© 2002 Updated: 3/18/02

County Officials Attempt to Censor Citizens

Assistant County Attorney Marily Nixon and JeffCo Planning Commissioners interrupted testimony of citizens at a public hearing on a tower rezoning application for Eldorado Mountain on February 13, 2002. County officials attempted to prescribe acceptable testimony.

Deb Carney was stating that nonconforming towers on Lookout Mountain are not available for digital TV. She said, “I would like to state, for the record, that there has been testimony by the former assistant county attorney (Claire Levy) that high definition TV could go on Lookout Mountain and…” Commission Chairman Paul Rosasco interrupted Carney stipulating “We need to stick to testimony in this case.”

Carney responded, “The density of population is in our direction, not where Eldorado Mountain is.” Rosasco said, “Ms. Carney, are you almost finished?” Carney said “Yes. So the conclusion is, if Jefferson County feels it must provide a site within the county for high definition TV, then it must be in an area where it causes the least harm.”

Jan Wilkins was interrupted while presenting “the negative impact of towers located near national registered historic places that serve millions of annual visitors…” After being corrected, Wilkins politely said, “I know, a lot of times, we can choose what we want to hear. So I would appreciate your patience and I understand what your concerns are, but I think you need to listen to what we have to say, too.”

Scott Albertson was interrupted and scolded for mentioning Lookout Mountain and Mt. Morrison. Chairman Rosasco called an executive session to confer with Nixon. When the hearing began again, Nixon said, “…We’ll take testimony for and against this (Eldorado) applicant. But whether its a better site or a poorer site, we’re not here tonight to do a siting study. We’re here to talk about the merits of this particular case…”

Albertson asked, “Does that mean that rezoning issues that would effectively preclude telecommunications land uses on Lookout Mountain and Mt. Morrison are relevant or irrelevant?” Rosasco replied, “The decisions of the past are not relevant… land use considerations for Lookout Mountain aren’t germane to this particular case… I want to make it clear what we can and cannot consider.”

Members of the JeffCo Planning Commission in 2002 are the same individuals that recommended approval for doubling the radiation with a “supertower” on residential Lookout Mountain in 1999 and denial of two towers on Mt. Morrison in 1998.

Claire Levy testifying at Planning Commission hearing on Feb. 13, 2002

The Commission was advised on tower proposals by assistant county attorney Claire Levy until she resigned in May, 1999. As a citizen, Levy testified in 2001 and 2002 recommending denial of expanding Eldorado because “digital television can go on Lookout Mountain towers.” She was not corrected by Nixon or any of the Commissioners.

Related articles: County Attorney Contradicts Regulations That She Wrote and JeffCo Permits Expanded Tower Use.