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AT&T danced around tower queries

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When I moved here a year ago today, I had no idea I would be thrust into a cell tower debate (Journal, March 17). I feel that it is my duty as a citizen of Auburn to attempt to raise some important issues and to point out that there are still many questions that AT&T and the City Council have failed to answer. First and foremost, I want to state that my neighbors and I are not opposed to building cell phone technology infrastructure. I rely on cell technology and do not want to stand in the way of “improving service.” However, I feel that it is important that the city of Auburn work with AT&T to look at alternatives that are less intrusive. While the proposed monopine will be on property zoned “industrial,” it is still immediately next to residential property. This is a mixed-zoned area, plain and simple. Perhaps even more concerning is that the proposed monopine will be built on the edge of a scenic vista looking into the canyon. It’s time for us to be smart about how we plan Auburn’s future. Other communities have been smart and demanded less intrusive approaches. The truth is that there are alternative locations and technologies that AT&T could use that would be less intrusive. Why should we settle for less? Remember, today it’s about my neighborhood, but tomorrow it could just as easily be about yours. A petition of over 60 names of those who live and work in close proximity to the proposed cell tower was submitted to the City Council asking that they demand that AT&T look for less intrusive approaches to accomplish the same goal. When I asked why couldn’t they use the latest technologies and alternative sites to minimize the visual impact of their infrastructure, the AT&T representatives at the public meeting danced around the answers. I have been given similar treatment when I asked City Council members and a representative from the planning department the same question. The decision-making process lacks transparency. Next week the City Council will vote on the cell tower issue. I truly believe that there’s a win/win solution out there, and my hopes are that the City Council will have what it takes to work toward that goal. Danusia Szumowski, Auburn