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Smart meter meeting was no forum

November 25, 2011

My husband and I attended the so-called forum sponsored by Glendale Water & Power last Thursday to discuss the smart grid and installation of smart meters. Let it be known that this meeting was not as advertised.

It was decidedly not a forum, defined as “an assembly for the discussion of questions or public interest.” There was no real discussion. There was no exchange of ideas or information. It was very controlled and locked down, as evidenced by a visible police presence.

Two officers were seated next to the panel — and I saw two more stationed at the back of the room.

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A panel of technocrats gave a three-hour, top-down, mind-numbing presentation that seemed intended to lull the audience into complacency. They artfully sandbagged the standard Q&A by having a moderator read written questions from the audience to which the panel returned brief, if not rehearsed, answers.

After he chose a final question, the moderator summarily closed the meeting, but, in their largess, the panel invited the audience to come up and ask questions of individual members. So much for participatory democracy.

Most people at that point left in disgust.

It’s clear that Glendale Water & Power and the political powers that be have dug in their heels and do not want an exchange of ideas on the health risks, rate increases and surveillance issues surrounding this new technology.

Those who oppose smart meters and have valid information to share should not be dismissed and portrayed as tin foil hat-wearing kooks.

I believe that the public is willing to work with the utility if they offer them more options than a “if you have concerns, move away from the meter” type of response.

Linda Fitzgerald

Glendale

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