Gig Harbor City Council again expressed frustration at its Feb. 25 meeting with 5G technology being forced upon the community.
The topic was on the agenda to give the public an opportunity to discuss the new technology. Council has until April 15 to come up with the aesthetic standard of the 5G technology in the city, the only say council has on the matter.
“We’ve been elected to govern this community, and we can’t because the federal government is overreaching their authority,” Councilman Spencer Hutchins said. “We are left discussing things like how it looks when it is sitting on the pole. Not whether it’s healthy, whether it is what we want, whether it is necessary, whether it is wise. The FCC is an unelected body and our U.S. Congress needs to get its act together in providing some oversight on unelected bureaucratic agencies.”
Hutchins’ statement was followed by applause from many of those attending the meeting who also are against the new technology.
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Kim Allen came to speak on Verizon’s behalf, saying she wants to help the city make the 5G as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Allen said the new technology will be valuable to businesses.
“The code is very workable, and I am here to let you know Verizon is here to work with your community and staff to reflect the aesthetic values of the national community here,” Allen said. “We will value the enhanced 5G services that will come to Gig Harbor, something your residents expect, some of your businesses will rely on.”
Others were worried about the new technology, saying cost is a factor.
“They are telling us that we will have to pay more ‘cause they have something faster,” Gig Harbor resident Karen McDonald said. “But none of us have told you what we currently have is too slow. There has not been a demand that has precipitated this position on those of us who ultimately will have to pay for it. “
Mayor Kit Kuhn ensured the public that council is doing all that it can to be watchful.
“Council is very sensitive to make sure that the smallest devices of 5G will be installed,” Mayor Kuhn said. “We are trying to put all the safeguards with the council’s structure that they have given us to make sure to be very watchful of this process that we are not very thrilled about.”
A letter was sent by the mayor on Feb. 8 to all three state senators, expressing the City Council’s dismay.