My deepest gratitude to everyone who worked so tirelessly on educating those in Lenox about the unprotective, incomplete and full of holes bylaw that was not in the best interest of the town or the residents. Thank you to all who worked on and participated in the Safer Siting forum, who wrote letters for the record to the town, and who shared much better versions of the bylaw which allowed necessary facilities to be placed where they belonged. In this last busy holiday month, everyone has been amazing and efforts in this last week and last night were phenonenomal.
Sadly, the town choose to use an industry consultant who dished out medical, scientific, engineering and legal advice despite not being a doctor, scientist, engineer, or lawyer. While the town didn’t listen to our suggestions to hire- or simply talk to an non industry attorney who does this work- THE PEOPLE DID. Our voices, even though most of us were silenced when they cut open comments off early to “call the question” have been heard loud and clear.
Thank you to each of you for your unbelievable support, incredible efforts and strength in ensuring new towers are sited appropriately and not 30 feet from bedroom windows and 150 feet from front doors. We will continue to try to work with town leaders to get a new, appropriate ordinance passed.
The people have voted. They voted for health and safety.
Eagle Article below-
LENOX — Cheers erupted in Lenox Thursday night, as if the Red Sox won the World Series.
But it was opponents of the Planning Board’s proposed wireless telecommunications bylaw, victorious in their effort to defeat the plan.
The high-stakes special town meeting adjourned far earlier than expected. Resident Judy Moss called the question on the bylaw, asking voters to cut off debate after less than 30 minutes of discussion on the hotly contested wireless plan crafted by town planners over nearly two years and over 150 hours of Town Hall meetings.
A proposed bylaw regulating wireless facilities in Lenox has prompted vigorous opposition. Will these concessions win enough votes?
Residents voted 68 percent in favor of proceeding directly to a vote on the towers bylaw warrant article, more than the two-thirds majority needed to end discussion, after eight residents voiced support and opposition for the plan, designed to clear the way for improvement in the town’s spotty cellphone service, especially affecting Verizon customers.
But the vote on the wireless bylaw itself narrowly missed the needed two-thirds supermajority. Residents voted 251-147 for the bylaw, a 63 percent majority. In order to pass, 266 “yes” votes would have been needed.
Views on wireless bylaw
During the abbreviated debate on the wireless bylaw, former Selectman Channing Gibson argued that cell phones are a vital link in today’s world, since fewer people have land lines. Without service, medical emergencies and other vital communications are impossible. He added that social justice issues are at stake.
“An unwillingness to trust existing health and scientific guidelines is not a valid excuse to deny members of our community help for their very real safety concerns,” Gibson said.
Amy Judd said the bylaw lacked necessary details and specific requirements for potential wireless facility applicants.
A wireless bylaw to improve cell reception? Debate intensifies in Lenox as opponents urge caution
Sue Merritt, owner of Lenox Fit on Pittsfield Road, where the town’s major cell tower is located, spoke in support of the bylaw. “So far, I’m not glowing and I’m still here to talk about it. A lot of misinformation has been spread through the community.”
But Amelia Gilardi, teenage daughter of bylaw opponent Courtney Gilardi, described how she was “forced out” of her family home in southeast Pittsfield because of illness from a new Verizon Wireless cell tower, the subject of prolonged litigation by aggrieved residents.
She came to Lenox as a “safe haven” and stated that she didn’t vomit, get dizzy or miss school because of headaches, as she did in Pittsfield, but still suffers health impacts. “I lost the last three years of my childhood to this,” she told residents, asking for a “no” vote on the bylaw.
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