To the editor:
I live in the neighborhood of southeast Pittsfield formerly known as “shack town.” Our neighborhood is made up of hardworking people. We are teachers, students, war veterans, roofers, cancer survivors, health care workers, DPW workers, your elected officials. We are Pittsfield.
My wife and I are raising two young daughters. We are both Berkshire County natives. We love living here. We have woods surrounding our property and we have the best neighbors. We enjoy taking regular walks on our quiet neighborhood streets.
One morning in March, a neighbor dropped off a packet of information on my doorstep stating a Verizon cellphone tower was being constructed in our neighborhood. A cell phone tower 1,000 feet from our house! I could not believe it. I had no idea. And neither did the rest of the neighborhood.
Imagine a cell phone tower in your neighborhood, next to your home, constructed without notice. We have 14 abutters within 300 feet of the tower property who have provided written affidavits that they did not receive the proper notification from the city. All of these people didn’t throw out their mail without reading it. So I ask, do we still believe in democracy? The great thing about Massachusetts municipal governance is the power of citizens’ rights and the fact that we all have the option to voice our opinions on such matters that could affect our neighborhoods. That is, when the laws are followed.
A judge will decide if the city did their due diligence of notifying the property abutters. This is an important decision for you, not just our neighborhood. If the city and Verizon move forward with this project despite not providing proper notifications, it sets a precedent. A precedent that we can all be ignored and left out of the process whenever corporate interests and city officials decide. Our neighborhoods can be inundated and trounced upon without any citizenry input. If you would like to help, our GoFundMe page is called “Stop the Tower” and Change.org petition page is called “Stop the Pittsfield Cell Tower.”
Published in Berkshire Eagle