A group of Naperville residents who oppose the installation of smart meters on their homes descended upon City Hall Thursday seeking answers from City Manager Doug Krieger.
The residents, members of the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness group, said meters have been installed on homes where signs were placed asking that the analog meters remain and the new meters not be installed. They also said police have been called in some cases when residents have asked installers to cease.
The group was small in number Thursday, though they told Krieger thousands are against the installation of the meters.
Some members of the group became very vocal during the confrontation and didn’t allow Krieger many chances to fully respond to the questions they posed. A security guard was present in the background the entire time.
Krieger said the was trying to accommodate residents who do not wish to have the smart meter installed and repeatedly said that the alternative option of a non-wireless meter was available.
When Krieger asked those in the group if they had signed up for the alternative option, Tom Glass, one of the most vocal members of the group said the city was an “extortionist.”
The members continued to tell Krieger that thousands of people didn’t want the meters installed, and one man asked Krieger why the city wouldn’t just give them “something” in an effort to appease the residents.
Members said that the battle would probably become ugly in the future with arrests taking place if installation continued against the wishes of homeonwers who have asked that the analog meters remain.
At one point during the confontation, City Councilor Grant Wehrli arrived and some members of the group made negative comments, with one of the members calling Wehrli “a jerk.” When a woman in the group confronted Wehrli saying she wanted answers from him, he replied that he wanted to hear what was said first and that he wasn’t sure he wanted to respond because of the insults that were made toward him.
The Naperville Smart Meter Awareness Group attempted to get a nonbinding resolution placed on the March primary ballot, but after an objection was filed and a hearing was held before the local election board, the board ruled against the measure. The circuit court and appellate court upheld the election board's ruling.