Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough school board to vote Tuesday on contract with cell tower developer

A deal that spawned a parent activist movement is up for renewal in the Hillsborough County School District.

Board members are scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to remain in business with Collier Enterprises II, a south Tampa firm that develops school property for cellular towers.

The arrangement brings hundreds of thousands of dollars to schools, which use the money for everything from traffic cones to laptop computers.

Critics say there is not enough scientific research to say, with certainty, whether day-long exposure to cell tower radiation is safe for young children. In the five years that the contract has been in effect, an organization called Parents Against Cell Towers at Schools has opposed construction at numerous campuses, sometimes successfully.

Collier is headed by Stacy Frank, an attorney and daughter of longtime Democratic politician Pat Frank, Hillsborough County's Clerk of Courts. The younger Frank ran for the state House in November. She lost, with anti-cell tower parents mobilizing against her.

The school district allows principals to decide whether to accept the towers at their schools. Board member Stacy White says it is wrong to saddle principals with that kind of politically divisive decision. "Our principals should be able to place their focus on other areas," he said.

White also has spoken out about the possible health risks, arguing at a March 8 board workshop that it's better to rule on the side of caution than to learn, years later, that the exposure was harmful to children.

But White appears to be in the minority on a board that is deeply concerned about dwindling state revenues.

"Based on the feelings expressed at the workshop, I will probably have a tough road to hoe," White said.

The agenda for Tuesday's meeting calls for a straight-up vote on whether to renew the contract with Collier. But the board could ask the district to open the contract up for other bids, White said.

The meeting, which is open to the public, begins at 3 p.m. at school district headquarters, 901 E. Kennedy Boulevard.

Hillsborough school board to vote Tuesday on contract with cell tower developer 05/02/11 [Last modified: Monday, May 2, 2011 1:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa murder suspect told police he wanted to stop neo-Nazi roommates from committing acts of domestic terrorism

    Criminal

    TAMPA — After he admitted to shooting two roommates and led police to their dead bodies, Devon Arthurs said he committed the killings to prevent the pair from carrying out terrorist acts, according to a new court filing.

    Devon Arthurs, 18, told police  he shared neo-Nazi beliefs with his roommates, Jeremy Himmelman and Andrew Oneschuk, until he converted to Islam, according to a police report.
[Tampa Police]
  2. Pinellas School Board approves plan that aims to close achievement gap

    K12

    After months of behind-the-scenes negotiations, the Pinellas County School Board on Tuesday unanimously approved a plan that aims to tackle the achievement gap in 10 years and settles a long-running lawsuit over the education of black students.

    "I'm an optimist. I think this is going to work," Pinellas School Board member Linda Lerner said Tuesday after the board was presented with a plan that aims to settle a long-running lawsuit over the education of black students and close the achievement gap. The board voted 7-0 to approve the plan. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  3. With big concerts approaching, Tampa Bay venues remain vigilant after Manchester attack

    Public Safety

    In the aftermath of an explosion that killed at least 22 people — including children — moments after a pop concert ended in England on Monday night, local venues are assuring the public that security will continue to be tight at the Tampa Bay area's upcoming big-ticket shows.

    Fans cross Himes Avenue in Tampa toward Raymond James Stadium before the start of Beyonce's Formation World Tour in Tampa on April 29, 2016. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]
  4. Kahwa Coffee to open second drive-thru store in St. Petersburg

    Retail

    Kahwa Coffee will open its 12th location and fourth with a drive-thru in a former "farm store" in St. Petersburg.

    Kahwa Coffee will open its 12th location and fourth with a drive-thru in a former "farm store" in St. Petersburg.
[Times file photo]

  5. Editorial: Pie-in-the-sky Pier thinking

    Editorials

    A consultant's report commissioned by the city makes quite the case for feeling good about the new St. Petersburg Pier. The $80 million cost would be worth every dime because in just its first year of operation, the report from Lambert Advisory predicts, the Pier will create an economic impact of — you guessed it …

    A consultant’s report commissioned by the city makes quite the case for feeling good about the new St. Petersburg Pier. The reality is less tidy.