Lord, how good it is for us to be here -- Matthew 17

Browsing The Corner Office

May 23, 2021

Come Holy Spirit!


Dear Friends,
Cell Tower update and ideas about policing!
I want to take a moment and update you on the Verizon cell tower proposal. As reported earlier, in late 2019 representatives for Verizon approached us with a proposal to build a cell tower on Transfiguration’s property. The original idea was to place the cell units on our church steeple, that proposal was immediately rejected. In March 2020 Verizon’s representatives met with representatives from our Buildings and Grounds Committee and myself with a proposal to build a 80 foot tower someplace on our property. This meeting took place the week before the pandemic shutdown. The proposal is to place the tower immediately behind the garage at the far end of the parking lot. Progress on the proposal stopped because of the pandemic. Verizon recently resurrected the proposal and put their concept in writing. We have had several virtual meetings with them. An engineering company has reviewed the proposal. Our lawyers have included those suggestions in an initial letter of response to Verizon. The next step is for Transfiguration and Verizon to come to a letter of agreement, which will include Verizon dealing with the Town of Pittsford for appropriate zoning approvals. It is our understanding the Town is required to have public hearings. If the Town approves the project, we will then proceed to a formal contract with Verizon. There is many details involved, which will needs careful attention. Roger Brandt, a member of our Buildings and Grounds Committee, is taking the leadership on this project and we try our best to keep parishioners informed as things progress. If this project becomes a reality it will be many months after I have retired.
A new idea for policing. Even though most members of Transfiguration live outside the City of Rochester, we should be concerned about problems challenging the metropolitan area of Rochester. I believe we need to handle our community problems in new ways. There have been numerous suggestions thrown around about how to do this. Believe me I am not advocating for one or another, but I believe we need to be aware of ideas our religious leaders are suggesting.
The United Christian Leadership Ministry (UCLM) has looked for ways to improve structural racism and policing in our community for years - long before it became a "hot topic" the last few years. They, along with other community led groups, helped develop the city's body camera program. Now they released a new proposal to deal with non-violent conflicts, called the Rochester Community Public Safety Corps.
The Rochester Community Public Safety Corps would serve as "street level intervention" to provide residents in certain neighborhoods with a "human services and conflict resolution approach," according to UCLM. The Corps would be available 24/7. The hope would be that the program would reduce arrests and the number of service calls would be minimized. They said, "The corps would be a uniform presence in the city and engage in a multi-faceted approach including mediation, deescalation, conflict resolution and an advocate for law enforcement assisted diversion." The newly created Office of Neighborhood Safety will review the proposal.
I bring this to your attention because of our close connection and relationship. As new proposals come forward, please try to stay engaged and learn how all of us as a community can build a community based on justice.
Pentecost – the Holy Spirit come upon us – alleluia!
Blessings in 2021!
Let us continue to pray for peace in our world!
In peace and courage,

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