Independence mayor has done much for city

Kirk Stobart

president, Local 781

To the editor:

The professional firefighters of Independence Local 781 fully support Mayor Eileen Weir. Sometimes we disagree with the decisions our elected officials make. This is because every decision made will affect all of us in positive and negative ways. However, we shouldn't remove an official over a single issue. Mayor Weir has continually shown her support for public safety. She has served Independence with the best interests of its people and businesses at heart which has made our city a better place to live.

 

 

Smart meter criticisms just don’t add up

Laurie Wiley

Independence

To the editor:

While out in my city on the other day, I came upon a table of volunteers asking if I was a registered voter. I replied yes. I was then asked to sign a petition to stop automatic meter reading and to recall Mayor Weir.

I asked why I should be against AMI, as I had read and decided that they would be a good change for our future utilities. I was handed a brochure I can only call propaganda. I know this because I did the research myself and spoke with more learned

folks than myself on the meters.

I am not being paid, nor was I asked to write this letter by anyone. I decided to take action to inform other citizens on the facts regarding the three main points the anti-AMI and anti-Weir groups are propagating – that AMI will spy on your home life, that the meters can catch fire, and that utility bills typically increase.

1. No one will be spying on your home life. Meter data will consist of your consumption data only. There is no personally identifying data transmitted from or through the meters. The meters are encrypted with the same firewall technology used by banks.

2. Fire safety was an issue in the past because of a lack of compatibility of the meters to the can to which it was attached. The concern was with the can connection, not with the meters themselves. As technology changed, the meters now have connectivity to the cans, and meters have two separate alarms for fire protection and an auto-disconnect. These meters have gone through testing and approval through the National Electric Safety Code.

3. Will meters result in higher bills? Maybe, but the truth requires a lesson in how the meters work. New meters provide many benefits for use and an important one is accuracy. We currently use 10- to 40-year-old mechanical meters. Over any amount of time, the dial will slow down. On average, the meter slows 1 to 2%, so as AMI is more accurate, someone with a 40-year-old meter who currently pays $100 will see a rise on average of $2. If your meter is only 10 years old, the increase may be negligible.

So how does this tie in to recalling Mayor Weir. It doesn’t. It is just the issue with which some have chosen to attack our mayor. When asked why this group was going after Mayor Weir when she is not one of the council members who changed his mind, nor the one who asked for a new vote in secrecy, those polling for signatures could not give a solid answer. I believe it is just the issue of the day being used as a tool to cause division, fear, and disruption to the positive progress for our city.

Mayor Weir is well respected and she cares about all the citizens. I have seen it and know the work she is doing to bring growth and improvements to neighborhoods in Independence. My advice is look at the facts for yourself. Do not follow the crowd without knowing why you are signing a petition, and be open to civil conversations. And as a final reminder, live with love for one another.