Dave Bossert | West Ranch Communities, Can You Hear Me?

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The thing about the internet is that you can find just about anything to support the craziest positions on any topic. That is what we are witnessing in Stevenson Ranch regarding the much-needed proposed cellphone antenna. 

The need for improved cell service was initiated by homeowners in the community. Especially for those living in the north and northwest parts of Stevenson Ranch who have little or no reception, depending on provider, at their homes. These are cell signal dead zones. This is a serious issue when it comes to emergency services, deliveries, transportation and ride sharing services, which rely on cellular phone service for location map guidance.   

The community needs this problem fixed and it became even more critical when our community was threatened with wildfires more than four years ago. The ensuing evacuation orders shined a light on the cell service deficiencies.   

But once again, at the 11th hour, the few but loud come out of the woodwork with the most ignorant and tiresome arguments as to why the cell antenna tower should not be installed. Forget the fact that homeowner VOLUNTEERS have invested countless hours over YEARS investigating, holding PUBLIC meetings, discussing this topic ad nauseam.  

Now, more than four years on and nearing the end of the process,  a very few misinformed and gullible individuals feel they speak for the majority of the community. Horsecrap! 

These few homeowners have shown up to the Stevenson Ranch HOA making ridiculous, specious and selfish arguments. They make baseless claims, no doubt, derived from an “article” by some “expert blogger” wearing a tinfoil hat in the basement of their mother’s house.  

Has any one of them read the Swedish “Study on Electromagnetic Radiation and Pregnant Women”? I have. Have any of them used a radiofrequency (RF) meter to measure the electromagnetic radiation from their everyday home electrical devices and cell phones? I have. How many of these hysterical critics have spent meaningful time doing any serious research? None of them, based on what they are spewing at the HOA meetings. But they know better than anyone else while spreading their misinformation through the cellphones glued to their heads.  

These are the same folks who have authored a petition that is equally filled with bogus assertions that, when distilled down to its essence, is all about the false and imagined threat to their home values. 

Any time a few homeowners show up “outraged” it is usually because they perceive a threat to their wallet. I’ve seen this time and time again over the last 30 years of volunteering in the West Ranch communities. 

Here is the thing: When you live in a homeowners association governed by CC&Rs, you must have some ability to think about the greater good for all the homeowners, not just the few who pop their heads up at the last minute. 

The lack of cell reception in parts of Stevenson Ranch is a LIFE and SAFETY issue that needs to be addressed. The few vocal residents against the cell tower do not represent the majority of homeowners. Several claim that they do, but that is just more misinformation from the uninformed. The petition they have circulated represents a tiny percentage of the approximately 3,500 homes and 12,000 residents living in Stevenson Ranch.  

Further, it is comical to hear them banter using terminology like signal boosters, micro antenna sites, or other such terms. WOW! These people think they are geniuses and that all the VOLUNTEERS who have dealt with this issue for YEARS have not explored any of those options.  

My God, of course we have. All those topics and others have been discussed PUBLICLY for YEARS with REAL INFORMATION and EXPERTS! In fact, there is a micro site in Stevenson Ranch already that was sheer HELL to get installed because of few misled homeowners.  

Now, this crop of duped individuals is desperately propagating false and misleading information to bamboozle other residents to their misguided cause. It is shameful and disrespectful to all of the community homeowner volunteers, who have invested their time and energy into this issue over the years.  

And the best is that they do not want to engage in civil discourse. They want to speak but do not want others with opposing opinions to have their say. At the May Stevenson Ranch HOA meeting via Zoom, I was asked as the immediate past president of the West Ranch Town Council to give historical context on the years-long process of improving the cell service in the community.  

As I started to speak, a homeowner gave me the finger and then started to act in an unhinged manner, interrupting and making other gestures that galvanized her uncultured demeanor. That is behavior that has become the norm from the local crazies, not just here but everywhere. She was eventually muted by the HOA board because of her lack of decorum. That’s the kind of individuals the HOA board and other decent homeowners have to contend with at community meetings. 

Being a community volunteer is truly one of the most thankless things a homeowner can do because of the few appalling residents who seem to reside in every community. Those few think they can ruin it for the majority. They can’t! 

Whatever the outcome, I pray there is a solution before someone loses their life because they couldn’t call for help when minutes matter. There have already been some near misses in our community. Although the selfish few are neither aware of that, nor do they care.  

The Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission has approved the application for the cell tower but it has been appealed by this handful of selfish homeowners. This is adding further delays to the life and safety issues in our community. That is on them.   

The Stevenson Ranch HOA meets on the third Tuesday of each month. If you live in Stevenson Ranch and don’t already receive an email with the Zoom link, contact the HOA property manager and have your email added to the list. Get involved and have your voice heard in this and other community discussions.      

Dave Bossert is a long-time community volunteer who serves on several boards. His commentaries represent his own opinions and not necessarily the views of any organizations he is affiliated with or those of The Signal.  

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