Multiple sources have told the Gateway Sun that water meter manufacturer Zenner USA is strongly considering legal action against incoming Supervisor Ed Tinkle for negative statements he made about Zenner’s products.

Zenner’s meters are the ones that were installed as part of the Water Meter Replacement project in Gateway over the past year or so. As we understand it, Zenner took exception that Tinkle made a comment that called in to question the quality of the meters.

The meter project has been plagued with difficulties but at this point there are multiple possible culprits. The first step in getting to the bottom of the situation will be to test twelve Zenner meters using Lee County’s equipment and a nationally recognized test. This test should take place relatively soon.

If the test concludes that the meters were faulty, then Tinkle will personally have nothing to worry about. But while clearing Tinkle, it would open up a whole set of new problems for the district, Zenner and contractor Fortiline. To

Should the test results show the meters are fine then Tinkle may indeed be in some hot water with Zenner. It’s unclear just how much damage one person’s off-the-cuff remark could cause Zenner, but we have been told that Zenner feels they have suffered damage to their reputation.

If the meters are ruled out as the problem, then Gateway residents will have dodged a bullet that Tinkle made his remark prior to joining the Board of Supervisors. Had Tinkle said that while sitting on the board he may have exposed the district to liability as well as himself.

Tinkle becomes a Supervisor on November 17.

Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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