The Pinole City Council has scheduled a three-hour workshop next week to discuss a cell phone tower scheduled to be built in Pinole Valley Park.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 11, in the City Council Chambers
If Tuesday night was any indication, there will be a lot to talk about.
A dozen speakers presented the council with a long list of questions and concerns they want answered.
In June, the council voted 4-1 to reject Verizon’s proposal for an 80-foot tower in the park. However, it reversed itself in July and voted 3-2 to approve the tower after Verizon threatened to sue because company officials said they have a lease for the tower signed early this year by City Manager Belinda Espinosa.
Several citizens on Tuesday evening questioned if Espinosa had authority from the council to sign the lease.
One speaker, Matt Bielby, accused the council of “caving in” when Verizon threatened them. He also said he felt the council had “circled the wagons” around Espinosa after she made a mistake.
‘I think the council threw the citizens under the bus,” said Bielby.
Others asked if the rules and regulations regarding Pinole Valley Park allows such a tower to be built.
“This property is protected as park land,” said Sal Spataro. “if Verizon wants to throw up a lawsuit, I think they’re going to get a black eye.”
Irma Ruport asked if Espinosa and City Attorney Ben Reyes would be attending the Sept. 11 workshop. Neither officials was at Tuesday night’s meeting.
Several speakers simply said the park is a poor location to put an 80-foot tower.
Council members listened to the comments and said they will have answers and responses at the Sept. 11 workshop.