WED, MAY 25: CITY COUNCIL VOTED SAFER CLAUSES INTO TELECOM ORDINANCE

In a last minute introduction of additions to the proposed Telecom Ordinance, Councilor Chris Calvert shared clauses formulated by a national FCC specialist, Attorney Andrew Campanelli.

Although Attorney Campanelli was impressed by much of the Ordinance written by the City Assistant Attorney, Kelley A. Brennan, he saw that the proposed Ordinance left a few gaps by not being fully FCC compliant.

DOCTORS W.A.R.N. had consulted Attorney Campanelli, seeking proper Federal and City guidelines to support our communications and business needs via cell phones and fiber optic cable technologies, and to keep our historical aesthetics intact.

To the credit of our City Staff, when they were offered the input of Attorney Campanelli, they expressed interest in adding these more specific protections to the proposed Ordinance, which are also fully FCC compliant.

To the credit of our City Councilors Chris Calvert, Carmichael Dominguez, Mathhew Ortiz, Rosemary Romero, Ron Trujillo, and Rebecca Wurzburger, at the last minute they voted in the new, more protective clauses.

Although some looked to Councilors Patti Bushee’ and Miguel Chavez to vote for these additional protections, they voted against these changes. They are committed to demanding a Master Plan for the City first, to be regulated by professionals in the field, which I respect and which deserves support. Councilor Bushee’ also repeatedly criticized the marginalization of the Historic Board and the Board of Adjustment in the new Ordinance, which is also important for us to support.

We will now have specific clauses that:

1) define the “FCC levels” to be either at “Occupational/Controlled Exposure” for those employees of cell tower companies who can control only being near the towers briefly for maintenance, or

2) “General Population/Uncontrolled Exposure” for those who live, work or attend schools near cell towers–at a levels that the FCC ruled must be 500-700% LOWER, than those of employees of tower companies.

3) specify that tower companies must have these levels checked annually by certified electrical engineers, especially as they try to pile on more antennas.

A major part of this passing last night, was that Presidents and Officers of five Neighborhood Associations responded immediately and got others to call and email their support for the more protective Ordinance, including Peter Komis, President of the Galisteo Neighborhood Association, William Schmitt of the Torreon Neighborhood Association, William Mee of the Agua Fria Village Neighborhood Association, Ben Martinez of La Cieneguita Homeowners Association, Steve Coca of the Bellamah Neighborhood Association, and Nicole de Jurenev of the Casa Solana Neighborhood Association.

This is still not the perfect Ordinance, but the work of those above have provided us with a better, safer Ordinance. We now need to support the development of a Master Plan for the City of Santa Fe.

Submitted by F. N. Trujillo, ND, in collaboration with DOCTORS W.A.R.N.

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