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MEMPHIS, TN- (WMC-TV) - Communism, hacking, and even fire. Residents and politicians alike have said just about everything about MLGW installing smart meters.

The resolution that sits before the Memphis City Council to exchange MLGW's analog meters for digital smart meters is creating this talk.

"The smart meters are going to be entry points for hacking," said resident Yvonne Burton.

She joined about 50 other people at city hall who are opposed to smart meters. They wore tags calling for a referendum in an attempt to stop the installation of smart meters.

City Council member Joe Brown called smart meters a new source of communism.

"The thing is to make sure the people have a voice in this issue," he said.

City council member Janis Fullilove organized the town hall meeting Monday.

"It's not so much I'm against it ... I just think people need a balanced issue on that balance whether it's good or bad," she said.

Burton claims the rates will go up.

Most of the people at the meeting complained the smart meters would make their utility bills go up.

No one from MLGW attended the meeting. But a spokesperson said things got out of control at the last meeting in June with people from the audience heckling the MLGW employees who were trying to answer questions.

MLGW tweeted answers to people's questions Monday. They took issue with Joe Brown's statement and tweeted a response:

Brown says the main issue tonight is cowardice of MLGW. Says MLGW staff wasn't threatened at last meeting. But it happened. We have video.

It is important for customers to note if they do not want a smart meter, whether a business or residence, then they can opt out of the program.

At this point, a referendum vote is not planned. The matter still must go before the full council.

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