The Naperville Municipal Officers Electoral Board has decided. After five hearings, the board voted not to allow a referendum question on the March 20th election ballot. This week the board, consisting of City Clerk Pam LaFeber, Councilman Doug Krause, and Mayor Pradel, who serves as chairman, decided that there were simply not enough signatures collected to allow the question:
“Shall the City of Naperville Immediately and Permanently Stop the Implementation of the $22 Million Smart Meter Project and Dismantle All Related Equipment?”
In November, Naperville Smart Meter Awareness, a group against the city’s new smart meters, filed the petition to allow that question. Then, Naperville resident Bill Dawe filed an objection to it in December, and now, after a week and a half of hearings the board made their decision.
“My review shows that multiple signatures were of residences that were simply not registered to vote,” said LaFeber. “The facts are undisputed. The law is clear. And the number of signatures presented falls short of what is required.”
“The law is very clear,” said Krause. “If you don’t have enough signatures, you’re not on the ballot.”
Naperville Smart Meter Awareness’ attorney Doug Ibendahl was disappointed to hear the board’s ruling, but says he expected it.
“There must be something really wrong with these smart meters that they are willing to go to these lengths to squelch even the debate about them,” said Ibendahl.
But Dawe’s own attorney, Kevin McQuillan, says the petitioners just didn’t do a good job defending their case.
“They heard evidence from the objector. They heard no evidence from the proponent,” said McQuillan. “They heard a lot of rhetoric and arguments.”
Even though the board has made a ruling, Ibendahl says it’s not over yet. He’s appealing the decision in DuPage County Circuit Court. He says if he doesn’t get a fair hearing there, then he’ll go to appellate court.
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