WIPE OUT ATT'S BUTT-UGLY BOXES:
Demand Attractive Boxes for Our Neighborhoods
Require and/or shame ATT into designing attractive, neighborhood-compatible boxes. This would eliminate the need for 100-plus square feet of landscaping to hide them. (Isn't that stupid? ... We allow ugly boxes, then require that they be hidden from view.)
The City Commission could pass a resolution expressing their intense displeasure with these boxes, and calling on ATT to do better.
If ATT whines about the cost, tell them it will be far less expensive in the long run than perpetually maintaining the landscaping, which they are required to do. (Of course, they figure they WON'T bother to maintain it, and will get away with spending nothing. That's the game.)
Inform the Public: Create a Web Page
The city should create a web page devoted to these problem boxes.
The web page should be a one-stop shop of everything a citizen needs to know about those boxes and their maintenance.
Get the Neighborhoods Involved Up Front
Require direct neighborhood notification regarding new boxes. Residents within at least 300 feet should have a say if their neighborhood is going to be defaced by a utility.
In my neighborhood, they planned to put a box right smack dab in the middle of our median park ... the one with the benches and new fence (100 block, SE 13 St). We complained, and the box was moved to the median that was already ruined by the Ham Forman/Cindi Hutchinson parking lot (in front of the First Christian Church). Not perfect, but far better than the original plan.
Require Regular Inspections
Utilities are required to regularly inspect their boxes to ensure the landscaping is in good condition, and they are free of graffiti. When I asked ATT's lobbyist Vic Beninate whether they do so, he ducked the question. They do not, it's clear.
Hide ALL Sides of the Box ... NO BARE BUTTS!
Landscaping should hide the boxes from people on public AND private property. Look at the boxes by those Bayview canals — there's NO landscaping on the canal side, so the boxes can be seen from those valuable properties. That is so dumb!
The City Should Receive and Record Complaints
We now refer problems to ATT and keep no documentation. That's a great was to sweep things under the rug and keep those incidents out of the public record. The city should actively monitor ATT's compliance with the ordinance.
— Cal Deal, 6/28/11
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1317 SE 2nd Ave.
Fort Lauderdale 33316
"Always do right. This will gratify some people
and astonish the rest."
— Mark Twain