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UPDATE Nov 12 2009 Meeting

Here's an update from the author of this website:

On November 3, 2009, I received the following e-mail from Mike Thompson of the Department of Water and Power.

We will be having a public meeting to discuss the proposed cell site.  The meeting will be an open house style meeting where you can come and discuss the proposed project. Please let any of your concerned neighbors know about the meeting.

The meeting will be Thursday November 12th from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm in the Community Room (1st floor meeting room) of the Community Services Building, located at 150 N. Third Street in Burbank on the corner of Third and Orange Grove.  Parking is available behind the building and accessible from Orange Grove and from Olive Avenue.   Enter the building from the parking lot side. 

Michael Thompson

Burbank Water & Power

The problem is I had no idea how many other residents in our neighborhood had been notified about this meeting!

My husband, 3-year-old daughter and I whipped up some flyers (and this website) a few days prior to the meeting, and distributed them the day before the meeting to homes around and near us, and the morning of the meeting to some parents picking up their children at Horace Mann children's center.  I also sent out mass e-mails to city officials and leadership asking them to say "No" to this proposed wireless tower.  I would have loved to have done this sooner, but I also have the full-time responsibility of raising and managing my child.

On the day of the meeting, I visited Paula Lamar's office.  She is the supervisor of the Horace Mann Children's Center, the daycare and preschool run by the Burbank School District.  It's located right near the proposed wireless tower site.  (The other school, right next to Horace Mann, is St. Francis Xavier School and Church.) 

Paula Lamar told me she had had wished she had known about this meeting earlier, so she could have attended it.  She told me I can go ahead and tell people and officials attending the meeting that she supports the community in saying "No" to the proposed cell tower near her school.  Hurray, let's please thank Paula for doing the right thing!  (At the meeting, I did inform Mike Thompson about how Paula feels about the project.)

The meeting was actually a room set up with informational tables along the edge the room, with artwork and brochures about the proposed project.  Several representatives from T-Mobile were on hand to answer any questions we had about the proposed tower, as well as Mike Thompson from Burbank Water and Power. 

So as it turns out, there were a very small number of residents attending this meeting -- they were angry they were not informed about it until they got our flyer or heard about it from a friend who got the flyer. 

Our lack of numbers, however, was outweighed by the amount of concern we had about this project, and we made sure to communicate them to the T-Mobile reps there as well as Mike Thompson. 
And they did answer our questions, even though we didn't always agree or like their answers. 

The T-Mobile reps kept telling us that the radiation these facilities emit are safe.  We told them about studies that show they're not and that they actually increase cancer risk. 
We told them we feel the project is not aesthetically pleasing and not in the character of our neighborhood, that it will decrease property values, that we have sufficient wireless coverage in this area already, and that we don't want to expose ourselves and our children with the radiation that these towers emit. 
  • The most important thing we learned was that Burbank Water and Power can say "no" to this proposed project.  Or they can decide it should go to City Council. 
  • Burbank Water and Power told us the proposed lease payment from T-Mobile is around $1,800 a month.  We told Mr. Thompson it's not worth the $1,800 a month, to endanger their customers like this and support a tower that's in a residential neighborhood near schools and a church.  Supporting a tower like this could also tarnish their organization in the eyes of the community. 
  • This proposed wireless tower project would be the first for Burbank Water and Power.  And so we feel this would set a dangerous precedent.
  • T-Mobile reps told us the other site they were considering was St. Francis Xavier Church.  Or setting up smaller antennas in front of our homes on our sidewalk street lights.
Do we really want our Water and Power helping T-Mobile set up antennas like this and more of them in our neighborhoods? 

Mike Thompson said Burbank Water and Power still hasn't decided if this should go to City Council.  If it did, then it's just a few weeks from now that the City Council would review this project for approval or denial. 

We need to gather more community support so we can stop this now!  We need all of us to tell the Water and Power Department, the Mayor and City Council, the Recreation and Park Department, and our School Board members how they need to say "No" to cell towers being put in our residential neighborhoods, schools, churches and parks!

Please e-mail us at NoCellTowerInOurNeighborhood@gmail.com if you can help us mobilize more signatures, neighborhood support, and help us with our e-mail and phone campaigns to our city and school officials and leadership to make sure there is "NO" cell tower in our neighborhood!