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Letter to the Editor: Pastor speaks on cell tower

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As the pastor of Salem Assembly of God, a church that has served the community for over forty years, I have remained silent for the past few months regarding the proposed cell tower, which AT&T has now cancelled. During this time I have declined newspaper and television interviews believing that it was in the best interest of the church. As a pastor, it is one of my duties to protect the integrity of the church; a church made up of wonderful people from across Oldham County and Pewee Valley.

Last week in the “Letters to the editor” there was a posted opposition to the tower. I certainly understand the right of anyone to share their feelings; however, when blatant false allegations are made regarding the church, I must step in. The writer of the article felt the need to state, “surely this is a case where a few people believe that their monetary gains should offset the inconvenience and the loss of quality of life of the many.” I take issue with that statement.

To the writer I would ask, “When did you stop by the church to speak with me?” “When did you take the time to call?” “Where do you get your facts from?” I’ve seen the erroneous reports that an overwhelming majority in the community were against the tower. Since the news of the proposal came forth, I have not received a single visit or phone call from anyone. A total of eight copied letters of opposition came in the mail and one was not from a Pewee Valley resident. The population of the community is pushing 1,500.

I grew up in Oldham County and so will my children. I’m wondering when did Pewee Valley become a community of the elite like many portray it to be? Because on my side of the tracks there are hardworking blue collar citizens, of which, I am proud to be a part.

To attack the character of a church is in a word, sad. Especially when allegations are based on assumption such as where printed last week. The status of our church is strong and I assure you it will remain so without a single penny from AT&T.

That we would somehow hurt the local ‘quality of life’ is absurd. Here is what you don’t know. Do you know only a small portion of the tower would have been visible? Do you know any visible portion could have been camouflaged? Do you know there isn’t a single report in the state of Kentucky in which property values declined due to a tower? Do you know the American Cancer Society states there is zero risk of cancer if you are near a tower? That matters to me because I am a cancer survivor.

If you want to speak of quality of life, then consider this. Do you know that our youth pastor, a decorated military veteran of over 10 years, along with his wife and their three small children were kicked out of their rental house at Christmas time because the owner of the house was against the cell tower and on television speaking against it. Do you know that recently while having lunch with my own mother at a café not in Pewee Valley a local official, knowing I was there, walked in and started telling everyone to be against the tower? Did I run to the television with that information? No, because it would have only made things worse. How sad for anyone in leadership to behave this way and over what, a cell tower?

I have informed AT&T to never contact us again. They have put all of us through this twice and it will be the last time. I conclude with the thought that I have some opposition too. I oppose people who attack others without facts and I oppose leaders who lack character and integrity.

Dan Collard,

Pastor,

Salem Assembly of God