Jed Margolin 1981 Empire Rd. VC Highlands, NV 89521-7430
Phone: 775-847-7845 Email: email@example.com February 10, 2012
Storey County Commissioners and District Attorney Maddox
Storey County, NV
These comments are regarding the current Taormina lawsuit with the County (Taormina II – U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, case 3:2011cv00645.) I would like the Storey County Commissioners to consider the following when negotiating with Tom. Please make this letter part of the public record.
A. Antennas must be considered part of the tower structure.
1. According to Storey County Code it is unlawful for a person to alter a structure within the county without first obtaining a building permit from the building official.
Chapter 15.12 BUILDING PERMITS
Building permit required.
It is unlawful for any person, corporation, municipal corporation, association, club, business trust, estate, or any group or combination thereof to erect, construct, relocate, or alter any sign, building, or structure within the county without first obtaining a building permit from the building official.
(Ord. 172 §. 1(part), 2000)
2. Many of Tom’s antennas can hardly be called de minimis alterations to the structure. Some are very large.
As an example, in a document dated 4/12/2008 from Tom’s Web site (which he later removed) he provides enough information to identify some of the antennas. The picture to the right is from Exhibit 1.
It shows: 4 el M2 40@70’
M2 is the name of the antenna manufacturer. (http://www.m2inc.com/)
4 el M2 40@70’ would be a four-element antenna for the 40 Meter band at a height of 70’ on the tower.
(Note that there is an identical antenna proposed for 140’.)
The specifications for the 4 el M2 40 (or one like it, from the M2 Web site) are as follows:
Boom Length: 42 feet
Element Length: 51 feet.
This is what the antenna looks like:
See Exhibit 2 for the first page of the antenna manual.
This is what one looked like when it broke. (It is either the same model or a similar model.) The picture came from Tom’s Web site: http://www.w7rn.com/main/page_10766_8.html
See Exhibit 3 for more detailed pictures. (Exhibit 3 came from Michelle Adkin’s comments filed 2/3/2012.)
The half of an element that is hanging down is 25.5 feet long.
Although it has been replaced, it could happen again. And if the wind detaches it completely it will become a spear. A spear hurled from a height of 70 feet.
An antenna that large must be considered an alteration to the structure (the tower).
Tom’s word that he obtained permission from the Building Department to replace it is not good enough.
It requires a building permit.
Then the work has to be inspected.
And work done at 140’ (or even only 70’) cannot be properly inspected from the ground.
I do not believe it would be possible to objectively delineate the need for a building permit based on the size of the antenna. Therefore, it must be required for all antennas regardless of size whether they are added, removed, moved, or replaced.
B. While the issue was being discussed before the current lawsuit was filed it was proposed that if Tom and Midge (or a close relative) were to no longer live in the house the towers would be taken down.
If Tom and Midge (and relatives) were to leave the County’s jurisdiction (leaving the towers up) the County would have no way to enforce the agreement. An example would be if Tom and Midge were to lose the house through foreclosure.
If Tom and Midge were to sell the house to another ham (leaving the towers up) the new owner ham might object to being told to take the towers down. When Tom put his house up for sale in 2005 the “world class station” was one of the selling features of the house. See Exhibit 4 from:
The new owner ham might threaten to sue the County.
The facts of the case would be materially the same, so because of stare decisis the result should be the same whether the issue is resolved by negotiations or at trial by the Court.
Having such an agreement would only give Tom’s neighbors and those concerned with the issue false hope that the towers would eventually be taken down.
C. Please stop giving Tom favored treatment.
1. For years the County allowed Tom to thumb his nose at the County, the HRPOA, and his neighbors.
2. When the County Commissioners denied Tom a Special Use Permit at the June 7, 2011 meeting they gave him 90 days to remove the non-permitted towers but agreed to stay the order if he filed an action in U.S. District Court within 60 days. http://www.storeycounty.org/clerk/Minutes/060711_minutes.pdf
Later, they decided that the decision of the Commissioners did not go into effect until the minutes of the meeting were approved.
The minutes of the June 7 meeting were not approved until the July 5 meeting. See http://www.storeycounty.org/clerk/Minutes/070511_minutes.pdf
There was a meeting on June 21 but Approval of the Minutes for the June 7 meeting wasn’t on the agenda. See
That gave Tom an extra month.
Not everyone gets an extra month.
At the November 15, 2011 meeting when the County Commissioners revoked the license of the Wild Horse Canyon Resort, the revocation was effective immediately. It did not wait for the minutes to be approved at a future meeting.
Lance Gilman and his wife Susan Austin have done many good things for the County. They have helped many people.
The only one Tom has ever helped has been himself.
Bear that in mind when you negotiate with him.
And those are my thoughts on the County negotiating with Tom.