Virtual Town Hall Gets Hot on Tower Discussion

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In a virtual town hall meeting, citizens and officials in Farragut, TN, got loud and feisty on the subject of cell towers, according to the Knoxville Focus. Much of the heated discussion revolved around the familiar topics of aesthetics, and perceived safety.

The Farragut Mayor and Board of Aldermen presented information about 5G cell towers and where they would be installed. However, the meeting appears to have been steered by the concerns of residents Laura Squires and Mike Mitchell, who are opposed to the 5G project. The objectors acknowledged the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and expressed their disdain for it.

Mitchell said in an email: “There have been bad federal laws in America before such as the law which prohibited women from voting and the law that segregated schools and businesses. Those laws were updated, as the Telecommunications Act in 1996 will be, too. The Town of Farragut has repeatedly claimed it must follow the bad law in the Telecommunications Act in 1996. I feel that is a violation of the town charter and your oath of office. Other towns in American have done the opposite and defended the health and public safety of their residents. I ask the Mayor and Aldermen to protect the residents of Farragut.”

Tom Hale, attorney for the town of Farragut, reminded attendees that studies have yet to prove that 5G presents a danger. Mayor Williams added that he was committed to upholding the law, saying, “With my hand on the Bible I swore I would uphold all the laws of the great State of Tennessee and the Constitution of the United States. I think that is crystal clear and I will continue to do so. It does not say anywhere in our Charter that it is the job of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to budget finances in order to wage a war on the State of Tennessee to try to abolish a state law, particularly when it is backed by a federal law.”

Mitchell drafted his own resolution proposing to override the federal regulations and wanted to read it out loud at the meeting. “He wanted us to read the resolution, but what’s in it is false and can’t be included,” said the mayor. “It doesn’t matter who he is quoting. It is so much his opinion, and not proven fact. He can ask that we do a resolution, but he can’t be the author of it.”

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