A Call for Wise Governance from City of Medina Residents Lyn and Jerry Grinstein

May 18, 2015

Dear Councilmembers:

We very much appreciate your decision to schedule this meeting tonight to hear from those of us in the community who strongly believe the T-Mobile Fairweather Park settlement should be rescinded.

Last Thursday three of your members gave us the courtesy of listening to why the full Council reconsideration should take place.  There were many reasons and thoughts advanced, including options that would position the cell tower in a non-intrusive location – an option which both fully satisfies the publicly stated objectives of T-Mobile and preserves the integrity of Fairweather Park as well as our non-commercial environment.  That’s the very environment which led many of us to settle in Medina in the first place.  This option is far superior to the one represented in the “settlement”.  In any event, all of these thoughts, views, concerns, and recommendations should have been heard and seriously considered before final action was taken.

The most obvious reason for this re-examination is, of course, to be certain the Council has had the opportunity to truly evaluate all the consequences resulting from a significant public policy decision.  Once this tower is constructed it is permanent and Fairweather Park forever impaired.

Additionally, its placement sets legal precedent that then invites the construction of more facilities in our parks, further compromising the qualities Medina treasures, and the undermining of our carefully considered codes which place a high premium on preserving our precious environment. 

Further, and perhaps the most far reaching reason for tonight’s hearing is that ours is a small community that should thrive on collegiality, collaboration, transparency, and good personal relationships.  One way for that to be fostered is to be open to those with different, perhaps conflicting views.  In the case of the T-Mobile Fairweather Park situation, we are left to conclude that these different views were not given an opportunity to present the case for alternative courses of action.  Wise governance would provide an open and careful ear to the presentations tonight. 

Last, it is worth noting that there is a wealth of talent, knowledge, and experience residing in Medina.  This is a huge bonus and a great resource for the Councilmembers.  We would urge that the members avail themselves of this willing body of constituents, most of whom would be only too happy to lend their expertise to the Council deliberations on a wide variety of technical and public policy issues.

One personal comment:  The topic of controversy is discussed and billed as the “Settlement Agreement”.  That very label suggests that it is the result of a compromise where all of the parties participated with a final result responding to the differing views presented.  That was not the case.  Rather, as previously noted, a substantial number of Medina residents were not given the opportunity to present to the Council prior to the “Settlement” decision. 

Again, we applaud and appreciate the Councils’ decision to reconsider this very consequential issue.  Even if the members believe they know all that will be said, their constituents and neighbors should have at a minimum the right to propose what may well be a wiser course of action for public policy as well as one that satisfies a larger number of your constituents.  It won’t take a lot of imagination to know that we also hope the Settlement Agreement is rescinded, and that we will have in its place a far better solution for Medina than the current degradation of Fairweather Park particularly at a time when we have so few parks available and another solution for siting the cell tower can be obtained.

Sincerely,

Lyn and Jerry Grinstein

[Post-script from RESPECTMedina: The Council did not take a vote to reconsider. However, because you and your neighbors have been both vigilant and vocal, the Medina residents have reclaimed their seat at the table, and the three parties to the lawsuit, T-Mobile/Independent Towers, the City of Medina, and RESPECTMedina/Medina residents (the "Intervenors"), are meeting on Tuesday, May 26, 2015. You can count on us to continue to advocate for solutions that are both pro-technology and pro-parks -- and pro-business. T-Mobile says they want the right results, the right way, and they were voted a World's Most Ethical Company (Ethisphere). Reach out to T-Mobile and tell them this is an opportunity for them to confirm their commitment to strong corporate citizenship and responsibility. Email, call or tweet to T-Mobile and tell them we want them in our community, outside our parks.]