I think Stephen Kahn’s letter shows this to be a question of conflict between what different people consider “the common good”. One person considers a pristine environment the common good while another views a new cell tower the same way. Cell phones have no doubt been a boon but we lived without them a long time. To consider them essential now seems a stretch to me.
Some places on the island have poor cell reception. I changed from TMobile to ATT and improved my service. Still not perfect, but in a rural location what is? One cell tower will not affect this very much. This tower supports ATT users and cannot improve service everywhere on the island - only over a limited radius - that is how cells work. Will it benefit Mr. Kahn in Langley? How many additional towers are required until everyone has perfect service on their carriers? How many before Mr. Kahn feels his environment is threatened?
We all suffer inconveniences living out here. But we choose to live here anyway. There is good reason for that and we need to be careful to not spoil that for limited improvement for some users or to gain a pittance in County revenue.
As an ATT customer living just across the bay from the proposed tower, I stand to gain much better service than most. Still, I would gladly live without it and enjoy knowing that this “sacrifice” helped prevent South Whidbey from becoming more like Seattle.