Readers Write: What was Williston Park thinking with AT&T

The Island Now

Your article states that one of the reasons that the trustees voted down the application was due to strong pushback from residents. I’m curious. Hhow many residents pushed back; was it 5,100, or 500 residents?

Also, as per the village attorney, AT&T basically did not file the necessary paperwork, applications or permits required by the village. It seems that they also did not have Mayor Ehrbar’s advance OK to file their paperwork if my interpretation is correct.

And, the village agreed that the tower would not have any detrimental effect on the environment and furthermore, the frequencies would fall well below Federal/FCC guidelines. In other words, not harmful to plants, animals or people.

Have I summarized the key points correctly?

Balance that against gaining a $50,000 signing bonus, $5,000 per month in rent with a 3 percent escalator clause every year that will potentially earn the village over $2.854 Million over the life of the lease.

I’m wondering if the residents will thank the Mayor and the Trustees when their village taxes go up, potholes don’t get filled, the cost of pool membership goes up, or water rates need to be increased, to name a few?

I think not.

I suggest the following. Call back AT&T and ask them to send a nice letter to the Mayor asking him if its OK for them to re-file. A pretty-please from AT&T would would be a nice touch along with a bouquet of flowers.

Second, announce a special village meeting asking all residents to hear AT&T’s proposal. Hopefully,  a substantially larger number of residents will attend. I’d like to hear resident objections and replies from both the village leadership and AT&T.

Third, have AT&T prepare a document available to all residents stating their case and a like document from the village leadership stating why they object, if they do so a second time. I’m sure this publication would be happy to publish this information in its entirety or in the Village publication.

> Fourth, call a village-wide vote where ALL residents have the opportunity to vote on the proposal. It’s that an important issue and the majority vote will prevail. If the village leadership fails to call for a village-wide vote, I guess the village is flush with cash and doesn’t need the $2.854 Million windfall.

If so, I suggest that they attest that no village taxes, fees, etc., will be raised for a period of at least 5 years. This resolution will be binding on all future mayors and trustees elected within this timeframe.

The seven village trustees and the Mayor were extremely shortsighted in voting down the AT&T proposal and the opportunity to gain substantial revenue for the village with no risk to resident health simply because of a few resident objections and some t’s not crossed and i’s not dotted.

Not worth $2.854 Million, really?

I can understand a negative vote if the village had received superior competing proposals from other carriers such as Verizon or T Mobile, etc.

But this was not the case. Let’s do this right for all residents in the village before AT&T negotiates with a neighboring town or village to use their facilities or sues the village which is well within their rights. How much will a lawsuit cost the village and its residents?

Perhaps I’ll invite AT&T to erect a tower in my backyard- I sure could use the $2.854 Mil.

Vic Oliveri

Willston Park

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