Tuesday, March 10, 2015

T-mobile's Letters of Cancellation: DeKalb County Schools Are Cell Tower Free!

The Letters by T-mobile were obtained via an Open Records Request to DeKalb County Schools. Any citizen has the right to request any public document and it must be delivered or otherwise made available to the public within three business days. If you have attempted an Open Records Request and have not had success, please contact the state's office of Open Government: http://law.ga.gov/open-government

The DeKalb County School Board approved leases for T-mobile to lease the grounds at 9 schools in this metro Atlanta county in July 2011. Now, three and a half years later, the parents and community members who fought back against the unethical business practices finally have the victory they worked so hard to achieve.

T-mobile has cancelled the deal after a federal judge ruled in the favor of the county to uphold its existing zoning code and enforce it even when the school board insisted they were exempt. Congratulations to everyone who worked hard in support of keeping DeKalb's school free from the dirty money of the telecomm industry! Uniting across the traditional divides that keep these schools separated is what made the difference!

Now, the fight will move from the county to individual cities which are in the process of being formed by the state legislators right now! Cities want to control their own zoning process, which means the county's zoning code will fly right out the window.

T-mobile's employee was even on the volunteer board for Tucker 2014, the group working toward a city of Tucker, GA. A former ATT executive who helped start the first new city in more than 50 years in the Atlanta metro area has been meeting with communities and helping them get started on their own version of his uber-rich "outsource everything" city of Sandy Springs. While the new idea is getting some attention, it has yet to be seen if it can translate to areas with less of a financial cushion in their budgets for the high price of outsourcing.

Get the Cell Out - ATL is following the cell tower issue and how it might be affected if the Atlanta area becomes fully municipalized as the state lawmakers are hoping. You can read more about the attack on Tucker, a continuation of this cell tower issue, by reading this blog: SaveTuckerFromLakesideCity.blogspot.com.

Get the Cell Out - ATL would also like to recognize Crossroads News for their excellent reporting on this subject throughout the entire process! THANK YOU CROSSROADS NEWS!

Crossroads News:

Cell Towers Won't Be Built

Cell Towers Going to Schools

DeKalb Inks Deal for Towers

Towers Not a Done Deal

Cell Tower Opponents Doing All They Can

Meetings on Towers at Schools

Commissioners Give a Thumbs Down To Cell Towers at Schools

Some school board members change position on cell towers

Board had health information when it voted

We need a moritoria on cell towers   *  GTCO-ATL mentioned

Cell Tower Vote  * GTCO-ATL mentioned

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Open Records Request Filed to Locate Cancellation of T-mobile's Contracts

We want to believe the sources who announced the cancellation of the Tmobile contracts with DeKalb County Schools, but if there is one thing we have learned through this four year battle, it's that you can never be too sure of anything. It's better to have proof in your hand than simply the word from someone who may not even be in office a few months later.

So, starting with the school system, this email was sent (see below).  They have three business days by law to respond.

2/25/20159:02 a.m.
To: Audrey Qualls
From: Get the Cell Out - ATL 
Subject: ORR For Cell Tower Contract Cancellations
Ms. Qualls,
We are sending this Open Records Request for the official signed documentation that indicates T-mobile has cancelled any contracts to place cell phone towers at our schools in DeKalb County.
Thank you,
XXXX XXXXGet the Cell Out – ATL

The "official" word was provided to us by several sources that were all reporting that Commissioner Jeff Radar had put out a public statement.  But, early in the process, we were frequently passed back and forth between the school board and the county commissioners, each claiming that the decision was out of their hands and we needed to contact the other.  While the commissioner is reporting that the remaining contracts were all cancelled, we would like to see it somewhere in writing.  Surely, that won't be too  much to ask.... right??