Dumbing Down a Smart Issue

Monday night Council woman Janis Fullilove held a townhall meeting in city council chambers on smart meters.

How TV and the newspaper have covered this tells a lot about them.

WMCTV reports it this way:

The resolution that sits before the Memphis City Council to exchange MLGW’s analog meters for digital smart meters is creating this talk.

“The smart meters are going to be entry points for hacking,” said resident Yvonne Burton.

She joined about 50 other people at city hall who are opposed to smart meters. They wore tags calling for a referendum in an attempt to stop the installation of smart meters.

City Council member Joe Brown called smart meters a new source of communism.

“The thing is to make sure the people have a voice in this issue,” he said.

City council member Janis Fullilove organized the town hall meeting Monday.

“It’s not so much I’m against it … I just think people need a balanced issue on that balance whether it’s good or bad,” she said.

Burton claims the rates will go up.

Most of the people at the meeting complained the smart meters would make their utility bills go up.

No one from MLGW attended the meeting. But a spokesperson said things got out of control at the last meeting in June with people from the audience heckling the MLGW employees who were trying to answer questions.

MLGW tweeted answers to people’s questions Monday. They took issue with Joe Brown’s statement and tweeted a response:

Brown says the main issue tonight is cowardice of MLGW. Says MLGW staff wasn’t threatened at last meeting. But it happened. We have video.

It is important for customers to note if they do not want a smart meter, whether a business or residence, then they can opt out of the program.

At this point, a referendum vote is not planned. The matter still must go before the full council.

From WREG:

Channel 24:

The bias is tangible, isn’t it? One doesn’t mention why the union rep has a smart meter. Another scoffs at Councilman Brown’s remark about Communism. Then we also get the smug approach of an anchor asking why streamlining meter reading could be so contentious. The Commercial Appeal is still stuck on the townhall at the library being “out of control.” Because it was passionate, they laud MLGW for not bringing a representative to this one.

Today the CA has an editorial against Janis Fullilove for having another townhall meeting. Huh? What am I missing here? A person on the council wants citizen input on a decision they’ll make that will impact everyone in the community? How dare she!

She has held two town hall meetings on the meters, conducted in a fashion that has not allowed an informative discussion on the pros and cons of the meters,” they say.

Really? I was at the library townhall and MLGW chief Jerry Collins was there, but left before the first question! He put other people in charge who clearly showed they didn’t understand the slide show they were presenting. That they couldn’t handle questions reflects badly on them, not the public.

Is Miss Fullilove wrong to try to get information out about the smart meters? The newspaper doesn’t want to show anything but one side – the pro side. The editors place the blame on union leaders and their “concern about saving jobs.” If they listened to the leaders they would understand that this is not the only problem MLGW employees have with the smart meters. Why not listen to the people who actually install them and understand them a lot better than the suits sitting in CA climate controlled offices.

They don’t want to talk about the hacking dangers, higher costs and change in lifestyle smart meters entail. They don’t want to check into who is benefiting from the sale of these. Myron Lowery, why are you so strident for them when your constituents are not?

Reporters have bought into the green angle of the smart meters without doing any research on the true results.

If Miss Fullilove has caused an uproar, she’s onto something. Let’s start doing it with a lot more issues. Somebody has got to be a conduit to the truth.

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