Last evening the Pacific Grove City Council directed staff to prepare a resolution to send to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) requesting the CPUC allow people who don’t want Smartmeters to refuse them.
Councilman Dan Miller and Mayor Garcia moved to adopt a law prohibiting Smartmeters, but were fiercely opposed by Bill Kampe, Robert Huitt and Ken Cuneo.
(Alan Cohen and Rudy Fisher also voted against making a law, but left the door open for more information changing their minds)
The Council was given a highly biased and likely wrong opinion on the law by City Attorney Laredo. Laredo told them flatly that they had no authority to enforce a law as well as omitting several key facts.
Laredo’s opinion is likely wrong because the City has a franchise agreement with PG&E and has legal authority to revoke that franchise. The city can even create its own Energy District, like Palo Alto, and have full control over all energy. Palo Alto enjoys much lower energy rates than surrounding cities.
Laredo also omitted or was unaware that the city of Lakeport has directed its staff on Tuesday to file an injunction to halt the installation of Smartmeters in their town north of San Rafael.
If the city can wholly revoke its franchise with PG&E why can’t it do something with less force? particularly something that protects the health and safety of residents? The answer is – the city CAN invoke restriction on PG&E’s imposition on a city that could harm the health and safety of residents.
The bottom line is that Councilman Dan Miller and the Mayor were willing to stand up strongly for the public and Councilmen Kampe, Huitt and Cuneo were fighting against the public interests.
The issue began at 6:00 and was not concluded before 8:30.