LETTERS: Smart meters in Saugerties

Photo by Mookie Forcella

Photo by Mookie Forcella

Resist the smart meters

While we sleep, utility companies, including the former Central Hudson, are installing without authorization from homeowners, smart meters. These meters are digitally operated, usually wireless and are a replacement to the analog electric, gas and water meters we currently have. Analog meters have been known to be safe, however many questions are arising about smart meter replacement in regards to health.

These new meters emit microwave radiation linked with health and environmental problems, and can reportedly catch fire and damage appliances. It is unclear if homeowner insurance would cover such an event. Utility companies, including the former Central Hudson, are claiming they do not use smart meters but if the meter emits a pulsing microwave radio frequency it is still classified as a smart meter.

In a “mesh network” such as developments or houses that are near each other, usage data is transmitted from one smart meter and sent by wireless microwave radio signals on to the next houses in the area. Reportedly, accumulated data can be sent to the utility’s data collection unit on through a telephone wire where it can be sent to a data collection company who could buy information for marketing services.


Before work begins installing these devices, public hearings should be held as well as studies concerning health issues relating to them.

Robert Aiello
County Legislator, District 2


New water meters are safer, cheaper for town

It is truly a shame that someone can write a letter to the editor and incite the public and instill fear in them with misinformation and false accusations.

In response to Donna Greco’s letter in last week’s paper, here is the truth and facts as to why I, along with the rest of the Town Board, made a decision to replace the water meters in the Glasco Water District.

When Mrs. Greco said the Town Board voted to spend a whopping $814,738.19 on unnecessary, unwanted, unwarranted and unhealthy smart meters, what she failed to mention is the fact that the town will be reimbursed 55 percent or $448,106 from a USEPA grant, thus bringing the total cost of the new meters and their installation to $366,632.19. Now, $366,632.19 is still a large sum of money but as I tried explaining to Mrs. Greco on numerous occasions, on Jan. 4, 2011, President Obama signed into law the Reduction of Lead In Drinking Water Act, which in effect revised the definition for “Lead Free” in the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) as it pertains to pipe, pipe fittings, plumbing fixtures and fixtures. In the US, all current waterworks brass becomes obsolete and cannot be installed or sold after January 4, 2014. This new law affects a variety of water distribution products including water meters. So it was really a matter of pay $366,632.19 now or pay in excess of $814,738.19 in the near future because if we did not act now, the town would lose the USEPA grant and on top of that, if Mrs. Greco is truly interested in the safety of the new water meters why is she so quick to discount the fact that the old ones have parts that contain lead, which has a proven track record of being harmful.

Mrs. Greco also states in her letter that the Town Board passed this resolution without the citizens of Saugerties having anything to say about it. Again, she fails to mention that we had a public hearing on Feb. 6, 2013. Along with this I personally requested that a representative from Everett J Prescott Inc. came and give a presentation so that the public could ask any questions that they may have had regarding the new water meters. In addition to this meeting being published in the paper, I personally sent Mrs. Greco an e-mail informing her of the date and time of the meeting. It should also be noted that since Mrs. Greco did not attend the meeting, I have told her on numerous occasions that the rep would be willing to come back and give another presentation.

After reading Mrs. Greco’s letter to the editor, I called the superintendant of water for the town of Ulster, John Rose. Per Mr. Rose, the Town of Ulster has been installing the same type of meters that we will be installing, for the past eight years and there have been no reported problems.

Along with the fact that by law we will not be able to fix or replace parts on the current meters after 1/4/14 due to a potential health risk. The new meters are much more efficient and the entire water district can be read in approx 4 hours vs. the 3 ½ – 4 weeks that it currently takes to read all of the meters.

I would respectably ask that if anyone has any questions or concerns regarding the new water meters, to please call me at 246-5010 or 845-399-8577.

James Bruno
Town of Saugerties Deputy Supervisor and Liaison to the Water and Sewer Department


Town ignores risks of costly new meters

Feb. 6, a bitterly cold frigid night, was selected for the public hearing to discuss proposals for the Glasco Water District. One member of the District braved the cold to travel to Saugerties for this hearing. A few minutes of information was presented; the Town Board meeting began and Supervisor Kelly Myers and the Board passed the proposals in spite of my objection that there were unanswered questions and she did not allow time for public comment.

Shortly afterwards I wrote the Town Board about my concerns to impose smart water meters on the Glasco Water District residents. No response was given to my concerns. Again at the June Town Board meeting Myers, well aware of residents’ objections in a style of arrogance reminiscent of others whose length of office has exceeded their capacity to serve, announced that the plan to install the smart meters would move forward.

The Glasco Water District has now begun to enforce the Town Board’s decree. They seem to be targeting unsuspecting seniors. Many residents objected by not scheduling appointments for installation of smart water meters. Now the installers are appearing at homes without appointments. In one instance the senior was home alone and was told that her current meter was slow; the smart meter installation proceeded before the younger family members arrived home. In the second instance a widow was told she had no choice but to allow them into her home to replace her older meter with a new smart meter. Both report feeling pressured and that they had no choice.

Why were residents of the Glasco Water District not allowed time for public comment? The project involves expenditures of over well over $800,000 and bonding of 50 percent of project costs on district residents. When will the supervisor and the Town Board notice that they are to serve? Why was the Glasco Water District targeted and other water districts in the town of Saugerties exempted? Who profits from incurring debt on the Glasco Water District homeowners? Does Myers and the Town Board care about economic problems in Saugerties? Are they oblivious to those who have lost or are losing their homes? Why do they keep burying homeowners with more and more property fees and taxes?

Are Kelly Myers and the Town Board uncaring about the health risks associated with smart meters? On May 24 the neighboring Town Board of Woodstock voted unanimously to prohibit the installation of smart meters in Woodstock. Their decision was in response to complaints by residents of illness and smart meters installed at their residences. But in Saugerties objecting residents are told that cell phones emit radiation too. However one can choose whether and how much to use a cell phone while there is no such control with a smart meter.

The violation of privacy that accompanies smart meters warrants a discussion of its own. Keep in mind that this is America and we decide which devices we want and can afford, provided they do not violate the law. Your home is your own and you do not have to allow anyone in your home to install a smart meter.

Gaetana Ciarlante

There are 12 comments

  1. houdini

    Okay Jimmy Bruno, you claim a public hearing was held to discuss these new smart meters. When was this meeting held and where was the notification published, because this is the FIRST I am hearing about these new meters. AND if you are transmitting any radio signal (don’t care what type “radio” signal) from INSIDE my house I want to know what is being transmitted and to where and who’s paying for the electricity to power this radio because it sure as hell isn’t going to be the homeowner. I will personally unplug from my electric service anything that I did not install or hire an electrician to install.

    BIG BROTHER is NOT coming into my house. Period. End of discussion.

    And please let’s end this scare tactic about lead in our drinking water.

  2. Derek

    There is no credible peer-reviewed scientific evidence of any “harm” or even “threat of harm” from smart-meters. So let’s put that red-herring to the side.

    To Houdini’s point about “who pays for the power to transmit the signal”, it’s trivial for the smart-meter to draw from the supply-side (pre-meter) side of the power drop, rather than the inside-side (post-meter) side.

    1. JOE SCHMO


      My life ENDED.,………….100% OVER….THANKS TO A BANK OF 12 SMART METERS IN ARIZONA, ON MY WALL. I am walking dead woman now…..living in horror, with
      A condition now…….allergic to all electricity!


      YES, THERE IS PROOF!!!!!!!!!!! FOR MANY YEARS……..PLENTY OF PROOF!!!!!!!!!!!



  3. Donna Greco

    Jimmy, you are totally off base about the smart meters. I emailed you information about them, had many discussions with you and STILL you fail to heed the warnings that are blaring in your ear like a siren. I cant help but wonder just who will be benefitting from these meters, because it certainly will not be the Saugerties/Glasco residents whose health is at stake. You have been a staunch supporter of these meters since the first day we discussed it, and talking to you about it is like talking to a brick wall. You failed to have a proper public comment session yet continue to defend your position. Your “public hearing” on Feb 6th was not only unannounced, it was also a stormy winter night, one in which most people in their right mind choose to stay home. But you found it necessary to pass this very intrusive proposal on a night when people who this would affect most could not attend to comment. Was it even on the agenda?? Often we find that there is no agenda posted online until minutes before a meeting, and sometimes not at all. We find it necessary to call the town to fnd out what is on the Town Board’s agenda. No one knows. You claim you sent me an email. I would like to see that email because I never received it. I will end with this statement: If YOU want a smart meter in YOUR house, you should call the installation guy and have him install it immediately. In the next few years, I’d be interested in how your health holds out. As for me and my family, I want no smart meters in my home. This is our sacred space. My husband and I worked hard to purchase our home and we want it to remain a safe haven without interference from your crazy decisions and control. There will be no smart meter installed at my home and anyone who tries to force it on us or threatens us with any extra fees, or any other threats, will be subject to a class action lawsuit. If any other residents are threatened when they refuse this smart meter, contact me and get involved by joining our class action suit against the board, the Glasco Water district, the installtion person or anyone else who dares threaten the health and safety of myself and my family. And Im not even addressing the cost. What were you thinking when you adopted this crazy idea?

  4. Donna Greco

    And I forgot to add that by the time you “personally requested that a representative from Everett J Prescott Inc. come and give a presentation so that the public could ask any questions that they may have had regarding the new water meters” it was already a done deal and there was nothing the public could do or say about it. You told me it had already passed and this was nothing more than an “information” session. What would be the point of attending anyway? I already knew you were parroting this guy’s words concerning the alleged “safety” of the meters, when I knew otherwise. Unless you are planning to rescind this resolution, there was no sense arguing with your hired man. Maybe you should attend the meetings they have been having in Woodstock about smart meters. people across the county are up in arms over these things and we will not sit back and tolerate you all voting to put them in OUR homes. This is an election year and you best think long and hard abut what your are imposing on the people of this town. And that does not even include the tax ramifications on homeowners and the intrusion of privacy these meters will create. I am very disappointed in the board’s judgement on this issue. There have been times I have disagreed with the board on issues but this one is personal, and affects our health and wellbeing. What could be more important than our health?


    As long as rumors are being spread about smart meters, I want them all in the press. Rumor #1; Smart meters use the home owners electric. Rarely true, most use thermonuclear generating modules. Depleted uranium is the fuel of choice. Rumor #2 Smart meters emit radiation. The Feds have banned lead in water meters. No lead, no shielding. Rumor #3 Smart meters send out microwaves. How else would they communicate their smarts to everybody. Rumor #4 The NSA has mandated microphones be built into every smart meter to replace the phone conversations they will no longer be able to monitor. Fortunately SEQUESTER has forced the NSA to buy surplus microphones from the manufacturer of FURBYS. Only if your a “screamer” will the NSA know what your doing. Rumor #5 Your neighbors will be able to spy on you with a scanner. Only the NSA should be monitoring you. Good news for most Glasco residents. Again SEQUESTER to the rescue. Lack of funds has forced the NSA to outsource the monitoring. Nobody in INDIA speaks Italian.
    All rumors not previously claimed should be credited to me

  6. common sense

    sigh – just a question for the folks in the town, when’s the last time someone came to your house to read your electric meter? Can’t remember, it’s because they are smart meters and have been for years.

  7. Eileen DeLuca

    Everyone should watch the dvd “Take Back Your Power”. Funny, Smart Meters are banned in Woodstock.

  8. houdini

    re: Common Sense: Oh yeah! What part of Saugerties do you live in. Mine is still the old fashioned gas/electric meter and Central Hudson sends a person down my street on a regular basis to read it. No Smart meter here.

    1. common sense

      we have a smart meter here and darn glad we do. This means my wife won’t have to worry about let a stranger into the house to read a meter. The anti-meter crowd can move on over to hippiestock, and go back to the garden.
      Houdini is that so you can escape back into your mind where life is simple all the time???

      1. common sense

        We don’t need no education. All in all, all we are is bricks in a wall. So give up those cell phones, the microwaves, the cars where you GPS can be tracked, and all the other benefits of living in a modern world such as medicines that cure diseases that were thought uncurable 50 years ago. and move back to the garden, a simpler time in a simpler world, where life was beautiful all the time.

  9. Saugerities citizen

    Those who want smart meters should be able to get them, and those of us who do not want our health compromised and our lives under surveillance should not be forced into this dark room of ignorance. JUST SAY NO TO SMART METERS! Those of you who compare smart meters to cell phones are completely clueless. Yes cell phones emit RF waves, but this is no excuse to allow a smart meter into your sacred space. Radiation is cumulative, people, that means the more exposure you have the more health effects you will suffer. The RF radiation emitted by smart meters is hardley the same as a cell phone! It’s more like the same as a cell phone TOWER! But let’s ignore for a moment the health risks of RF radiation bathing your home and family 24/7/365, just for a minute. And let’s ignore the spying issue. Did you know that smart meters have caused fires in homes? Smart meters have been identified as the source of many fires across America. And did you also know that smart meters are not accurately measuring utility usage? Many people saw a spike in their bill with no change in usage. Not a small spike, but up to 400% increase!! You can complain all you want cuz once that smart meter is installed, you are NEVER going to get rid of that thing! It will haunt you for the rest of your time that you live in your home. Until you decide to move to the safety of a place without a dangerous smart meter, or until you move to a place where you have a CHOICE, your family will be at risk! Many places across the US and many cities such as Woodstock have BANNED smart meters. Can’t be because they are safe, now can it? But that’s what the utility company tells us! they say there is no health risks. Remember the Love Canal? They all claimed it was safe? A few years later people started dying of cancer, whole families wiped out. Just like the chemical companies lied to the people who bought homes in the chemical dump sire of the Love Canal, these utility companies are lying because they want to sell smart meters to towns across America, and our elected officials in Saugerties fell for this without doing any research at all! Could it be because they are happily spending YOUR money? and we are prositutes to grant money? The utility company will do NOTHING about your increase in fees, nor anything to remove that smart meter, even if you have documetned health problems because of it. If you dont care about the dangerous health effects of RF radiation being pumped into your home, maybe you care more about your pocketbook. Dig deep cuz its gonna be expensive.

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