While temperatures remained below freezing outside, inside the municipal center, the city council meeting was heating up.
Opponents to the new digital smart meters denounced the council and city manager Doug Krieger for allowing police officers to arrest two Naperville women on January 23rd for refusing the installation of the meters on their homes.
“Fire the city manager, the acting police chef, the police officers who participated, and any city staff involved who allowed them to do so,” said Naperville resident Jerry Schilling.
“I certainly don’t take these comments personally, [but] I absolutely do take them seriously and take them under advisement,” said Krieger in response. “At the end of the day we make the best decision for the city as a whole.”
After the first speaker, the audience got so loud with cheering and clapping that Mayor Pradel called for a 5-minute recess to allow for the temperament to calm, which seemed to only add fuel to the fire as people shouted “Just go home!” and “Resign!” to the mayor and council.
Upon resuming the meeting, Mayor Pradel made it a point to reiterate council rules, citing that all audience members must refrain from booing, cheering, or clapping or other signs of expression during or after anyone’s comments.
But the criticisms didn’t stop coming, as seventeen other speakers continued to testify against the meters and the council.
“I’m here to let the public know what you’re doing and that is intimidation using the Naperville police.” said Nancy Lauers.
“The city ordinance clearly states that the director, along with the city attorney should apply for an administrative search warrant if the property owner denied permission,” said Tom Glass of Naperville. “Here’s your code. You ignored it.”
“There’s a piece of paper in this country called the constitution. You might try reading it,” said Trisha Tilton, also a city resident. “That gives citizens freedoms and rights, including the citizens of Naperville. One of those freedoms is choice but from what I’ve seen, hear and read around the city and at these meetings regarding the smart meters, it sounds more like a dictatorship.”
These protests follow a two-year long effort from the group known as “Naperville Smart Meter Awareness” to stop the installation of 57,000 meters that better monitor electric use.
The group says the meters’ radiation is unsafe and they reserve the right to choose what goes on their homes. They have a federal lawsuit against the city that is still pending.
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