County Exec Pittman: Stop Letting Corporations Destroy Wetlands on County School Property

Proposed center of tower triangle in the middle of wetlands in Shady Side on the Shady Side Elementary School Property.

As a long-time resident of Shady Side, former student and parent at Shady Side Elementary School, I am saddened to see that the Anne Arundel County Public School system and the Anne Arundel County Government are once again not following the rules in continuing with the construction of a cell tower on the grounds of Shady Side Elementary School.  Adjacent to the elementary school playground and Kindergarten wing, this cell tower was approved by the AACPS school board in May of this year after years of public testimony and demonstration against its building – with overwhelming opposition by the community.  Furthermore, no proof has been presented by non-industry interests that cell service is inadequate in this area of Shady Side.

Crews arrived at Shady Side Elementary yesterday to clear trees and did so without the proper structures in place.  If you are a resident who has ever dealt with County inspectors in the course of trying to improve your own property, you will know that as a private resident, pretty much nothing slides by an inspector.  But plain as day, the community saw yesterday at the school the lack of a silt fence as required by the grading plan, the lack of an access road for construction, and the parking of vehicles in the fire lane at the school.  The message is clear.  Corporations get to play by a different set of rules. 

Will this County Administration and other officials elected to their positions of power abide by their own rules?  Or will they allow corporate entities to steamroll ahead, destroying our natural environment for their own financial gain?  What back deals are being made to allow this rule-skirting to continue? 

County Executive Pittman, Do the right thing and stop work on this construction project now.

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