• Cell Phone Tower Advisory Committee Gets Board Nod

    By Mitch Lehman

    The San Marino School Board unanimously approved on Tuesday night the formation of a citizen’s advisory committee to suggest options related to cell phone towers which are located on district property.

    The formation of the committee – which will be finalized at the school board’s January 22, 2013 meeting – is in response to public opposition to cell phone towers which are located at Valentine Elementary School and San Marino High School.

    “We are so fortunate to live in this community where we can tap into the knowledge of our parents and community members for so many endeavors, including cell phone towers,” said School Board Member Nam Jack, who presided over her final meeting as board president on Tuesday evening. “This is a matter we take very seriously and we look forward to finding solutions in a collegial setting.”

    According to guidelines established by the board, the committee will be comprised of eleven members, including one or two representatives of the school board,  Superintendent Loren Kleinrock and at least three parents of current SMUSD students. Applications are available at the district office with a deadline for submission of Tuesday, January 8, 2013.

    Permanent advisory committees are currently authorized by the district pertaining to athletics, arts and academics. The cell tower advisory committee will be in existence “for the term of the committee process.’

    Contracts for the cell towers – which bring the district more than $4,000 per month ­– were signed in 2004. The contracts were approved by the school board in open session.

    Information presented at a community forum that was held in October upheld the board’s position that there was not enough evidence to support  a claim that cell towers pose a health hazard to students.

    Data presented at the forum and another board meeting showed that district students are exposed to radiation levels well below levels set by the World Health Organization.

    In other business, Joseph Chang was elected as board president, Chris Norgaard will take over as vice president and Lisa Link will be clerk.

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