5G controversy continues
By Focus Staff
The Farragut Mayor and Board of Aldermen met via video conference for their bi-monthly meeting Thursday, April 23 and conducted the Citizens Forum at the end of the meeting. Because of the Covid-19 virus no one could attend in person and the Citizens Forum was done by email. Two Farragut residents sent emails, Laura Squires and Mike Mitchell. They were both criticized by the mayor and aldermen.
Squires’ email addressed questions about the 5G cellular towers that would be in residents’ front yards. Squires asked if there was a uniform standard or if the 5G cell towers in upscale neighborhoods would be more attractive than the 5G cell towers in average neighborhoods. The mayor and aldermen somehow took offense to this. The question was reasonable since the Town of Farragut and the cellular providers have not agreed on the appearance of the cellular towers. The town maintains it has a standard for the towers but the cellular companies currently say they are not bound to the Farragut standards. By Tennessee law these 5G cell towers in residents’ front yards can be as tall as forty feet.
Farragut resident Mike Mitchell created a resolution for the mayor and aldermen to consider that would pause any 5G cell tower construction until the cellular providers could provide medical proof the 5G cell towers were safe and asked that the resolution be read into the minutes. Town Attorney Tom Hale and the Farragut Mayor Ron Williams refused to allow the resolution to be read aloud. The resolution is included at the end of this article.
The Focus asked Mike Mitchell why the resolution was not read aloud. Mitchell replied, “It’s more of the censorship and harassment the people of Farragut have had to put up with from our elected mayor and aldermen on this 5G issue. For 39 years the Citizen Forum has been at the beginning of the Mayor and Aldermen Meeting but Mayor Ron Williams has unilaterally moved Citizen Forum to the end of the meeting to discourage public participation and free speech.
“WVLT TV came to film the people of Farragut speaking about 5G in a Mayor and Aldermen Meeting and the mayor, at the beginning of the meeting without a vote, moved the Citizen Forum to the end of the meeting even though it was listed on the agenda at the start of the meeting.
“Mayor Williams claimed there was a needed workshop and he didn’t want the workshop participants to have to wait to hear a lot of citizens talk about 5G. There were only two workshop participants and was of them was an aldermen who had to stay to the end of the meeting anyway. I believe the Mayor did this to prevent WVLT from filming the citizens.
“Last week was more of the same, I was not allowed the chance to speak in the video meeting to defend myself or protest the censorship of not reading the resolution.”
Mitchell received criticism from the town attorney, the mayor, and the vice mayor. Some of the criticism regarded the resolution. But the rest was from a statement in Mitchell’s email where he wrote: “There have been bad federal laws in America before such as the law which prohibited women from voting and the law that segregated schools and businesses. Those laws were repealed as the Telecommunications Act in 1996 will be too. The Town of Farragut has repeatedly claimed it must follow the bad law in the Telecommunications Act in 1996. I feel that is a violation of the town charter and your oath of office. Other towns in American have done the opposite and defended the health and public safety of their residents. I ask the Mayor and Aldermen to protect the residents of Farragut.”
Town Attorney Tom Hale started first and claimed that since there is disagreement among “experts” about the safety of 5G towers in residents’ front yards the resolution could not be considered.
The Focus asked Mitchell about this. Mitchell said, “There is not a single medical, toxicological, or epidemiological study that shows these 5G cell towers are safe at 25 feet from where people sleep. There are thousands of peer reviewed medical, toxicological, or epidemiological studies that show these cell towers can cause cancer. I have provided these to the mayor and aldermen and in the meeting last week they actually said they were not smart enough to understand the medical studies. The town attorney said maybe Mr. Mitchell could understand these studies but he was not smart enough to. What else can I do? They refuse to consider any proof these 5G cell towers can hurt people.” You can watch this part of the meeting on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/2fKXiBjb4Co
Mayor Williams criticized Mitchell next. Williams said, “He wanted us to read the resolution, but what’s in it is false and can’t be included. It doesn’t matter who he is quoting. It is so much his opinion, and not proven fact. He can ask that we do a resolution, but he can’t be the author of it.”
Mitchell’s response to this was, “the mayor said he wasn’t smart enough to understand the medical studies I’ve provided last week and now he claims they are false? That doesn’t make any sense. Citizens write resolutions quite often. I have written a charter amendment for Knox County that was passed into law by the voters of Knox County. I’ve written numerous resolutions over the past ten years. The Tennessee law on 5G was written by Joelle Phillips from AT&T and Mandy Young from Verizon. The idea that a citizen cannot author a resolution is ludicrous and completely false.”
Mayor Williams said, “With my hand on the Bible I swore I would uphold all the laws of the great State of Tennessee and the Constitution of the United States. I think that is crystal clear and I will continue to do so. It does not say anywhere in our Charter that it is the job of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to budget finances in order to wage a war on the State of Tennessee to try to abolish a state law, particularly when it is backed by a federal law,”
The Focus asked Mitchell for comment. Mitchell told us, “The purpose of the Town Charter and the oath of office is to protect the residents of Farragut. In my opinion they are in violation of both the Town Charter and their oath of office. These 5G cell towers are very dangerous to pregnant women and young children. We are not going to stop defending the residents of Farragut. Someone has to. I will prepare a new resolution and present it to the mayor and aldermen in the next meeting. I will continue to do so until someone on the Board of Mayor and Aldermen stands up to protect the people of Farragut. If that fails we will have to go to court. My mother died of brain cancer and I know firsthand how devastating this is.”
A resolution calling upon all telecommunications companies and public utilities operating in Farragut, Tennessee to cease the build-out of so-called “5G” wireless infrastructure until such technologies have been proven safe to human health and the environment through independent research and testing.
Whereas the telecommunications industry is engaged in a massive deployment of microwave and millimeter-wave “small cell” antennas across the county to facilitate the next generation of wireless communications known as 5G, and
Whereas this new technology uses existing wireless infrastructure and new types of radio-frequency (RF) microwave radiation to transmit large amounts of data, but requires significantly closer proximity to users, resulting in the dense deployment of antennas near residences, schools, and hospitals, and
Whereas the deployment of 5G-enabled small cell antennas in our neighborhoods raises serious questions regarding the potential health and environmental impacts of long-term exposure to untested RF microwave radiation frequencies, and
Whereas the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has not conducted any long- term safety testing of new 5G wireless technologies, and has failed to update its human RF microwave radiation exposure guidelines since 1996, despite being advised to do so by the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO), the American Academy of Pediatrics, and hundreds of medical and scientific experts from around the world, and
Whereas telecommunications industry leaders have publicly admitted that they have not conduced any safety tests to determine the possible adverse health and environmental effects from exposure to RF microwave radiation emitted by 5G-enabled small cell antennas, and
Whereas a significant body of published, peer-reviewed, independent science links exposure to RF microwave radiation with serious environmental and biological harm, including increased risk of cancer, reproductive problems and neurological impairments, and
Whereas populations especially at risk from this exposure include pregnant women, children, the elderly, and individuals with implanted medical devices, or cardiac or neurological problems, and
Whereas Swiss Re, the second-largest re-insurance company in the world, called 5G a “high impact” liability risk due to health risks in its 2019 SONAR emerging risks report, and
Whereas the theory that exposure to RF microwave radiation is harmless, which has been the underlying principle of all federal legislation and regulations regarding wireless technologies for more than twenty years, has now been proven false,
Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, that Farragut, Tennessee calls upon all telecommunications companies and public utilities operating in Farragut, Tennessee to cease and desist in the build-out of 5G-enabled small cell antennas until such technologies have been proven safe, beyond a reasonable doubt through independent research, and the public health and welfare can be assured.