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Community workshop

SUMMARY:
Please plan to attend the City’s agenda for November 28 community workshop and the AT&T proposals, which will be held in Council chambers at City Hall on Wednesday, November 28, 2018 from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.  The Council may extend it if there are still people with questions.  City Hall is at 8400 Laguna Palms Way, Elk Grove, CA 95758

Attend if you can and bring your clear, concise questions.  Send your questions to be answered at the meeting to City Clerk Jason Lindgren.  Or to be notified of any City decisions regarding the event.  Jason’s email address is jlindgren@elkgrovecity.org

Sample questions for the community workshop:

#1  What are the health impacts or effects caused by long term exposure to this kind of electromagnetic field (EMF)?

#2  Do you really want 4G and 5G cell antennas on a telephone pole or light pole in front of your house?

Section 1.3 of the proposed AT&T agreement gives them the right to install its own poles for the purpose of placing cell antennas in any location where there are no poles.

#3  Is there a way the city can protect itself against the assault of the cell antennas by the telecom companies?

#4  What actions did the cities of Petaluma and Mill Valley recently take to protect themselves and their residents’ interests, including health?

#5  Can Elk Grove limit cell antennas to commercial and industrial neighborhoods, subject to further requirements?

#6  If according to Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam a 5G antenna has a range of 2,000′ why do they need to be any closer than that to homes?

You can also email your questions to be answered at the event to City Clerk Jason Lindgren. His email is jlindgren@elkgrovecity.orgPlease share.

Here is the staff report on the City’s website:

http://www.elkgrovecity.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_109585/File/cityclerk/citycouncil/2018/attachments/10-24-18_8.14.pdf

Here is the agenda for the October 24 meeting on the City’s website:

http://elkgrovecity.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_109585/File/cityclerk/citycouncil/2018/ag-10-24-18.pdf

BACKGROUND:

At the September 26, 2018 City Council meeting, after public comments the Council held a short discussion and decided to hold a community workshop on cell antenna policy.  A couple of the Council members said they wanted an expert in the field at the workshop to provide unbiased information.  Good idea!

At the October 24, 2018 City Council meeting the Council approved item #8.14 on the October 24 agenda (part of the consent calendar).  The staff report on community workshop suggested scheduling the community workshop for November 28, 2018.  It also described some of the other logistics of the event such as giving equal time for both sides and having a third party expert present.  There was no mention in the staff report of questions and answers.  There should be.

I advised the Council that that was a bad date because it is only 6 days after Thanksgiving and less than a month before Christmas, and that everybody’s minds would be in Christmas mode, and that you can’t compete with Christmas.  There will be rows of empty seats and far fewer people will attend than would otherwise.  I suggested a date in January.  The Council is scheduled to have regular meetings on January 9 and 23.  Either of those would be a better date for the community workshop.

I also made several other recommendations regarding the community workshop.  The date is the only item on which the Council took action on October 24.  All the rest of the details remain to be worked out.  One of the biggest questions is the City’s selection of an expert in the field.  As of October 29 staff was heading down the wrong road on this issue, planning not to use our recommended expert but planning to use an engineer in California – because he knows more about California law.  This despite the fact that our expert has worked with over 1,000 cities in 38 states.  He has even sent references, 16 of these cities.  It is unknown whether the staff has called any of those references.

The City’s engineer most likely has zero training in any of the fields of study related to the health impacts of long term exposure to pulsed, non-ionizing radio frequency microwave electromagnetic fields (EMF).  Those fields are:  biology, microbiology, endocrinology, neurology, immunology, oncology and genetics.  And a few others.  Engineers are not required to study any of those fields at any point in their professional careers and generally do not know anything about them.  The problem is that an “expert in the field” who is not really familiar with the field, let alone an expert in the field, may make false and misleading statements based on his or her lack of knowledge to the effect that EMF are harmless or that the scientific research on health impacts of EMF is inconclusive.  Such statements would mislead everybody in the room including the Council, the staff and Elk Grove residents, and could pave the way for the Council to make a huge policy mistake.

Mark