Friday, August 22, 2008

More Senseless Legal Fees

As reported by the Independent, Aberdeen Township has decided to once again pursue a frivolous lawsuit against the proposed cell tower in the I- Section of Strathmore. Residents of I-Section had demanded action and the town council responded by throwing money at a political donor. These legal proceedings are a farce and everyone on the town council knows it.

In April, 2006, in blatant violation of federal law, the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the zoning board denied Sprint’s application for a variance to establish nine wireless antennas on a 145-foot water tower.

The law is clear. Aberdeen Township plainly violated four provisions of the Telecommunications Act. 1) The municipality must not “unreasonably discriminate” against cell towers. 2) We can’t act in a fashion that has the effect of prohibiting the provision of wireless service. 3) Any decision denying a request must be supported by substantial evidence. 4) Health and environmental concerns are not grounds for denying a request so long as the cell tower operates within FCC guidelines. (A good summary of the law can be found here.)

Marc Leckstein, the Zoning Board Attorney, knows this. I am absolutely certain he advised the zoning board and the town council that denying Sprint’s variance petition would violate federal law. But our elected representatives saw a twofer they couldn’t refuse – the opportunity to score political points and enrich a party contributor at the same time.

So, with great fanfare, they denied the request. Sprint filed suit in state court and won. The township appealed and Sprint won again. Now, the town plans to appeal again, and will continue appealing as long as they can. This is a gravy train with no end in sight.

We are literally paying Marc Leckstein thousands of dollars for dreaming of bogus legal theories while sitting on the toilet. His latest challenge is to be considered by the New Jersey State Supreme Court. It won’t be easy. In Smart SMR v. Borough of Fair Lawn (1998) the court ruled as follows:

To guide local land use agencies and the lower courts in deciding cases involving the location of such facilities, we offer the following further guidelines. Generally, the issuance of an FCC license should suffice for a carrier to establish that the use serves the general welfare. Nonetheless, if a telecommunications facility requires construction of a tower or monopole, the applicant must prove that the site is particularly suited for that use. Concerning the negative criteria, the Radiation Act and the Telecommunications Act have virtually preempted local consideration of radiation emissions. Proof of an adverse effect on adjacent properties and on the municipal land use plan, moreover, generally will require qualified expert testimony. Bare allegations that the construction of a tower or monopole will cause a decline in property values rarely will suffice.
I empathize with my neighbors in the I-Section (I, too, am “technically” in the I-section). Cell towers can be scary things. Anxiety over radiation could certainly affect health, student performance, and property values. (My compliments to the web designer for SayNoToSprint.com.) But this case has no legal basis. A 145-foot water tower on an elevated area is ideal for wireless antennas. The court will not consider any health or environmental impact. Nor did the zoning board follow the court’s guidelines and produce expert testimony demonstrating the cell tower will create a substantial and adverse impact to the community.

Had the township really wanted to block the antennas, it would have enlisted the aid of county and state officials to petition the New Jersey American Water Company to not lease the water tower to Sprint. Instead, our town council decided to hire some friends and put on a show.

Next time our councilmen are interested in courtroom antics, they should consider submitting the case to Judge Judy. At least then we’d get some entertainment value for our taxpayer dollars. >>> Read more!

33 comments:

KennyCB said...

Once again the inmates run the asylum.

That rat of an attorney is draining the coffers and the taxpayers are paying to fight a lawsuit a 4 year old child knew they would lose from the start. But that does not matter as Aberdeen loves to pay lawyers, accountants and especially engineering firms for work and far more that is to say the least questionable in need and in its entire reason for being is to merely reward the scum that Kauff and his kind feed off of.

So how much has Leckstein charged the taxpayers of Aberdeen for a lawsuit he probably knew he would lose from the start. $50,000.00?

Ask Soble how much that breaks down to per vote? That is all the calculations they wanted to be sure of since the elections have been so close. Wait until they see the results of the next election. Some of us have been planning the CAMPAIGN OF TRUTH that will blow them out of the water and send Kauff back to Justice Lane in a coma. Our own trusted* sorry* I mean mistrusted lawyer Norman Kauff or as I prefer to call him the DEMOCRATIC BAGMAN FOR MONMOUTH COUNTY certainly knew that the lawsuit was a complete and total waste of time AS WELL. but it was money for him and his.

F U NORMAN !

U C Brother said...

Nice job KennyCB.

How can they sit in those council chamber seats and have the nerve not be held in contempt by anyone present or by even the dust on the lights above them. They should all of them each and every one of them turn their heads away as they cash their checks given to them by Aberdeen for their supposed service to the people of Aberdeen. They are scum each and every one of them and to those who merely go along for the ride and say nothing contempt is sent to you as you see it every meeting and you say...

I can hear the crickets chirping in the background...

Say something.

Say anything.

But silence is...

Anonymous said...

Once again Cliffwood gets the step child treatment! We have had numerous cell phone antenna's on our water towers for years.  Guess we weren't worth filing lawsuits over.  After all it's only the Cliffwood people.  But wait, maybe there were no lawsuits because the town owns those towers and profits off the rent. 

mat ave blake said...

Amen to the above. No one threw up any brew ha ha over that. Different story for a different day.
I love how the Aberdeener stuck his student performance mantra in with the cell tower argument. I applaud your diligence.

Overall, I think this is hilarious. What's next, is Aberdeen going to refuse to put handicapped parking spots in town and try to fight the Americans with disabilities Act????? This is ridiculous. The cell tower law is what it is. What is there to sue over? But, like what the Aberdeener said, gained political points and money into a lawyer's pocket with a frivilous lawsuit. All the while costing more tax payer money.

U C Brother said...

You must remember what Mayor Sobel said when the people of the I section rebuked the suggestion of a cellular tower in their area. Sobel said and I quote "Just put it in Cliffwood".

Response if any from Whilemina Gumbs was minimal. Way to stand up for your area Whilemina and throw such a suggestion back in Sobel's face is what she should have done. But...

Anonymous said...

Define senseless? If the definition includes payments to attorneys who have sworn an oath then Kauff and Leckstein may have violated legal standards and much more in their pursuit of the almighty dollar?

How about terms malfeasance and the like. Does that give the Aberdeen residents any recourse to charge these low life's criminally or ethically for the outright abuse of the taxpayers.

Wait I forgot whom I was speaking about. Nevermind.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any idea of the actual cost of this lawsuit they approved? They must of had an idea of what it would cost the taxpayers and what it has cost to this point. Both would be helpful.

Anonymous said...

They don't ask how much if Kauff and Sobel friends are the ones making the money.

U C Brother said...

As far as the total on legal this would require an OPRA request and an honest answer orchestrated and approved by Kauff.

So anyone want to by the brookly Bridge for a dollar?

Kauff controls it all don't you get it. Nobody tells and everybody knows.

That is politics defined.

Life sucks!

russ in strathmore said...

This is a great forum. I have read it several times.

But,,,,,,,,,


WHEN ARE WE GOING TO WAKE UP AND SHOW UP AT TOWN MEETINGS????????

Someone wrote a while back - go to meetings and bring a friend... we need faces there. The more empty seats they see, the more they know they have us and will continue to pass useless and senseless legislation and payments to crooks.

U C Brother said...

We need to consider the following for the first council meeting in September. The new managers first meeting that is. Give him a proper welcome Aberdeener. Ask him what he would do if type questions. Has he met privately with Mr. Kauff as part of his employment vetting? Did Mr. Kauff give you your marching orders? What do you think about pay to play? If you saw corruption or unethical behavior or falsified billing what would you do? Would you go out to bid for all legal, engineering and other services not performed in house at town hall to save the taxpayers money? Are you merely a rubber stamp for Mr. Kauff?

You know welcome him gently.

As many of your friends and neighbors in Aberdeen need to be told just a little of what is going going on since Mr. Brown left. That is right he just left. This as not one person has been able to figure out why. You can be sure Mr. Kauff orchestrated that. Aberdeen's council's statements that it is an agreement that neither side would say anything regarding is BS. That is just Mr. Kauff and his deceptive and insulting way of hiding the truth of what Mr. Brown may have found out, or not wanted to be a part of, from the taxpayers.

Who do you think has really been running things since Mr. Brown left. If you think it is Mayor Soble and the council you are dead wrong. If you guessed Mr. Kauffm you win the right to be gouged by the Aberdeen Democratic party boss.

Am I wrong has Mr. Kauff not been running the three ring circus that purports to be the leadership of Aberdeen. Mr. Kauff is merely the ring master who cracks the whip and makes the town council dance and walk the tight rope. Sorry about all of the circus references my family saw a circus while we were on vacation. Not as entertaining as the Aberdeen council circus I can assure you.

Give it some thought.

anonymous said...

I agree put the new Manager on the lookout for what I am certain he has heard about Aberdeen before. He understandably wants a shot at the top spot but to do that in Aberdeen without sucking up to Norman Kauff is like a repeat of the Stewart Brown debacle.

Anonymous said...

New manager and all the man deserves his shot to stand up against the corruption and tyranny and unethical practices of the Kauffster.

Wait a minute that may have been tried before and did not work out so well. Just ask Stewart Brown.

Kauff rules!

U C Brother said...

To be fair to Mr. Kauff esq. we do not know what the deal is or was for Mr. Brown really. I mean the council I mean Mr. Kauff did not want something out there in the public domain so they created an agreement that neither side could say anything.

More legal mumbojumbo to keep the taxpayers in the dark. Well the Aberdeener must put together a plan to turn on the switch and shine that light on Mr. Kauff and all of the rest of them.

Mr. Kauff may rule for now but...

The light is coming.

Look for a good hiding place Mr. Kauff.

Anonymous said...

So much for free and open governement and those words politicians find so trivial now a days; by the people for the people.

Have a nice day Kuffster.

Anonymous said...

Thats Kauffster. Sorry.

KimsMomsHusband said...

Here is a good one.

What is easily led ?

What is strictly controlled ?

What has no independent though or opinion ?

What is always in hiding and conceals its true appearance ?

What always hides in the darkness of lies and misrepresentations when the light is shown on it ?

What only does what is told and only seeks to serve its master ?

What fails those it is sworn to represent to the best of its ability ?


Take a guess and scroll down.












You guessed it Aberdeen's Town Council?

Congratulations you get to be overtaxed, under-represented and lied to, right to your face.

Welcome to our Aberdeen.

Anonymous said...

KimsMomsHusband

Very good!

Thanks for the laugh.

Anonymous said...

Are you suggesting because they lost the lawsuit they should just lie down and accept the decision? If so,then why do we have appellate courts?

U C Brother said...

Look lets be honest. A very, very small group of people who live near a 100 foot water tower do not want to lose their home values. Is the water tower not doing that? They cannot hide the water tower with landscaping and to think that is laughable.

The reality is the tower thing has been mishandled and that reward from placating politicians who do not care about these people one bit is the truth. They merely said they will defend this to the end to placate the residents, ensure votes and give a considerable sum to another of Norman Kauff's stooges.

Mayor Soble should have been removed for his contempt and carefree statement to just put the tower in Cliffwood.

They do not care about my area and that was very obvious from his statement. How often do you see them here on County Road or anywhere else outside of Strathmore. NEVER.

That is the area they only come to just before the election. Whilemina Gumbs her time is up and Norman Kauff knows it. He better start looking at other candididates to carry this area as well as Cliffwood Beach as my friends over there say their supposed representatives past and present are a complete waste of time.

Norman do not forget the truth is coming so choose your new stooges carefully as we have the truth behind us and the truth will set us free from Norman Kauff and his cronies.

Norman Kauff has no idea as he has been in power so long he thinks he is invincible.

Not from the truth Norman Kauff.

Anonymous said...

OPEN YOU EYES!!!

Because 1. The law that is listed on an earlier blog states that cell towers are to be put where they are to be put with little or no chance of recourse

2. The only reason the councilmen/women are going about this crazy lawsuit is to get points with the voters with election time around the corner. It is so transparent it is sickening.

3. The guy who tells them they have a lawsuit is the guy who will collect everytime they are turned away and come back to appeal.
It is like a guy charging you to mow your lawn 5 days a week out of 7. The grass grew 1/32 of an inch from yesterday- Time to cut!

NO MORE NIMBY said...

Court appeals are available for when lower courts have made an apparent mistake. The only thing to be won here is legal fees for Kauff Cronies and I'm sure engineering and planning fees as well.

There's a tall water tower there! Where else does anyone suggest putting the transmitters for this area. We all depend on our cell phones, including those in the I-section. Aberdeen has great coverage for the most part and I think it's great that one of the cell providers is investing to keep reception strong in Aberdeen. Besides the direct cost to tax payers - how much does this add needlessly to our cell phone bills?

Let's get these bozos to stop the nonsense, drop the case, get what they can from Sprint, and move on. Stop the NIMBY - Not in my back yard - approach to government.

Stop giving Kauff and buddies a perpetual cash stream!

Joke of the day said...

Q. How many Aberdeen councilpersons does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A. That can only be determined after a $90,000 engineering study by CME to determine the feasibility of screwing in a new light bulb, and a $30,000 study by the municipal attorney to consider liability issues related to screwing in the light bulb.

Joke of the day said...

Q. What do you get if you mix a little bit of Drapkin with a little bit of Sobel?

A. A two-faced liar that that sold their brain to Kauff.

Joke of the day said...

Q. What do you get if you mix Vinci and Gumbs?

A. Two senior citizens that have sold out their constituents.

Anonymous said...

For the anonymous net' esqs on this blog, the 96' Telecommunications act is not as impregnable as you may think. Yes, a town can not deny an application in sheer wantoness; but they can force the applicant to demonstrate safety. Sprint did not do this originally.

Aberdeener said...

Could you please elaborate what "demonstrate safety" specifically means? My understanding is that Sprint was only required to demonstrate that its radiation emissions were within FCC guidelines.

Anonymous said...

Demonstrate safety - to the NIMBYs' satisfaction - I don't think so. If they didn't include the safety data sheet originally, I'm sure it's on file by now. At this point all we have is a costly appeal that is certain to lose.

Live with the signals (on top of the water tower)or toss out your cell phones.

Some lawns got ripped up by Verizon than others with the FIOS installation, and I don't even plan to use FIOS, but I'm not suing Verizon. What's next - suing the electric company for the power lines in your back yard?

Why not just ask them to move the water tower?

Joke of the day said...

Q. What do you get if you mix Raymond and Kauff?

A.One old man on Viagra and another that has to borrow a spine.

Anonymous said...

The newspaper articles failed to mention the costs expended by Aberdeen Twp. as another gesture and favor to the Kauff faithful.

Reality for the I section vocal. Its a water tower and you bought the house near a water tower. The supposed medical concerns and noises and visits by workers is BS and is a typical NIMBY attempt.

Do not get me wrong Mayor Sobel screwed this up from the start and I am sure that Norman Kauff smacked him for that one as he angered an entire community as Sobel stated all too typically that "just put it in Cliffwood".

What an idiot Mayor Sobel is.

Middlesex Jim

Aberdeener said...

Regarding cell towers in Cliffwood, tonight the town council considered leasing space on the water tower off Jersey Ave.

I guess there is a difference between Cliffwood and the I section. Or, as one person suggested, a difference when the township is collecting the fees.

Aberdeener said...

For those who believed there was a substantial legal basis to block the cell tower, go to court, and then appeal the lower court's decision, the state supreme court has even denied our request to hear the case.

Anonymous said...

Another example of our elected officials wasting taxpayer money on a frivolous law suit when everyone knew what the outcome would be.