Earlier this evening, Watsonville City Council joined the growing list of local governments calling on the CPUC to immediately halt the installation of smart meters within the state of California. In a 7-0 vote, the council took some of the strongest action that any city council has taken to date, signing on to both the EMF Safety Network and San Francisco petitions before the CPUC. They also directed their city attorney to investigate what powers the city might have in legally restricting PG&E from installing any meters within city limits, along the lines of the ordinance that the town of Fairfax approved last week.
PG&E gave a scripted presentation, saying how they are listening to customer concerns, and working to allay fears (using incomplete and outdated WHO reports). The opposition was led by SVNASM’s own Joshua Hart, who outlined the many problems with the smart meter program and PG&E’s arrogance in foricng smart meters onto communities who don’t want them, as well as Dr. Karl Maret, a medical doctor and trained electrical engineer who testified about the health impacts of EMF radiation.
Here is some of what the council said, before sending a clear message to PG&E and the CPUC:
Councilmember Caput: “PG&E is the definition of arrogance…I don’t like to see residents and city councils being pushed around. People can be pushed only so far….. The company failing to listen to residents and forcing smart meters on communities may lead to the end of the smart meter in California.”
Councilmember Bersamin: “We need to protect vulnerable, low income citizens, and developing children…we will get our friends in Sacramento to do something about this. We will write letters to our representatives in state government, to the PUC, to anyone who will listen and we encourage other cities and counties to do the same.”
Mayor Alejo: “PG&E failed to carry out adequate testing before rolling out the smart meter program….communities can stand together and send a message….cities will continue to sign on to these petitions….this will continue throughout the state unless PG&E begins to respect the wishes of local governments and halts further deployment. I would like to direct the city attorney to investigate any and all powers the City of Watsonville may have to stop smart meters being installed in our City.”