The comments from stopcelltower.org here about Verizon getting Zoning Board approval for the Cell Tower off of Knapp Ave.:
The Cell Tower Is Going Up Verizon Wins They Always Do…Eventually Here’s Why
Last night, July 19 2016, the Edison Township Zoning Board approved the Verizon Wireless application for a cell tower in Festival Plaza, a retail space surrounded by residential neighborhoods. It’s not the fault of the Edison Zoning Board. The Board did their best having previously denied the Verizon application a number of times in a process that started in 2013. Unfortunately, the Edison Zoning Board as well as the local homeowners and residents were up against the Telecommunications Act of 1996. This Act was a terrible law championed and signed by President Bill Clinton and supported by almost all members of Congress. In fact, in 1996 only 5 senators and 16 representatives voted against it, including then Congressman Bernie Sanders.
In 1996 President Clinton called this new law a “truly revolutionary legislation that really embodies what we ought to be as a country.” Well unfortunately this legislation is a perfect example of what we have become as a country. We are, now more than ever, a country where the lobbyists write the laws that benefit huge corporations at the expense of the citizens…and often the consequences of these bills are disasterous for the overwhelming majority of people.
There are many negative aspects of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, not the least of which is media consolidation…a recognized threat to the concept of democracy. But the most localized negative consequences of this law is that the Act essentially gives the wireless telecoms, such as Verizon, power over the local zoning boards to determine the location of cell towers. In fact, the wireless telecoms almost always get the locations they want because they have this very undemocratic law on their side. The fact is that the decisions of local zoning boards to deny cell tower applications can be, and usually are, overriden by State Courts due to provisions in the Telecommunication Act of 1996. This happens time and time again across the country. This is what happened with the Verizon application for Festival Plaza in Edison. This is happening across the United States in every state and in every locality.
The Edison Zoning Board should be commended for repeatedly denying the Verizon application, but eventually NJ Court overrode the Edison Zoning Board. There was no other possible outcome based on this bad law… the Telecommunications Act of 1996. So, again we see a glaring example of our leaders selling-out ordinary citizens in order to accomodate big business and their lobbyists… those interests that financially support most of our politicians and leaders. It’s shameful.
President Clinton championed and signed the Telecommunication Act of 1996. The act, signed into law on February 8, 1996, was described by FAIR (Fairness In Accuracy And Reporting) as “essentially bought and paid for by corporate media lobbies…”. So, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 ranks up there with NAFTA in terms of the damage these bills have done and continue to do.
NAFTA is, of course, the bill that destroyed the manufacturing base in the United States and did more to destroy what’s left of the middle class than any legislation in our history. All this done under the banner of so-called “free-trade” which was falsely touted as a benefit to everyone, because of the many “service sector” jobs that would be created that would make up for the lost manufacturing jobs. The politicians did not happen to mention that those ‘service sector’ jobs would be burger-flipping at McDonalds and cashier work at Walmart. Both of these terrible bills were championed by Bill Clinton and Al Gore, a presidential ticket that this writer supported in 1992 and again in 1996. Both bills provided huge monetary benefits to multi-billion dollar multi-national corporations at a huge cost to ordinary working class and middle class citizens.
The takeaway here is there are many unhappy people about this cell tower approval, as there are in similar cell tower battles across the country. This purpose of this post is to help people understand where the blame properly belongs. It is with Washington politicians not with the local zoning boards.