards because they all want to protect their pay, pensions, and health insurance. Ultimately, it's the Council's job to LISTEN to residents, not rediclule them, and then make a decision. That's how democracy works.

Also, same problems minus mentioned regarding the text entered wrong message.

Thanks.

If that district info is true, I seems like you are saying only District 5 might have trouble finding someone qualified to be in office since each other district has someone in city council.

Voting power is a funny phrase. In maths it tends to refer to the relative probability that you will be a critical vote of a winning coalition. That is a bit hard to compute comparing a slate with multiple and you choose n (where n=open slots).

I suspect that you are not losing much voting power at all by going to districts. Yes, you have fewer things to vote on, but your vote is probabilistically more likely to be meaningful. It is likely that those who vote in a district with less than 1/5 of the population have a slightly increased voting power.

I do not understand the fear mongering from the Yes-At-Large about wards. Cities around us have a hybrid system (ahem -- not wards) without great problems.

Your comments about not finding a qualified candidate in a district seems downright silly.

We still each will have a vote on FIVE council members -- our district, 3 at large and the mayor.

As you may have also figured out, being a voter in an election and influencing the vote of the election are separate entities.

-1

(note: I have been getting "entered text is wrong" when it is clearly correct)

-1
I'm not absolutely sure, but I'll try to answer your last question. As far as I can tell there are no City Councilmen living in District 1, three in District 2 (one appears very close to District 1), one in District 3, three in District 4, and one in District 5. I believe the Mayor is in District 2.

As a longtime observer of the workings of my Naperville City Council, I think our current council is a vast improvement over previous years.

Yes, I've seen council members' responses, or lack of responses, to the statements of the Anti-Smart-Meter-Group and others speaking during Public Forum.

My open-mindedness let's me know that overall my council is doing a good job, despite what some might want me to think. You and I can communicate our concerns to them anytime. Apparently yelling at them, chastising them, calling for their resignations, making campaign speeches, and lecturing them with opinions they don't ascribe to are ways to do it. Ultimately it is the responsibility of our elected officials to make the final decisions. That is their job. That's how democracy works.

Running a city isn't always easy. They don't always agree with each other, let alone agree with every opinion of every Naperville resident on every issue. That's IMPOSSIBLE. If you care to listen, each Councilman has his/her reasons for the decisions they make, agree or not.

MY City Council is not always perfect, but I know I'm not buying what the Anti-Smart-Meter Group, and their political backers are trying to sell us.

P.S. I saw Naperville Smart Meter Awareness/Naperville Voter Education League's "Bill Eagan for City Council" website while surfing the net the other day, but I don't see that he has signed up for this year's election. Maybe next time.

Repeating my post from below since the answer has not appeared. Maybe SNT can answer since it is his/her city council. Maybe just the last question would be good enough. Maybe (gasp) the moderator could find out how many present city council members live in each proposed district.


Can someone please answer the residency requirements?

For example, can we get Alan Keyes to come run against Hilary Clinton if they share an apartment in my district? How long would they need to "live" in my district, and what does it mean to "live" in a district?

If my district is so bereft of adequate people wanting to run for City Council (how ever could we find someone qualified from a population of 25k+ people) , how do I get one to be in my district if they happen to also have a house in another district?

Can yes-At-Large tell me how many of the *nine* city council members live in each district right now?

thanks,

-1

Really? Trying to unseat "our" City Council? You mean yours. No kidding, of course that's what they are trying to do. That's a revelation? Sheesh.

I thought you were somewhat of an open minded person. Not so.

Oh, BTW, the person spearheading the YES group ran the Mayor's campaign's the past few elections. Conflict of interest? Hmmmm, I think so.

Anyone who wants to unseat the current City Council has my vote. The current group has been arrogant and self serving to the extreme, and has done no favors for anyone except their personal interests and friends. They have no interest in the average resident, or anyone who isn't part of their inner circle.

If those who are running will replace the current City Manager (Council Puppet) and his band of yes men, then they are immediately 10 steps ahead of the group we have in place right now.

Can't wait til election day to have my chance to vote in hopes of giving Naperville a fresh and fair start.

In one of my previous posts, I found it interesting the anti-smart-meter group (the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness Group who are suing us here in Naperville to contest our Smart Grid Initiative), were involved in the recent Electoral Board meetings to hear an objector’s challenge to the Yes, At Large referendum on how City Council is elected.

I get it now. The person behind the Smart Meter Awareness Group, and the Naperville Voter Education League (who sponsored the 2010 referendum to split the city into districts) is Bill Eagan, who is running for City Council.

I question the 2010 push for election districts, lawsuits against the city, using the Public Forum at City Council meeting to interrogate, and chastise our elected officials, bringing Tea Party, John Birch Society advocates, and others to Naperville to weigh in on, and agitate the action.

Along with Bill Eagan, we now have two other candidates for City Council who have been involved in all the ruckus over the past couple years, including the Federal lawsuit.

I think it's all a big political ploy. They are obviously attempting to unseat our City Council in order to achieve their own political ambitions.

"This is a complete failing, again, of the Mayor. He simply cannot, or will not, run the meeting." I completely agree with this statement. It's always been a problem that no one is really at the wheel at these meetings.

It is clear to me that the City Council has for years, and continues to, treat speakers that oppose their views with contempt. This is a complete failing, again, of the Mayor. He simply cannot, or will not, run the meeting.

All they have to do is listen to the speaker's comments, and shut up. But, they can't do it. They cannot resist the urge to TELL us how we out to think and act. That's what whips up the speakers. They look like the Roman Senate up there. It's a republic, not a democracy.

Finally, the opt out rules do not seem failr to me. They appear to be geared towards total compliance, not some resident's feelings. If the Council truly cared about people that opposed smart meters they would have made it less expensive and easier to opt out. They would get their total compliance at some time, but they can't wait-because they all know better than us.

No one should feel intimidated from speaking during Public Forum at Naperville City Council meetings, but I believe speakers, and observers, need to respect the rules, and procedures in order to maintain proper decorum without the need for calls to order from the dais.

I also don't think the way the city recently handled installing the Smart Meter at the home of a Smart Grid Awareness Group leader was the best way to do it. Apparently, she had the option to choose a non-wireless Smart Meter, but she never notified the city, so a wireless Smart Meter was installed there.

As a Smart Grid/Meter opponent suggested during the Public Forum, the city should have just given notice to the homeowner that the home would be taken off the Naperville electric grid, so they could find another source of electricity. I agree. If a homeowner doesn’t want to use our electric system, the city should let them be disconnected from the system. The problem is, the city still needs to access the homeowner’s property to remove the city's electric meter. The meter is owned by the city, not the homeowner.

Despite my total support for the speakers’ rights to speak, I don’t think we need lectures from political advocacy groups, out-of-towners, local political candidates, and others muddying up the facts, and disrupting our Naperville City Council meetings to advance their political views, and agendas.

The masses, may not be MASSES, but the same ole company line about this just being a few disgruntled residents isn't right either. Their are a handful of group leaders who haven't been intimidated into not talking, but there are MANY MANY MANY who don't agree with what the City has done, and continues to do. Dismissing the issue is something that the rank and file has become very experienced at, but it is a mistake to minimize the very real animosity MANY hold over this issues and others like it.

The masses? Maybe a couple dozen of the same disruptive Smart Meter Awareness Group members and supporters who have been regularly bellyaching about the Smart Grid Initiative at every opportunity. Some in attendance weren't even Naperville residents. For example, we heard speakers from Woodridge, and Palatine during the public forum. One out-of-town SMAG leader supporter admonished our Naperville City Council to educate themselves through the John Birch Society website. Please....

Also, I found the outbursts of one speaker, a SMAG supporter, totally out of line. It's not the first time he has publicly raised his voice to berate our elected officials, and staff. Also, if he can't tell the difference between applause for community award winners, and applause during public comments, he obviously has no clue. Isn't he running for City Council? Oh, please....
.

One of the best meetings in recent memory. The Mayor was gasping for breath trying to gavel the masses.

I typed it in exactly as it appeared, exactly. This is the error that I get from time to time... after I've already typed something. Then, you can't return to your original message.

A little excitement at Council meetings! Yes! That's what I'm talkin' about.

It was budgeted for GRID improvements (none of the meters were budgeted) - 9 Million over 4 years. 9 mil over 4 years made sense, and improved everything that needed improvement. Spending an additional 2 million directly from the Naperville budget now as opposed to spreading it out over 4 years is/was wasteful, even if you believe the numbers they spew about being in at or under budget (which you shouldn't). The other 11 million came out of our pockets as well, not as directly, but it still comes from the people, it is NOT magic money! People LOVE to complain about the deficit, but when "free money" from the Federal Government becomes available they jump all over wasting it. It's a sad statement about our town and our "leadership" that they allowed their ego's to outrun their better judgement and spent in essence 13 million dollars (and more) with no benefit to the residents, whose opinions on the matter were never asked for or even considered.

I keep getting text was entered wrong errors. What is wrong?

Can someone please answer the residency requirements?

For example, can we get Alan Keyes to come run against Hilary Clinton if they share an apartment in my district? How long would they need to "live" in my district, and what does it mean to "live" in a district?

If my district is so bereft of adequate people wanting to run for City Council (how ever could we find someone qualified from a population of 25k+ people) , how do I get one to be in my district if they happen to also have a house in another district?

Can yes-At-Large tell me how many of the *nine* city council members live in each district right now.

thanks,

-1

SNT,

First, it cost $11M of Naperville taxpayer's money. Okay, it cost $11M of federal taxpayer's money so we ripped off others in order to fund half of our bonehead project, fine. I will concede that it is better to rip off others than be ripped off, but that's really a lose lose, not a win win.

My point is that this project has no return on investment. The numbers don't work. In fact the budget just went up $1M. It was done because two Councilman wanted to do something new. Even if it was budgeted, it should have been held until the ROI was justified.

Oh, and the only people that got stimulated here were the consultants that were wired into this project from the start.

Further evidence of arrogance and corruption by our elected officials.

BTW, the second $11 million was not manufactured out of thin air --- it, too, came from us and our taxes!

The anti-smart-meter people like to repeatedly say, or imply the city of Naperville is paying $22 million for the Smart Grid/Smart Meter project. That is misleading, and NOT TRUE!

I don't agree with most of what you say to LaCuc here, but I’d like to respond to one of your statements. You say "be it by spending 22 million dollars on something that was/is unnecessary (they had a 4 year plan to implement smart GRID technology before they decided it was better to force this 22 million dollar project down everyone's throat. Why the rush?)"

As I recall, the city applied for funds available through a Federal Recovery Act to upgrade our electrical grid through the Smart Grid Initiative. The federal government made the funds available to help stimulate the economy during the economic recovery. As you mention, Naperville had already budgeted for electrical grid improvements even before winning the funds. Also, many other cities were competing for these funds. Naperville WON an $11 million federal stimulus grant to pay half of the $22 million dollar project!

Improvements to the grid will be necessary in the coming years anyway, and this stimulus money helps pay for them!

It sounds like a win - win situation to me. The project helps our country move forward, and benefits us here in Naperville at the same time.

I understand the candidate must reside in the district. That is one of the main ideas behind the change to districts. According to the Naperville Voter Education League web site "Under a district system, your Councilman lives, drives, walks, and shops in your neighborhood.” In my opinion, I don't think districts in Naperville will be helpful, and I find the whole concept divisive. Under the "at-large" system, I can contact any, and all eight Councilmen with any concerns about issues that affect my part of town at any time.

It is obvious to me when a voter can only vote to fill four council seats, instead of the eight council seats that serve Naperville, the voter's power to have their vote count is cut in half. As I see it, if you can't vote for someone who will be making decisions that affect your neighborhood, you are giving up your voting power.

Can someone tell me the residency requirements to be elected for these districts?

Can SWNT look up the definition of voting power?

-1

Their logic is totally flawed, but it is meant to influence those who don't pay that much attention into thinking the theory behind all this is better representation.

When the Anit Smart Grid group presented a request for a referendum, the City mobilized every possible force to make sure that no resident ever got a chance to vote on their pet project, which was certain to lose given the 22 million wasted tax payer dollars they spent without giving a shred of consideration to how the residents felt about it.

When the residents VOTED to put districts into place, the City then mobilized all possible resources to convince voters they made a mistake and that they should get a do over.

The common ingredient here is that THIS City Council and THIS City Management group act as though they ARE the City of Naperville, and what the 100,000 plus people who aren't them or their friends are not smart enough to have their opinions considered.

The Council and the management put disinformation out on these blogs, and at every other opportunity in order to squelch every objection. They like to call anyone who doesn't agree with them nuts, crazies, tin foil hat wearers, etc... etc.... They pretend that anyone who doesn't agree with them is misinformed or stupid.

The group that currently runs this City is ego driven and self absorbed to the extreme. Ethics is not a word they understand, or have any interest in considering.

For the record, I don't care one way or the other about the Smart Meters - I ONLY care that this arrogant group repeatedly displays the same contempt for the residents of the community, be it by spending 22 million dollars on something that was/is unnecessary (they had a 4 year plan to implement smart GRID technology before they decided it was better to force this 22 million dollar project down everyone's throat. Why the rush?) or in this instance where the people VOTED to have districts, and they now want to void that vote.

Does no one find it ironic that they had no interest in putting the Smart Grid project up to a vote, but want to reverse a vote that has already happened?

The most important vote right now is the one that will allow us to get rid of as many current council members as possible, in hopes that a new council will also remove the City Manager and his current team of do nothing yes man Directors.

LaCuc,

Your first post said you voted for the election districts, but I'm glad to know you didn't. I am also in favor of honoring the vote of the people. That is why I support approval of the Yes, At Large referendum vote.

The district system empowers the "few" in each district while reducing the voting power of all Naperville voters. What if there are no legitimate candidates in your district? Do you have to just draft one of your neighbors to get someone on the ballot? I prefer to have our candidates chosen by the quality of their character instead of their geographic location in town.

Citizens can petition their government, and the Yes, At Large group did just that. They secured enough signatures to put a binding referendum on the April ballot to allow the voters of Naperville to voice their choice. The objections to the validity of signatures, and clarity of wording were not sustained, and did not convince the Review Board to take that right away.

Perhaps the price of a phone is not analogous to the price of upgrading an electrical grid, and all related equipment, to serve over 130,000 people. I was referring to the advancement of technology to better serve people. It's also nice to know Naperville taxpayers don't have to pay $22 million dollars for it.

Jim,

What do you think cost more, the hearing or the referendum? My guess is the referendum. I think your logic is more than a little flawed.

Um, I did not vote for the districts. I'm in favor of honoring the vote of the people, not the few.

What will you do when you lose?

Your analogy between a $200 phone and a $22M project is a little off.

Thank you for your support of the Yes, at Large effort. I too believe too much city time and money was wasted on the frivolous objections. The question will be on the ballot for the April 9th election. I encourage you to talk to your Naperville friends, relatives, neighbors and acquaintances and convince them to join our team in returning city council elections to an At Large system. This is the best way to keep Naperville united and allow voters the strongest voice by being able to vote for all 9 city council members. Please vote YES on April 9th. Visit YesatLarge.com for more information and to help us with our voter education campaign.

LaCuc,

First of all, I support the Smart Grid initiative, so I don't consider it a waste of taxpayer money. It's moving the city into the future. Do you still use an old "brick" cell phone, or have you moved on to a new smart phone? Just asking...

Secondly, I would tell you, or anyone else who voted in favor of the 2010 referendum to please rethink your vote. Here are a few things to consider:

1. Do you realize you voted to reduce the voting power of each and every Naperville voter in half, when it comes to electing City Councilmen?

2. Do you, and those voters realize the 2010 referendum divided the city into five separate election districts to elect one city councilman to represent their district, leaving only three councilmen they can elect at large?

3. Do you realize the 2010 referendum reduced the number of councilman each voter can elect down to only four, instead of the power to elect all eight councilman at large, to represent you?

4. Do you realize there may be more qualified people to better serve you, and our residents, who might happen to live in another area of Naperville who will be blocked out of the chance to serve on City Council just because they live in the wrong "district"?

5. Do you realize you can only vote for one candidate to represent your district, and you are blocked out of voting for the other four councilmen running to represent the other four districts?

6. Do you really want the city divided into separate election districts, and deal with all the "ward-style" political games, and often taxpayer costs, that can come with it?

As a Naperville resident, I feel the "Yes, At Large" referendum represents the people of Naperville, and my interests by allowing the voters a chance to keep the City Council elections at large. It will still be up to the voters, and they might, in my opinion, make the same mistake again. At least there will be an opportunity for voters to inform themselves about the ramifications of the previous 2010 referendum, compared to voting yes for the new referendum to keep our City Council elected at large.

P.S. As far as the referendum objection, the objectors attorney said it well when he said "Everyone knows what's going on here". That's right! An obvious retaliation against the city by the anti-smart-grid people because their smart-grid referendum didn't have enough signatures to appear on the ballot last year. Their attorney referred to the electoral board hearing last year, including his "train-wreck" comment, several times. The anti-smart grid speakers in the public forum (Tom Glass, etc.) put the exclamation point on it.

In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915-1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929-1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

In 1935, China established gun control. From 1948-1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

In 1938, Germany established gun control. From 1939-1945, 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.

In 1956, Cambodia established gun control. From 1975-1977, 1 million educated people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

In 1970, Uganda established gun control. From 1971-1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.

In 1964, Guatemala established gun control. From 1964-1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

In 1997, Australia made it almost impossible to own a firearm. Since then, accidental gun deaths are 300% higher than the pre-1997 ban rate. The assault rate has increased 800% since 1991, and increased 200% since the 1997 gun ban. From immediately after the ban was instituted in 1997 through 2002, the robbery and armed robbery rate was up 200% over the pre-ban rates. In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 171 percent.

In 1998, The UK made it almost impossible to own a firearm. Over the next 10 years, gun crimes increased 89%, resulting in police carrying guns for the first time in history in some areas.

So, you can see that gun control has no effect on crime, other than making it increase exponentially because the criminals who follow no laws to begin with know that there are no armed people to stop them...Of course gun control works fantastically if you are a dictator hell-bent on murdering millions of people. In that case, gun control is a necessity for gaining power. The founders understood this, and that is why the 2nd amendment is the 2nd amendment.

SNT,

I contend that the waste of taxpayer money is the $22M spend on smart grid... and nobody got to vote on that!

As for the referendum, what do you say to people like me that voted for districts and see this as a CIty Council and staff sponsored "do-over?" Also, your wording is a little misleading. How does the question account for the referendum that was already passed?

Personally, you had a chance to vote on the wards issue and you lost. Now you and City Council and staff sponsored group want to dupe people into changing the outcome. Where does it stop?

I watched the local electoral board Referendum Objection Hearing today, as well as last week. It appears the anti-smart meter people feel the need to continue to publicly retaliate against our city, and waste taxpayer money in the process, even when the issue has nothing to do with smart meters.

Anyway, I would like to see the question on the ballot regarding the way City Council is elected read something like this:

"Shall the city continue to elect all eight city councilmen at large instead of changing to elect three at large, and dividing the city into five separate districts to elect one councilman in each district."

Personally, I don't want to see the city divided up into wards. I like having all the members of city council representing me, not just a few.

Perhaps the could bill the Masons for the $25 million in tax money that was spent on the City Funded Obelisk on the Riverwalk; then use the money to pay down our $150 million dollar debt, then spend the savings on Interest payments on hiring a few more officers.

If you can't find the Obolisk, its at the base of the Pyramid shaped sled hill on the Riverwalk.

Couldn't have said it better. Tried to post a few times last week on the Marshall and Water street issues-nada.

Don't know if this will go through so not wasting my time typing more.

"Sun blog ----- R.I.P."

So much going on in and around Naperville and so few discussion posts. Even worse is how few people have figured out how to get past the technical problems that keep knocking posts out.

Clearly no one from the Naperville Sun either cares or has bothered to log in from an outside computer to really understand what we have to go through to post.

You are 100% spot on and probably the best thing any of us can do is just let Potluck sit completely idle for a few weeks and then maybe someone who actually gives a rats ass will get the message... whoever is the current moderator clearly doesn't have a clue.

" Police chief wants to put more officers on Naperville streets " Any one see this story??? Is there a way to attach a laugh track?

THIS from the guy who took the lead in laying off City Personnel, the guy who took a $20,000 bonus while working on his second pension and "managing" the City's first set of RIF's. THIS from the guy who stood with the City Council and Manager as they layed off Police Officers in an effort to break the Police Union.

The fact that this person still works at the City in any capacity (he should not be a janitor, much less a police chief) is a joke in and of itself. Now he pretends he is interested in Public Safety and is willing to pay Police Officers for the work they do.

Is City Management on Candid Camera?

There is so much wrong with all of this, but sadly, it is nothing we haven't seen before. Our Council and Management always assume they know best, and of course what is best for them personally, is what is best for Naperville. Rules and regulations apply to the REST of us, they don't apply to them.

This is the way the City will be run until we as residents do something to dislodge the arrogant from their self appointed thrones. There is an election coming up. Let's hope it makes a difference.

The Water Street Project:


It is disturbing to hear that Plan Commissioner Kevin Coyne is so sure of his own opinions that he does not even need to review the expressed concerns of many, many Naperville citizens concerning the Water Street Project!

He statement  “I supported the project in its original form and I support it now,” is, in my opinion,  indicative Coyne's closed mind and highlights a certain   hubris of certainty of his own views and wants  at the cost of established rules and regulations in Naperville. 

Coyne, like a few Council members,  sounds proud to  state he doesn't need to hear  his fellow citizens and their concerns on heights & density being obnoxiously beyond Naperville codes, inferring  he blindly supports the latest project despite its huge increase in hotel space.  

After all, they know better than the rest of us mere mortals and, based upon their super powers, can turn a deaf ear and a closed-mind to  the significant shortfall in parking provided by the project, and the unmeasured (in fact, prior to Council meetings IGNORED) effects on traffic, and the concerns of a giant 171 room hotel looming over the Riverwalk built with the vision, money, sweat and tears of this town's citizens!

Even scarier is the wholehearted support the city staff has given this 
project. It makes one wonder why we even have codes, rules, and strategies like Naperville 2030 if we are going to ignore them the first time a developer wants to do something that significantly trashes all of them!

My last  point involves transparency:  leading up to  the last Council meeting on the Water Street   project the developer met out of the public view with various council members. I will assume he kept these meetings to less than three members at a time to avoid breaking state laws. However, as a citizen, I view these meetings as unethical in that they were clearly against the spirit of the law. 

Now, we read again that "...... the developer had reached out to City Council members within the last week and indicated that he was still interested in pursuing the project.".  

Hmmmmm? Spidey sense is tingling........


Do ya ever think they just don't want to hear what we have to say? :-)

Sun blog ----- R.I.P.

The Sun blog died this month due to neglect, bad policy, and the creation & enforcement of rules that are the antithesis of the social media movement.

In an era of instant feedback, anonymous discussion, and limited rules, the Sun blog attempted tp apply 20th century newspaper media rules of etiquette and timing, and as such slowly withered and died.

We once knew you well Blog!

Just thought I'd try again.

I've got an error every time I've tried to post lately.

I saw Marshall at the Council meeting this week and he was dressed in all the police regalia, so I think he will have a hard time proving he is not a cop!

Chez,

I believe you are correct that Marshall is arguing that he is an administrator and therefore not serving as a police officer.

However, I think there are several fundamental problems with his argument. The first of which is I believe retired police officers in Illinois are still allowed to carry a weapon. That blurs the line between what Marshall is permitted to do as a retired officer and what he is actually doing as part of his official duties.

His bigger problem though is AFTER he argued that he is an administrator in from the of the hearing board he showed up in front of the press after the double murder in October wearing a full uniform and sporting a police badge.

Does that mean Marshall committed a felony? My understanding it is against the law for anyone other than a sworn police officer to wear an official police uniform and display a police badge. Or did Marshall commit perjury before the hearing board in terms of his official duties?

What is even weirder about the whole pension mess is where his contributions and the city contributions are actually going at present. What was reported is if Marshall serves as police chief less than 10 years (that seems to be a sure bet) his contributions go to IIMRF. If he serves more than 10 years his contributions go to the Sheriff's pension plan.

First, and ethics aside, I'd like to see the legality of Marshall ever receiving a Sheriff pension when he was never employed as a sheriff or by a sheriff department. How can that happen? If anyone can just sign up for the Sheriff pension then how about we all get in on this deal?

Second, how does anyone legally make pension contributions.... after the fact??? Pension funds are built around regular contributions and investments. Allowing someone to move money in and out of retirement funds based upon how long they are employed only potentially upsets the fund balance and stability for other pension fund contributors who were in it for the long haul. If I was an active member of either of these pension funds I'd be mad as heck that the pension fund administrators were allowing this kind of nonsense.

Hopefully, the hearing board will see this sham for what it is and revoke Marshall's current pension for the duration of his employment with the police department. That would be the right and honest thing to do. Marshall can't have his cake and eat it too!
He is either working for the department or he is retired. Pick one Bob.

And if you don't like those apples Bob, don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

I am still concerned about Marshall getting a pension WHILE being chief!

A person I respect asked me recently if Marshall will still be allowed to carry a badge and gun if he wins his case to have both (a pension and a salary from the police Dept).

I asked why, and this person told me the basis of Marshall's argument is that he is not really a cop as chief.

Chez what?

If there was a need to pay Dial as a consultant then it crystal clear that Marshall was not ready to put on his big boy pants and serve our city as Police Chief.

Someone drawing that kind of retirement from the Police Department and that kind of a salary from the Police Department certainly should not need any kind of training period.

If Marshall wasn't up to speed and ready to serve on day one then it is crystal clear that the wrong person was hired as Chief.

Considering who made the hiring decision it also casts a lot of suspicion on Krieger and his competence to serve as City Manager.

Only adding fuel to that suspicion is Krieger's back room deal with Dial that boxed out the City Council. We can only wonder what other monies Krieger has spent without informing the City Council that is within his so called discretionary limit.

Maybe the City Council needs to tighten the reigns on the City Manager's personal slush fund to require monthly or quarterly full disclosure on any funds Krieger has approved. Quite frankly, at $100K a pop the City Manager has the potential to spend several million dollars every fiscal year that the City Council may or may not approve of and that is just too risky in this day and age.

The City Council needs to be more involved in demanding transparency and accountability, as well as ensuring funds that are spent like this do not get squandered, go to cronies, or undermine sound purchasing practices that ensure the taxpayer gets the best value for our tax dollars.

I for one would like to see the written scope of Dial's consulting contract with a report prepared by Krieger for the City Council that outlines what Dial was hired to do and a summary of what Dial actually accomplished. Only then can the City Council make a reasonable decision if this was a justified and sound use of public money.

Hey, anyone still supporting the Teacher Union's earnings assumptions after this quote


"Here's some food for thought. The state estimates its unfunded pension liabilities at around $95 billion. But that rosy scenario is based on the assumption that pension investments earn some 8% a year. In fiscal 2012, the Teachers Retirement System had a 0.76% return, the State Employees Retirement System 0.05%, and the General Assembly Retirement System a negative 0.14%."


How do ya like them nooooooow!

That is a lot of corruption, but it is also the tip of the iceberg. Neither morality or ethics ever enter into the minds of this City Management. They think about what benefits them, and how the can make that happen. Lies and "deals" and stepping on decent people is all part of a days work at the City. Blame the Council, they permit it when they aren't encouraging it, then blame those who have sold their souls for these pathetic "power" positions - Krieger, Curran, Marshall, and so on have GOT TO BE FIRED .... the City is a filthy place where anything goes as long as it benefits the few.

Has the final decision been made as to whether or not Marshall gets to pull down hither a pension AND a salary while being chief?

If so, how is this either legal or moral?

If so, that means he is deemed to not be an acting cop. That means he should not ne allowed to carry a badge or gun, right?

Where is the SUN in all of this?

I agree. Even that Captcha is flawed. If you fail your submission, you need to retype. Now one could type in word and repost. Much more work.

This blog is not timely, many posts get lost (I have had at least ten, most of which I do not bother to repost).

We should look for a different forum so we can have uncensored comments. Higgins is wrong, free speach does not mean that the person making the comment should face retribution UNLESS such comments are slanderous.

1. Marshall should have been able to handle any of the tasks that Dial did-if he did anything. Either Marshall is incompetent, or Dial got a deal. Maybe both.
2. Nobody pays benefits and retirement to a consultant, nobody. How is that not re-employing Dial?
3. Krieger should have told the City Council that he hired Dial. The reason you don't do it is that you know they won't approve of it. That's career suicide.
4. The PR person tries to shut down the smart grid referendum and gets canned-a conflict of interest. The city's legal department supports Marshall getting his pension and salary-another conflict of interest. I'm guessing the city manager is behind both actions. People at those levels don't do those kinds of things on their own.

I smell a pattern here. Maybe a change of leadership? Since we can't fire the Council, fire the manager.

That's a lot of corruption you guys are talking about!

How did the city manager enter into a $45,000 consulting contract without city council approval? The city manager doesn't have authority to enter into a contract for that amount without city council approval.

Post faster.
Get rid of the e-mail requirement.
Sun interaction would be good. Elected officals as moderators might be interesting.

BTW, incredible story in the DH yesterday about Dial working for the City after he retired. I'd like to hear the Sun's take on that.

I have commented on this blog for several years too, but this is the first time I have even looked at it for several months. I lost interest after Ted left, when it started taking all day, or longer to see comments posted here. It was bad enough when it took a few hours. If the Sun wants to keep people's interest in participating on this blog, the posts need to appear within minutes, not days.

Totally agree with Chez What? that a captcha alone is more than adedequate to filter spam out of the moderator's inbox. However there are other bugs on the compose page that desperately need to be fixed that are preventing posters from being able to submit comments.

These technical problems are far more likely to be the direct cause of far fewer posters in recent weeks than any of the nonsense spewed by Thom. Obviously Thom's lack ability to use logic and reason isn't limited to just SD203. Of course there ARE those users who Thom has driven away from Potluck because he constantly uses this forum as his own personal bully pulpit.

The posts from many users simply are not getting through and theses posters are giving up when their post is rejected by the error screen page... "Comment Submission Error Your comment submission failed for the following reasons: Text entered was wrong. Try again."

Some of us have figured out a work around that we must use every single time in order for our posts to get through. Others are simply not that persistent or diligent as seen by the enormous decline ever since these so-called controls were implemented.

While I agree that a captcha is more than adequate to filter spam, that alone will not fix the other technical problems that are barriers to more posts being submitted. These problems need to be fixed so that posts can be submitted without erroneous error flags.

Potluck needs to work like it used to work on any computer, any operating system, and any browser. And when it gets fixed Potluck needs to advertise that it fixed the problem and let everyone know. Until then Potluck will remain on life support and will continue to die a slow death.

I think it’s clear that this blog is on life support and unless some things change, its time may have passed. Here are a few quick thoughts on reversing its decline:

Go back to an active moderator like Chris and Ted were. Actually I think it would be great if the blog could become a sort of “town square” with active participation of Sun employees responding to comments by posters (really tough I know with the Suns shoe-string staffing).

Promote it the paper and website to drive more people to the page.

Be more timely posting new topics.

Ask people in the news to post comments. I always appreciated Bob Fieseler’s willingness to post on these pages, but I understand why he stopped.

Which brings me to anonymous posters; it’s real easy to hide behind an anonymous moniker and spew all sorts of nonsense and invective. It gets really boring to read and it drives people away from posting. I’d strongly urge either a registration where people post under their own name, or a lot tighter monitoring of comments.

I’ve been posting on this blog for years, I’ve always appreciated the ability to offer my views and I hope the blog survives.

Thom Higgins

Yes ---- get rid of the email requirement.

The captcha is more than adequate to filter spam. The only reasons you can have for demanding email addresses is for either discovery or retribution/selling data.

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