Mayor Mark Boughton said he plans to appeal the state Siting Council's decision to allow a cell tower on Stadley Rough Road.
The tower was the subject of a well-attended and contentious hearing last fall before the council, which approved the application two weeks ago by a 6-3 vote.
The city had spent about $100,000 to hire engineers and consultants to fight the proposal.
After spending 100,000 of YOUR taxpayers dollars on something which was a losing battle from the beginning, the last honest man in Danbury is ready to spend more money for a losing cause.
"Getting a Siting Council decision overturned is a difficult process and rarely done. There isn't much we can do."
First off, this article (which is on the FRONT PAGE of today's News-Times) highlights one of the most notable deficiencies with the paper...the lack of quality reporting. I hardly think former News-Times reporters from the late 70 to 90s (Valerie Roth) or even more recently (Elizabeth Putnam, Eugene Driscoll) would base their ENTIRE article on what's clearly a single a phone conversation between the reporter and the mayor. Seeing that I knew about his ruling A WHILE AGO, the timing of this story is a bit ridiculous and appears to be an afterthoght given the attention being paid to a similar cell tower case occurring in Newtown.
It's unfortunate that News-Times reporter Dirk Perrefort didn't take the time to research the ruling (as opposed to just recycling what's obviously a press release from Boughton) but for those who want the real story behind the ruling (as opposed to reading a article based on a single phone conversation), luckily all the minutes from the case are at your fingertips.
Before reading the informaiton from the Siting Council's website, take a few moments and read the concerns from the neighbors. Their concerns are broken down to three areas, health, environment, and property values.
Second, here are comments from the last honest man in Danbury regarding the application:
This application is deeply flawed and the City of Danbury Cell Tower Task Force is currently working on a presentation to the Siting Council on Sept. 9 to illustrate the deficiencies in the application.
Notwithstanding the fact that Mayor Boughton didn't inform the public about the "deeply flawed" problems with the Cell companies application, lets do something the News-Times reporter didn't take time in doing and take a look at the minutes from the case...which are AVAILABLE ONLINE!
From the hearing here are the Siting Council's finding facts. Take note of the sections entitled "Suggested Alternate Sites" , "Multi Site Solutions" , and "Environmental Considerations" (Note 1-111).
Are you done reading that seciton of the report...good lets continue.
Look at the section entitled "Visibility of tower proposed at 52 Stadley Rough Road" and take note at the aprox. number of residents who would be able to see the tower. as opposed to the number of residents who would see the tower at the alternate sites.
Now, here's a map which shows where the tower would be located.
Okay, lets take a look at the ruling (pdf) FILED ON APRIL 28 2009 and see if the Sitting Council were outrageous in their decision (ruling starts on page 37).
Now that you read all the information (as opposed to the embarrassingly limited info in Perrefort's article, onw should question the wisdom in Boughton appealing this sensible and logical ruling.
Again, the City of Danbury spent 100,000 taxpayer's dollars and put up a defense that had no chance in success (once one simply look at the ENTIRE case, the cell company's compliance with STATE LAW, and the REAL impact the tower would have on the area as opposed to the impact the tower would have if it was built at any of the NUMEROUS alternate sites).
Now, as ANYONE who knows me (or has read this site on a regular basis) understands that I'm a brutal critic of irresponsible development. That being said, this episode has the markings of a NIMBY case as opposed to a irresponsible development fight.
1. The planning of the cell tower is now eight years in the making, and after, in essence, wasting 100,000 TAXPAYERS dollars and willing to spend MORE TAXPAYERS DOLLARS in a appeal which he has admitted will probably not favor the city, the last honest man in Danbury needs to give this whole situation a rest.
2. (and more importantly) Dirk Perrefort and the News-Times needs to stop writing articles based off of a SINGLE phone conversation with the mayor. Since this case caught a great deal of attention last year, there is NO REASON the newspaper didn't do a series of follow-ups on the story (including following the Siting Council's proceedings and doing an article that outlines the Council's ruling and dismissal of the city's defense.
3. If the city spent 100,0oo TAXPAYER'S dollars on this small case, one should wodner how nuch TAXPAYER'S DOLLARS are being spent on the Danbury 11 civil lawsuit...
(NOTE: I'll update this post later with more information later).