One of the biggest proponents for smart meter installation has been Councilman Myron Lowery. Yesterday, he got his way. The city approved $10 million for MLGW to start up another 60,000 of the monstrosities to be inflicted upon hapless Memphians. Hope he’s happy.
Only four Council members bucked the trend: Janis Fullilove, Joe Brown, Wand Halbert and Lee Harris. To them, a sincere thank you. You listened to your constituents, read up on the issue, ignored the media coercion and voted correctly. The rest of you, including Midtown’s Jim Strickland, in the best evaluation are ignorant and close minded. In the worst case, perhaps money got to you. I don’t know. I have no proof of any bribery. No proof either that money benefits MLGW’s Jerry Collins, Chris Bieber or others in their administration. But I’d have to be naive to think that never happens in our fair city.
This is something the local newspaper, TV and radio stations could have looked in into; instead, they looked the other way. They didn’t ask the basic question: cui bono? Who benefits? Whenever there is a nexus of interested parties there is the temptation to use that situation for personal remuneration. Utilities are something every Memphian needs. We are forced to take what they offer. In that circumstance, manufacturers, politicians and administrators have a tempting opportunity.
I’d like to know in particular what Myron Lowery gets. He showed up at the library town hall and was suspiciously antagonistic. He didn’t want people asking questions. When they did, he expressed his displeasure. At the end of the event he got almost physically aggressive with an old man who was angry with him. Lowery turned around and used this to his advantage. He branded the anti smart meter people as unstable, angry and dangerous. The media promoted that idea. It couldn’t have been further from the truth.
Yet Lowery continued to fight. A talking points list I saw came from his office. Seldom have I seen that kind of energy on an issue. If the council members who voted for it expended that much energy on getting the city’s problems solved, we wouldn’t look like a Detroit wannabe.
He didn’t want the public to vote in a referendum on smart meters. That would be the democratic thing to do. Whenever someone wants to rush an item through you have to figure they don’t want much examination into it or they would lose.
Let’s see how the voters in his district react come election time. The ones present at townhalls didn’t feel a great desire to re-elect him. Let them get empowered and see what happens.
Meantime the struggle against the meters must continue.