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March 06, 2019


Bruce Dickinson

Funny as wasn't a few weeks ago that our own City Council completely caved into one of the telecom companies' requests to put up more cell sites and approved a controversial and unpopular application? It caused quite the brouhaha, from what Bruce Dickinson understands, with lots of community members rallying in opposition.

Bruce Dickinson's understanding is that they're not even doing the "cloaked" towers and settled for the ugly ones, albeit with slimmed down equipment, making them slightly less heinous than the first proposal. Nowhere near what some of these other communities such as Palo Alto are considering.

Disappointed again, in our Council for the "easy out" which is to avoid confrontation and allow outside interests to trump local views and walk all over Burlingame.

If Bruce Dickinson were a sitting council member, you bet that I wouldn't let outsiders steamroll us. Palo Alto seems to have no problem in doing this!

Whatever happened to all the scrappy fighters that Burlingame was once famous for?

Time for real leadership!

Just Visiting

Does Bruce Dickinson want the City elders to invite a lawsuit that the City will lose, costing the city tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars where the chances of success are essentially nil?

Just curious where that fits into BD's worldview and opinions about fiscal responsibility.

Bruce Dickinson

Need I remind you, that the last lawsuit over similar towers was easily won by Burlingame.

Also, Palo Alto, San Francisco, and other cities seem to have no problems getting the telecommunications firms to pony up for the right type of poles and hidden equipment. Maybe they're not afraid of lawsuits and take a more aggressive stance resulting in better outcomes.

Why failure here?

A few hundred thousand with a high probability of success that will have a major impact on quality of life and aesthetics seems like a reasonable risk/reward in Bruce Dickinson's book. If you want to get into the fiscal responsibility argument, there are much much much bigger fish to fry with Burlingame. Actually tackling those issues enables you the flexibility to fight the right battles than can have meaningful impacts on the community.

Just judging by the uproar this caused, I would argue that the residents would have preferred to take a stronger stance on this issue.

But then again, living in Belmont, how would you know this?

*mic drop*

 It Don't Come Easy

I agree they are ugly and a blight (I feel that way about telephone poles as well). I don't think there is sufficient data to prove it's safer than 4G. I understand they emit more radiation than 4G. Why isn't safety being discussed? Perhaps the technology is ready yet?

Just Visiting

I live right here in Burlingame, thanks.

How much does Mr. Dickinson know about the FCC, its new rule making as of September 2018 on 5G build-out, and the Supremacy Clause?

Apparently not much.

Bruce Dickinson

Hey, let's just say that I know enough to own more Ferraris than you do!

Seriously, other cities are getting the better, more hidden equipment (e.g. Palo Alto) and more effectively fighting the telecom companies to pony up extra money for the more expensive equipment.

Burlingame is not.

That is a big problem!

Just Visiting

Privilege doesn't equal knowledge.

And no, Palo Alto isn't doing better than Burlingame. Palo Alto got exactly what Burlingame got: antennas painted to match the poles they are put on--and a lot of residents angry at the City Council because it--like Burlingame's Council--can't overrule the FCC.

Palo Alto did not get underground vaults; they got boxes next to the poles, despite resident anguish over this--very similar to Burlingame.

Burligname's Council has begun the process of outlining objective criteria for installation of such facilities, but in the meantime, the FCC--federal law--mandates approval of these facilities.

You're good at picking cars and throwing mud. Neither one is effective governance.


The comment about "the Italians" is hilarious.
The City of Burlingame, CA. is most likely a "Multi Billion Dollar Corporation."
The City of Burlingame Manager, the City of Burlingame Elders are incapable of Managing such a large "Trust Fund."
To be a City Elder should not be a vote, it should be a Community Interview. Most importantly, Any US City Manager should be an MBA, worked in Finance, and just have a lot of experience..
Not Civil Service/Government employment, experience of being assertive and honest.(Not easy to do.)
Hiring the Best of the Best.
If that means over a Million Dollars a year, plus benefits, a special financial separation contract,WILL create a prosperous community.
We have got to come together, admit the Andy Griffith- Mayberry RFD way of managing never worked, and become the Jewel of the Peninsula. Ask yourselves, how much longer will I sit on my ass, before Burlingame becomes just another IT Coal Mine?
I know, that last part did not make sense, but you know what I mean.

Bruce Dickinson

The article that Joe references above is a direct contradiction to your statement as they got equipment in utility poles in the much more attractive pole cylinders for some of the applications. San Francisco also did the same for several of its micro towers.

Bruce Dickinson has actually asked one of my many lawyers about this issue, and he feels it can be fought and won. I trust him over some yokel on the BV who is far more interested in contradicting yours truly because of some other underlying issues rather than bettering the community. Let’s just let the BV readers be the judge as to whom has enlightened everyone with some great and not-so-conventional ideas. And guess what? You do NOT become successful by taking consensus opinions! Bruce Dickinson’s track record in this area is beyond reproach!

Several other cities are also fighting these applications and believe it is worthwhile litigation with a decent probability of winning. My legal guy tells me the case law seems to favor local ordinances (which Burlingame has) superseding Federal and State laws (which do have loop holes allowing for this) Read the staff report on the application in Burlingame. The telecom lawyer actually says the same thing as my guy does in essence. Burlingame should have joined the consortium below to split the legal fees:


We’ll start seeing if this litigation or threat of litigation results in better outcomes.

And, by the way, my success and wealth was 100% earned and created by me! In fact, I have probably grown up with far less privilege than most posters on the BV, most likely including you, just judging by the tone of your writing!

Now on to far more important (and prolific) things…

Just Visiting

Reading comprehension. Try it. The City of Burlingame's minutes and staff reports are on line for all to see.

And your "legal guy" isn't paying attention if he thinks that something some city did two years ago matters in the current environment.

Oh, and after Palo Alto's Planning Commission said no, Palo Alto's City Council said yes:

But yes, on to more fruitful endeavors


Best comment of the year

"I know, that last part did not make sense, but you know what I mean."

No, I'm afraid I don't. But don't try to explain either. It won't help.

Bruce Dickinson

So I talk to my guy (the lawyer) about the issue, and believe me, I had to endure a quasi-berating from him on how we’re even using his time to respond to yokels on the BV who don’t even live in Burlingame or bordering cities, but after all, Bruce Dickinson pays his bills and I promised him I wouldn’t bug him on this again.

So, before anybody contradicts my expert (and highly paid, I might add) staff, let’s have a real lesson in reading comprehension and talking only when you have all the facts and aren’t using local papers as your primary resource. These “newspapers” are far inferior to the BV, with varying standards of writing that oftentimes give the word “journalism” a bad rap.

This is from the Jan 22 City Council Meeting as part of the staff report


Basically gives the legal conditions under which local communities have discretion superseding the FCC.

Now, let’s say you didn’t have a team of lawyers and experts like I do. Let’s put the common sense hat on and think about it. Why would you have a public hearing with multiple approval bodies if the FCC trumped all? That’s because it doesn’t! The Planning Commission and City Councils have conditional (however limited) discretionary powers over the placement of telecommunications equipment, as described in this opinion prepared for the City of Burlingame (my guy actually found something else not mentioned in the memo, but we’ll keep that in my back pocket for now). This is why other cities are pursuing legal action, it’s because it’s unclear and the litigation is under the auspices of most of the points raised in the memo.

Sometimes when you don’t have all the information, you have to think about why other parties are taking courses of action that go against your intuition! Usually that’s a red flag to really not be too self-indulgent and trust your intuition and instincts too much as there may be counter-factuals that disprove your point!

Some people never learn!

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