Members of the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness group gathered at the 's Municipal Center Friday afternoon to announce that the group has filed for injunctive relief in federal court.
The group and its attorney Doug Ibendahl were on hand to answer questions from a group comprised mostly of supporters of the organization. Members of the group explained the reason for the court filing and also stated that Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is also investigating the city of Naperville for open meeting violations, among other violations.
Members of the audience were allowed to ask questions, many of which were centered around whether the group had approached the city and shared its concerns. Some also asked what they might do to keep the new meters from being installed at their homes.
The city of Naperville, according to its information, has stated that the smart meter installation will begin the first week in January.
Ibendahl said he was not certain how quickly the federal court would take to hear the complaint, but said that the group didn't seek a temporary restraining order because the members of the group are reasonable people and they hoped that the city would "do the right thing."
The group has sought to have a question placed on the ballot in March, which would ask voters: Shall the city of Naperville immediately and permanently stop the implementation of the $22 million smart meter project and dismantle all related equipment?” Earlier this week, the group learned that a resident had filed an objection to the question and a hearing is scheduled for next week.
One member of the audience asked if the group had filed the complaint in federal court as retribution for the objection filed earlier this week. The members said said that was not the reason.
Ibendahl said that the members felt they had exhausted all of their options after attempting to talk with the city and felt that filing in federal court was their last resort.
The city of Naperville issued a news release about 15 minutes prior to the group's news conference. In it the city said that the opposition will not stop the city from moving forward with the smart meter installations.
“We are confident that the case will ultimately be dismissed by the court system,” City Attorney Margo Ely said in the release. “The Smart Meter Awareness Group has pursued their opposition to the city’s project in multiple forums, including frequent appearances at City Council meetings, numerous FOIA requests, appeals to the Attorney General and now a federal lawsuit. The lawsuit raises no new issues from the opposition. It simply has no merit.”
For more information on the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness group visit its website at www.NapervilleSmartMeterAwareness.org. To learn more from the city of Naperville on the Naperville Smart Grid Initiative, visit www.napervile.il.us/smartgrid.aspx.