May 21, 2021
Dear Bill (CC: town Commissioners)
I hope this finds you all well and looking forward to a wonderful summer as my family is.
You all may have seen the letter to the editor linked below.
As you know the Beachfront pole issue is a serious matter, and this letter printed in the Gazette from a former DelDot employee underscores that.
The content of my and others prior multiple communications was just along the lines of this argument. The only good news was that JMT was not hired for the town, following their work for DelDot to impose 23 poles. It would’ve been counterproductive and intemperate for me to say it at the time - since my strong objections are well-known, but the town likely would have had to deal with have legal action if it had proceeded with JMT, which would be unfortunate and negative but necessary.
However, I have not heard yet why the Verizon poles, off the Right of Way, have not been moved. The statements from Mr. Townsend were of great concern at the last meeting. After being very clear on the subject prior, he appears to be waffling on his clear declaration of where the Right of Way is located. All the documents support that the Verizon poles are off the Right of Way. It was likely a quirk unique to Dewey but it is a lucky turn of events that the town must use to it’s advantage. Mr. Townsend’s own admissions, which were illustrated and the subject of video number three could not have been more clear. If he changed his mind that should be set forth in equal detail, so they can be examined by other legal sources.
In fact, I also mentioned back in September that the town needs to seek other legal counsel on this matter. Mr. Townsend was in place when the legislation was considered, passed, and the FCC guidance was issued but there is no record of him saying anything. Other small towns were on this matter (such as Bethany and Fenwick) in 2018. Mr. Townsend now reports that he is interfacing with DelDot off the record, but that is not in the residents interest, and not customary in property disputes where all documents legally need to be in writing (reference the real estate cornerstone the Statutes of Fraud). The bottom line: town needs new legal input / second opinion on this matter and to effect the relocation of the Verizon poles.
The latest event, as reported at the last council meeting, where Verizon trucks were intercepted as they sought to have fiber installed on Dagsworthy was a further disrespect of and in the town. Verizon has for years refused to offer its Fiber Fios service in Dewey and other coastal towns, while offering it just miles away. The fact that they could install it on one street is revealing that they have a nearby Fiber node Which could wire Dewey With a modern infrastructure. This is a huge issue because it’s been widely alleged they’ve done this in other towns Nationwide seeking high bandwidth service as an alternative to 5G. Dewey needs fiber first, witch is a superior product to any 5G, and requires no eyesores, emits zero EMT, and does not block the seascape.
It’s pretty clear that the evidence has been from the beginning that Verizon along with DelDot has failed to threat the town with even a modicum of consideration. The result is five the ugly 35 foot pole monuments at our seascape so far. Verizon has made no effort to attend any meetings nor mitigate the design by disguising them as light posts, as they did in Rehoboth just over a mile away.
The town has regulatory authority and it has recorded right of ways, and an ordinance. To not push back on Verizon now seems now to most observers To whom I’ve spoken, to be making a statement of indecision and fear. Such traits never work out as they invite more of a corporate bullying type behavior that we have seen from the telecoms.
My effort has been positive to not point to Dewey but to the telecoms - in all four video reports. But there is a lot that Dewey needs to do. Please address this matter in a positive and decisive manner that we all seek.
Jeffrey C. Smith
Dewey Citizens for Accountability
PS Among the many issues I’ve raised one was the fact that the existing pol3/ will only, by their own admission, withstand 40 MPH winds. The coastal building codes require hardening for 120 mph in Delaware. Should that strapped on equipment which includes three 60 pound antennas fly loose Dewey would unquestionably be accountable for non-enforcement that resulted in any damage to persons or property. The smart and decisive move would be to take them down before Memorial Day.