Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco School Board delays vote on campus cell tower

LAND O'LAKES — In the face of parent opposition, the Pasco School Board took no action Tuesday on a proposal to place a cellphone tower at Seven Oaks Elementary School in Wesley Chapel.

The board rescheduled its vote to Dec. 17, an evening meeting that could draw an even larger crowd than the two dozen who showed up Tuesday morning to voice concerns about possible harm from radiation emitted by the towers.

"I'm comfortable we'll have more people in December," said Robb Sercu, one of the parents who spoke against the tower.

He noted that more than 200 parents had joined a Facebook group opposing the tower, and more than 500 had signed a petition against it.

The district has been signing cell tower land leases at several schools, including nearby John Long Middle, as a revenue enhancer. Officials have projected each tower could generate $1 million over 30 years.

Sercu suggested that the district instead should have a fundraiser called "Keep Cell Towers Out of Our Schools."

"We could make it a community thing that everybody is behind instead of something that everyone is concerned about," he told the board.

The concern was evident among the parents who spoke out. They said the jury was still out on the harm their children might face with the radiation that comes from a cell tower, calling it a "gray area" with inconclusive research.

"Some cancers take 10, 15 or 20 years to develop. So we really do not know the long-term health effects," said parent Brian Wade.

That being the case, the parents said, the district should err on the side of children's safety.

"I do not send my kid to school so she can get harmed," said parent Nereida McGrath. "Please don't do this."

At superintendent Kurt Browning's recommendation, the board moved the lease deal to the Dec. 17 meeting. Vice chairman Steve Luikart said that change would give parents and the board more time to gather information about the health effects of cell towers.

Parents shouted from the audience that they wanted a "no" vote right away. Outside the meeting room, they said they were gratified to have another month.

"If its going to take longer for them to research … that's even better because they can be convinced by what we've provided," said parent Sanela Dzanan.

In other action, the School Board:

• Named member Alison Crumbley as chairwoman for the next year, along with Luikart as vice chairman.

• Rehired board attorney Dennis Alfonso and his firm for another year.

• Approved dual enrollment fees with Pasco-Hernando Community College, but vowed to fight for changes to the law that required the charges.

Pasco School Board delays vote on campus cell tower 11/19/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 8:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning: Jon Cooper takes unusual tact to create mistmatches

    Lightning Strikes

    Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper argues the called as his team gets a faceoff violation, leading to penalty and #Caps PP goal, during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (10/09/17).DIRK SHADD   |   Times
  2. Editorial: A neighborhood under attack unites

    Editorials

    Three murders in two weeks understandably have Tampa's Seminole Heights neighborhood on edge. But Tampa police and residents are working together to find the killer and are connecting in ways that will strengthen the community in the long run. This is the best reaction to the tragedy of the three deaths, and it should …

    Seminole Heights residents came together in a candlelight vigil Sunday night to pay respect to the families and to demonstrate that they will not be cowed into staying indoors.
  3. Students at middle school pretend to rape black classmates on Snapchat

    Nation

    The Snapchat had just about every offensive topic the middle school students could cram into a video clip: race-based simulated sexual assaults, profanity-laced slurs and repulsive language that shocked whoever the intended audience was - and, eventually, many more people.

    Students at a Virginia middle school pretended to rape other students on video, which was shared on Snapchat. Reports say white members of a football team enacted the rape scenes while in the locker room. This photo of a standard locker room is courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
  4. Seminole Heights restaurants face struggles amid killings, post-Irma

    Food & Dining

    SEMINOLE HEIGHTS — The neighborhood's hip circle of popular, well-regarded restaurants is feeling the squeeze in the wake of a recent killing spree. And the timing is rough.

    Ella's American Folk Art Cafe. Times files
  5. St. Pete-Clearwater holding food, supply drive for hurricane refugees

    Airlines

    CLEARWATER — St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport and Allegiant Air are holding a food and supply drive for the Hispanic Outreach Center in Pinellas County. The event, which will benefit refugees displaced by Hurricane Maria, will be held Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the airport at 14700 Terminal Blvd.

    St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport and Allegiant Air are hosting a food and supplies drive Tuesday for refugees displaced by Hurricane Maria. | [Times file photo]