5G fighters strategize at Nevada City workshop
About a dozen citizens refusing to give up the fight against the wireless telecom ordinance approved last month used a workshop Saturday at Nevada City’s City Hall to provide suggestions for possible amendments to the ordinance and gameplan the next phase of their campaign.
After passing a telecom ordinance regulating wireless telecom facilities, the council agreed to allow a public workshop before the next meeting, with Mayor Reinetter Senum claiming the public was not given enough opportunity for input.
The workshop held Saturday was not a city-sponsored event, since organizing a council-hosted event wouldn’t be feasible before the next city council meeting, according to Senum. Because the workshop addressed business that would be on the upcoming agenda, the Brown Act applied, although no other city council members spoke on the issue at the meeting except Senum.
The group’s goal during the meeting was to add the most stringent regulations possible to limit the possible effects of wireless technology, since prohibiting it outright is not a possibility.
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The city’s outside legal counsel Baron Bettenhausen has maintained that the current version of the ordinance is as strong as legally defensible, but Senum claims the attorney she brought in to provide suggestions wasn’t part of the ordinance creation process.
“They won’t follow up,” Senum said of her suggestions to the council. “They don’t seem to be motivated.”
The group wants the council to add explicit health and safety standards to the ordinance, spell out Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, expand public right-to-know requirements, and require compliance reports with unannounced checks, among other changes.
“The ordinance gives you as much ability to regulate and control within the window of authority that you do have,” Bettenhausen told the council during a public meeting.
The workshop also had a strategy session element, with attendees discussing the best tactics to get their points across and persuade other council members. The group plans to prepare talking points, meet with council members to apply pressure for them to accept the changes, write letters and strategized what questions would be best to ask elected officials.
The potential amendments to the ordinance will be taken up during the next council meeting Oct. 23. Wireless telecom companies can for apply for wireless facilities in Nevada City beginning Oct. 25.
To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229.
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