Letter to the editor: Marshfield Utilities oversteps its bounds
Here is an item that should be publicized. It involves serious overreach and an egregious abuse of authority. Citizens’ concerns are ignored, and rights are being trampled upon. David Wasserburger, Marshfield Water superintendent, has been circulating letters to homeowners demanding access to private residences, or they face a cutoff of service. He demands to enter private residences to install two-way radio transmitters referred to as “AMI” or “Advanced Metering Infrastructure” along with an “inspect” for “cross connections.”
On Oct. 23 I received a letter from Mr. Wasserburger demanding that we make an appointment to permit him access to our home. On Nov. 6 we received a second notice with the same demands.
I replied with a letter dated Nov. 7, where I raised serious concerns and asked specific questions regarding this “installation” and “inspection.” I requested that Mr. Wasserburger address these issues before proceeding. On Nov. 20 Mr. Wasserburger sent a “disconnect notice” while he obviously ignored my concerns.
In Madison, for example, homeowners were given the option to opt out of this “installation” for a nominal additional monthly fee. Therefore, the arbitrary application of these demands seriously concerns me, and I protest in the strongest possible language. This is discriminatory and retributive in nature and a clear-cut overreach and abuse of Wasserburger’s so-called authority.
Regardless of “municipal codes” that Mr. Wasserburger uses to justify these intrusions, if they permit “on-demand” access to private residences, they violate protections under the Fourth Amendment, guaranteeing protection from unreasonable search. I do not recall this item on any ballot nor Mr. Wasserburger as an elected representative for that matter.
Mr. Wasserburger does not have the right to trample on constitutional freedoms by arbitrarily demanding access to any private residence in this manner while ignoring legitimate concerns. This “project” is touted as a measure to maintain water supply “safety”. Those that sacrifice freedom for safety will have neither.