Dozens of anti-meter residents begged council members to
send a strongly worded letter to the California Public
Utilities Commission, the body that regulates utilities like
PG&E. Speakers pleaded with council members, rattling off a
long list of complaints, chief among them,
electromagnetic-induced illness afflicting both normal and
The council seemed largely unsympathetic. Councilman Gordon
Wozniak called the symptoms "phantom" — a comment that
inspired hisses and boos from the audience. The council
eventually decided to reconsider the issue at a later
The anti-meter crew was so outraged, they formed the citizen
group ACRCASM, or Alameda County Residents Concerned About
SmartMeters. The part-time group boasts a few dozen members.
Cognizant of the controversy surrounding claims that
SmartMeters may be unsafe, they drafted a letter outlining
their grievances and listed overbilling, fire safety, data
security, and job loss as their primary concerns. They left
out any mention of meter-induced physical illness, but they
did request a halt to the disposal of analog meters, a
moratorium on the installation of new meters, and the
ability opt-out of the SmartMeter program in the future.
Councilman Kriss Worthington was the first to support the
letter. At a meeting earlier this month, the council voted
to approve the letter, and thus support a moratorium on
SmartMeters. Six councilmembers voted for it, one against,
and one was absent. Mayor Tom Bates abstained.
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