Thursday, April 23, 2009

"What is the price of a neighborhood?" Verison tower report.

I was at today's Eureka City Council special meeting concerning the cell phone tower in Henderson Center. Robin and I own a house and property within a stones throw of the proposed tower. We were not notified of the project. Local Attorney Tim Needham is Verizon's secondary counsel and was there to present his client's weak defense. Past Eureka Councilman Chris Kerrigan was there to propose an ordinance that protects the public from this type of building in residential areas.

There was much lawyer talk and I was happy to hear Councilwoman Linda Atkins sound off on attorney pompous rhetoric and challenge their claims. Larry Glass was the one who set up this special meeting and verbally spared with Mike Jones and Jeff Leonard over this issue. Councilman Jager held the trump card. The same theme kept coming up, "What is the price of a neighborhood?" All councilpersons agreed they were priceless, and yet only three voted to put a temporary stop to the project. They were Jager, Glass and Atkins.

No Eureka residents spoke in favor of the project. None. Two lawyers for Verizon spoke for the project.


Mike Buettner said...

Awesome news. Thanks Richard for the post.

Mike Buettner said...

"All councilpersons agreed they were priceless, and yet only three voted to put a temporary stop to the project. They were Jager, Glass and Atkins. "

This says it all. Sorry to say but this is embarrassing for Mike and Jeff.

Neal Latt said...

Sylvia Scott rose and reminded Jeff and Mike, who intend to run for Supervisor and Mayor, respectively, that Eureka would remember their betrayals.

They were impassive to the warning.

samoasoftball said...

Some of those comments are over the top. Sorry. BOOM! they are gone!

Anonymous said...

"No Eureka residents spoke in favor of the project. None."

Eureka residents who support the cell tower are too smart to mess with a whole neighborhood of anti-science hysterics. Because they know where we live.

Anonymous said...

The comments that were just deleted as being "over the top" didn't seem abusive to me. They just supported the cell tower. How is it "over the top" to express an opinion with which you disagree?

Jeff Leonard said...

True – I voted against the stop work order.

I voted no because I believe the course we’ve taken will end in Federal Court. I believe we will lose and we’ll pay for it – our legal fees and Verizon’s. I believe that’s a wreckless way to spend $50,000 – or more.

Not long ago, many people advised the County against defending Measure T. The County went forward, lost, and paid $100,000.

Our City Attorney has advised me that we have very little chance of winning this case. She was out of town during the last two hearings, but the interim City Attorney provided the same advice, saying “it’s highly unlikely that we will prevail”.

CONSIDER THIS: the neighborhood filed suit against Verizon in Superior Court and their case will hardly get a hearing on it’s merits - it was filed too late. The case has essentially been kicked out. The City of Eureka faces the same problem – we’re too late.

A lot of arguments have been waged against this project. A lot of people want the opportunity to deliver those arguments to Verizon directly – even if it means going all the way to Federal Court.

CONSIDER THIS: all of the arguments against this project came to light well after the permit was signed, sealed, and delivered – and the appeal period expired.

Before we can make any “cell tower” related arguments, we’ll have to prove that we have legal standing in court. We have to beat the “too little, too late” defense.

I agree that mistakes have been made. Many said this project was poorly noticed. Agreed. Our council dramatically expanded public noticing requirements. Many said they are concerned about cell towers in residential neighborhoods. Agreed. We’ve established a committee to put together an ordinance for council to approve. And the list goes on.

I understand people are upset about this project. That’s abundantly clear. But we’re too late recognizing our mistakes.

I don’t want to go to San Francisco, fight an unwinnable case, and pay the price.

samoasoftball said...

Jeff: You were speaking on behalf of the City of Eureka's interest. Agreed. If you were speaking on the public's behalf, and only with that in mind, what would be your answer?

Robin and I have been public of nor recieving notice of this project. We do seem to, without fail, recieve our tax bill each year to help fund the coffers of the city. Maybe the same department should give out notice for these type topics.

Anonymous said...

Richard, that is the standard line
that Larry, Sue and their bullies use all the time when they want to oppose something they dont like. They dream up a bunch of BS that isn't true or never proven and go
out and scare the neighbor hood into believing this crap. So you think we should let former coucil people who get stoned all the time have a big influence on our city?

Fred said...

Richard wrote, "Robin and I have been public of not recieving notice of this project.".

I think we've gone past the point of the issue of notification. That may, or may not, have been a valid concern earlier on. Everyone in the city is aware of the proposal now. It's water under the bridge. Let it go.

As I mentioned elsewhere, although I don't live in close proximity to the location, I don't have a problem with the tower proposal. If the Nazarene Church (that I do live near) wanted to do something similar, I wouldn't have a problem with that, either.

Anonymous said...

There are already cell towers in your neighborhood! Have been in Eureka for 20 years. What was the price of those? Did it kill those neighborhoods?

Its not the price of the neighborhood we should be concerned about. It is the price of the lawsuit which we all will pay for. Shameful waste of our $$. Boo

Anonymous said...

I would like for someone to point to a single cell tower that makes noise such that it disturbs the neighborhood or any tower that has been proven to cause health problems. Also, can anyone point to a cell tower that has caused any neighborhood to lose value. If thias can be done, the argument is valid. If not, it seems to be nothing more than hysteria.

Eureka Poz said...

Thank you for this great first-person report, Richard. I'm amazed that you received no notice of the tower.

I'm curious. Were the members of the church aware of the plans to place the tower on the church property?

Anonymous said...

Ah Jeff, spoken like a true career politician. The City (along with the Council) screwed up, and now they (we)are paying the price. Jeff Leonard for Supervisor! Mike Jones for Mayor. Hilarious.

Anonymous said...

ballboy you're turning into a real jerk. More of your HCDCC fairness? You and Latt and cobb and the baykeeper nuts should start paying some wages around here. Delete this ballboy,it'll do as much good as this stupid law suit.

brian said...

Is Neal Latt running for Eureka City Council?.........How close does Latt live to the Apostolic Church?.........It's not "betrayals" to want to save the City of Eureka from a no win lawsuit........Betrayal is bad mouthing "bigboxs" then going to Costco to buy cases of cheap wine, like Latt does.

Anonymous said...

Richard, Once again falling in line with the ultra-liberal, "not in my back yard", sentiment that has been destroying our community since the 70's. The "price" we have paid is loss of jobs and industry. A generation that will likely abandon our area not by choice, but out of necessity. Tell me what will happen to ""our neighborhood" when the rising cost of government overtakes the dwindling working classes ability to pay. That time is now. If you truly believe your spiel then you must turn in all of your families cell phones in solidarity with all the other neighborhoods that are currently paying the "price" for this technology. If not people might think you a self centered hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

Richard has received exactly what
he deserves! He continues to
support all this left wing crap and now he has lost his job and
his company is no more.

samoasoftball said...

11:40am-I personally do not have a cell phone. My friends know that and give me a hard time about it. So bite me.