Op-Ed: Caution on Private Cell Site Development

An Advertiser article recently suggested that town officials might work with private property owners for cellular site development. Doing so risks costly litigation, pitting neighbor against neighbor, like what we saw with the proposed Puddin Hill site a few years ago. While one private property owner may benefit from tower revenues, surrounding property owners would likely protest the impact. If the town steps away, and supports private property owners working directly with telecommunications carriers and the Connecticut Siting Council, we substantially reduce the town’s municipal voice in the siting process, risk exposing surrounding private property owners to real estate devaluation, and would be losing cellular revenues. As a former member of the Utilities Commission, the wireless topics which public meeting attendees seemed to care most about were real estate/view shed impact, and health.

Letter: Great Working Experience with Our Current Selectmen

As a resident and public servant, my experience working with our current Board of Selectmen has always been professional and enjoyable. I’ve found them to be accessible and responsive whenever there is work to be done. From the perspective of a community resident with concerns around spending, taxes, real estate values, schools, or more neighborhood specific issues, my experience has been that our selectmen want to hear from residents, and collaborate on solutions. From the perspective of a Utilities Commissioner working with them for over five years now, my experience has been equally gratifying. When I was serving as chairman early on, their support was memorable for the gratitude I felt from them for the work the commission did, and notable for the example they set as advocates for progress.

Enduring Gratitude for Howard Freeman

Last week, we lost Howard Freeman to a valiant fight against cancer—a fight that spanned several years, with diagnosis, remission, recurrence, and an aggressive and courageous treatment regimen. You would never know because he didn’t dwell on it. He was that kind of person. Howard exhibited the same kind of quiet courage when he took over as Chairman of the Utility Commission, having only served as Commissioner for a short period of time. Not really knowing all of what would be required of him, Howard leaned into the Chairmanship anyway.