The town manager and the Mashpee selectmen have devised a political shield to stand behind in an effort to protect themselves from the Mashpee residents and voters with regard to the cell tower project. On this shield they are holding in front of themselves they have written words like “protect public safety for the residents of South Mashpee.”
I suggest that you look beyond this thin shield and see the truth about what has happened here.
The most important truth here is that this cell tower will not, and never could, significantly improve cell service in Popponesset and Monomoscoy. The coverage maps that were clearly shown by the experts hired by Blue Sky Towers have shown this tower is located too far from the intended service area. The truth is that an ODAS (outdoor distributed antenna system) had been designed to provide full coverage to these areas in South Mashpee without the need for a tower.
The town manager said he had a better plan to build a 150-foot cell tower to solve the cell coverage issue. He chose a location and authored an RFP. He also told the New Seabury Peninsula Club back in 2017 that this tower would work better than the ODAS system that had been designed for them by qualified engineers at a reputable Boston company.
So instead of signing for the system that was designed by an expert, the town led these people down a twisted, winding road away from improved service, as this Blue Sky Tower project that was poorly planned and poorly researched moved through many obstacles, not the least of which is that this land is not zoned for a cell tower of this height.
So, on one hand the shield is put up to say, “We are working to improve service,” but behind the shield they are trying to push a tower that will not work, and time passes. In fact, almost two years later this tower that could never fully solve the problem still lumbers along while the residents in South Mashpee continue to hope for improved cell service, and wait and wait. Meanwhile, that superior system that could have solved the issue years ago is still viable. In fact, many Cape and island towns have seen the benefits of the ODAS system and moved forward to install these systems and improve service for their residents instead of a 150-story tower with limited coverage.
The article about the judgment signed by the federal judge between Blue Sky Towers and the Mashpee selectmen in the Friday, January 10, edition of The Mashpee Enterprise may give the appearance that this is settled, but this is long from over. Many concerned citizens of Mashpee will be working through the lengthy appeals process on this poorly planned cell tower that is actually preventing cell service from improving in South Mashpee.
Someone posted on social media the other day a quote from Ben Carson that is so appropriate here: “We have been conditioned to think that only politicians can solve our problems. But at some point, we realize that it was the politicians who created the problem.”
Michael J. and Teresa A. Ronhock