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Lawrence (Rusty) Monroe
Mr. Monroe has almost 35 years experience in the cable and telecommunications field. He has spent the past 15 years exclusively assisting, advising and representing local governments in telecommunications related matters, including specializing in regulating the number, siting, appearance and construction of towers and wireless facilities subsequent to the passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. The Center for Municipal Solutions, represents more than 800 communities in 34 States.
Prior to deciding to dedicate his career to representing the public sector and "equalizing" the situation faced by local officials (who must deal with the industry's highly paid and trained professionals), he spent eleven (11) years in the cable industry. Eight (8) of these were as Corporate Vice President of Cablevision Industries, Inc., for which he was largely responsible for helping to take from a small 20,000 subscriber company into the largest privately owned cable company in the nation before it was sold for almost $3 billion ($3,000,000,000).
When in the industry Mr. Monroe was responsible for the siting and construction of scores of towers. Since moving to the public sector, he has reviewed or been responsible for the review of more than 3,000 applications for communications towers and/or wireless facilities and has inspected hundreds of these facilities himself.
Legislation: He has also served as the public sector expert assisting in the negotiation of several pieces of critical legislation, both on the federal and state levels and having those aspects onerous to local governments removed and/or changed, most recently in the States of North Carolina, Alabama and Georgia. In North Carolina recently he was largely responsible for turning the industry-sponsored legislation from a bill that would have effectively deregulated the issue of regulating the siting, construction and modification of towers and wireless facilities into a 'tool' for local governments. This helped to save the traditional zoning and land use regulatory rights of the State's local governments and for the first time codifying these rights vis-'a-vis towers and wireless facilities.
He has been used as a "background" expert source for articles by such notable publications as Forbes Magazine and The Wall Street Journal and has been widely published in both state and national publications. He is regularly called upon as a lecturer to national, regional and state municipal organizations and Bar Associations, and has been a lecturer for Continuing Legal Education accredited courses.
Richard (Dick) Comi
Mr. Comi is a graduate of the Unites States Military Academy at West Point and holds an MBA from Syracuse University. He has over 30 years of telecommunications experience. He is a former Director of Network Operations New York Telephone and NYNEX and the former Vice President and COO of Cellular One of Upstate New York. His knowledge of the telephone and wireless industries is virtually unique in the arena of consultants that exclusively serve local governments. The result is the loss of the monopoly of knowledge previously held by the industry when dealing with local officials. He has prevented numerous communities from making costly and virtually irreversible mistakes. In addition, his ability to deal with wireless operators as a true equal has resulted in gains for municipalities that they never thought possible.
Mr. Comi is a regular lecturer to various state and national municipal organizations and has served as an expert witness in the area of wireless telecommunications and regulating wireless facilities.
Cristopher Schrader, PE
Mr. Schrader is the Principal Engineer for Sustainable Engineering & Environmental Design, PLLC (SEED) a civil and environmental engineering firm with a focus on renewable energy located in Albany, NY. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and has completed graduate coursework in construction at Columbia University. He is a licensed and registered Professional Engineer in the State of New York. His diverse background in engineering and environmental, health and safety (EHS) includes engineering review for RF (radio frequency) emissions, environmental permitting including Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) compliance review, as well as numerous geotechnical investigations for the telecommunications industry. He has completed OSHA's 40 Hour Hazwoper, OSHA's 10 Hour Construction Safety and OSHA's Site Supervisor training. He has worked and interacted with numerous representatives from all levels of government including local municipalities and always strives to ensure the protection of public health and safety while providing increased non-tax revenue for municipalities.
Mr. Schrader added his knowledge of industry practices and its needs versus its desires to CMS's team in 2009 and has raised the bar even further as regards the depth and breadth of CMS's team.
Albert Tagliaferri, Esq.
Mr. Tagliaferri has a Bachelor of Science degree from New York Institute of Technology, a Law Degree from CUNY School of Law and is a member of the New York State Bar. He is a practicing attorney in the area of land use with direct industry experience regarding zoning, permitting and the development of wireless communications facilities. For the past three years he has been closely involved with project management and development for T-Mobile/Omnipoint's NY-Westchester market. Responsibilities included search area feasibility determination, site acquisition and all aspects of zoning and permitting. He has successfully developed and managed dozens of current on air sites from conception through construction, which has gained him extensive knowledge of local municipal codes and the due diligence process, as well as local policies toward development. He has participated in numerous local Board meetings throughout Westchester, Rockland and Orange Counties, as project manager and coordinator. This experience has given him the ability to recognize the balance between the needs of the municipality and those of the carrier(s), and set a standard for best practices where the needs of all parties are achieved. Prior to working in the wireless industry, he had 10 years experience working with public agencies, serving the needs of families in crisis.
McKenna Associates is a multi-disciplinary community planning and design consultant which provides an array of specialized services to municipalities in the U.S. Midwest since 1978. McKenna has been cited with many professional planning, design and business awards and is the Midwest’s largest community planning consulting firm. The firm employs 25 specialists in sustainable urban planning, landscape architecture, community and economic development or redevelopment, urban design, market studies, recreation planning, graphics, mapping, public relations, municipal project management, form-based codes, expert zoning testimony, public participation, temporary municipal services, building department administration and building infrastructure inspection.
McKenna professionals are frequent speakers at educational conferences of professional organizations on the subjects of community redevelopment, sustainable community design, municipal economics, public relations and design regulations.
The firm is headquartered in Downtown Northville, Michigan (near Detroit) with branches in Downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan and Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
In collaboration with the Center for Municipal Solutions, McKenna also provides enhanced wireless services to municipal governments in Michigan and Northern Ohio.
Mr. Naumann has been involved in the wireless telecommunications industries for over 20 years. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from South Dakota State University and is a registered civil and structural engineer. He has designed and inspected hundreds of towers including the supporting telecommunications facilities at the base of these towers across the United States. He has helped the wireless providers’ site facilities using conventional as well as stealth technology, for hundreds of wireless facilities. He understands the design issues, and technologies of the wireless providers. His background and experience provide an in-depth understanding of wireless facilities that will benefit the public sector. As the Chairman of a Planning Commission for over 10 years, Mr. Naumann understands the interests of local governments, and issues of the communities they represent. He understands the balance required between the need for wireless facilities to serve the community and the potential visual impact of the construction of these facilities. As an owner of his own engineering firm he works continuously with local governments and is exposed to the shortage of revenue resources and the constant challenge to address the growing needs within the community. He appreciates the need for local governments to maximize revenue growth without additional taxation.
David Dyer has more than thirty years of corporate experience in business creation, management, marketing and sales. Following his retirement from BellSouth, he had eight years of experience in higher education administration at Mercer University. He served as Senior Advisor to the President of Mercer University and as a member of the Mercer University President’s Executive Group where he provided guidance on technical and rural economic development initiatives.
David currently provides consultative services for Venture X Group, located in Atlanta, GA, on rural economic development initiatives. David has also consulted for the Georgia Department of Economic Development on projects such as the Georgia Agritourism Association, Connect One Georgia, and the Aerospace Innovation Center of Excellence. David also provides consultative services for the Consortium for Internet Imaging and Database Systems, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, University of Georgia on the Distance Diagnostics through Digital Imaging initiative. He provides leadership on economic development initiatives in Monticello and Jasper County, Georgia as Chair of the Technology Committee, Chair of the Agritourism Committee, member of Southeast Regional Agritourism Association and Southeast Agritourism Council. David is a member of the board for the Development Authority of Jasper County. He is a member of the Downtown Macon Rotary Club in Macon, GA and is past-President of the Monticello/Jasper County Kiwanis Club in Monticello, GA. David owns and manage Garland’s Ridge Farm in Hillsboro, GA.
Ms.Hicks is the Mid-Atlantic Regional Director for CMS and has immediate responsibility for all projects in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and currently South Carolina and Florida. She has been responsible for the review and permitting of more than one hundred fifty (150) applications for towers and wireless facilities. Ms. Hicks was the first member of the team to be “custom-trained” by CMS’s owners and came up through the ranks, having proven to be invaluable, both to clients and CMS. She is well-known and is particularly valued for her ability to demystify for clients the numerous technical issues involved in the siting and construction of towers and wireless facilities. Ms Hicks deals directly with all clients in the Mid-Atlantic Region and simplifies the entire matter for client staff, allowing them to devote all but a minimal amount of their limited time to other matters of importance. Her record of being able to work out co-locations on existing structures as opposed to the construction of new towers is better than 9:1, i.e. 90%. Her understanding of the difference between a carrier’s technical need, as opposed to its desires in the context of gaining a competitive advantage, is largely what enables clients to be in control at all times. Notably, she has also contributed significantly to redrafting CMS’s Model Ordinance to make it up-to-date as regards the technology and the law and more “user-friendly” in the context of being more easily understood by the industry’s site acquisition people and more easily interpreted and enforceable by clients. This is key to the success of CMS satisfying clients’ needs and desires. In short, she helped make the best even better.
Bob Ross has an MBA in Telecommunications from Eldorado Collage and is a retired communications specialist from the U.S. Marine Corps. As such he is a Graduate of the NATO ( North American Treaty Alliance) Frequency Engineering School, the NSA ( National Security Agency) Daily Changing Frequency and Call Sign School and was the Southern California Military Frequency Manager (the principal upon which cellular technology operates) for the U.S. military in Southern California. He also participated in Frequency Management for Space Shuttle Recovery at Edwards AFB with NASA and specialized in the development and design of the military's SCIF (Sensitive Compartmental Information Facilities). He was Joint Military Task Force Frequency Manager for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, CA and retired from the USMC in 1988. Subsequent to his retirement he was the Wireless RF evaluation consultant for PacTel Cellular (now Verizon Wireless) in California.
Notably, also, he has significant experience as a municipal official including serving as Planning Commissioner in Oceanside, Ca; Former Chairman of the Oceanside Telecommunications Committee for 23 years; and Vice Chairman of the San Diego County Cable TV and Telecommunications Review Committee.
A community would have to search long and hard to find someone with the combination of the necessary political sensitivity and regulatory/policy-making experience that only serving in such capacities can bring, plus his technical communications background, most of which was at an extremely high level of sophistication. It is Bob's experience as a local official regulating both hardline and wireless telecommunications facilities that enables him to create "Win-Win" situations for both the industry and CMS's clients.
Ms. Bowers is a retired Master Municipal Clerk with 25 years experience working with the City of Athens, AL. In addition to serving as City Clerk/Treasurer, she worked with the Planning Department, Planning Commission, Building Department and Zoning Board of Adjustments to assure that City ordinances were enforced in a fair and equitable manner. She was appointed by the City Council in 1999 to serve as the designated telecommunications representative for the City. In that position she worked with CMS, City departments and the industry to regulate the location and co-location of telecommunication facilities. She has a working knowledge the Code of Alabama as it relates to local government, as well as the Federal Communications Act of 1996. She is a strong advocate of local government and its need to facilitate the provision of high quality, cost-effective telecommunications services to citizens and she also understands the need for local governments to utilize their resources to maximize revenue growth. Her experience in both local government and throughout the State enhance her ability to provide insight and understanding to the benefit of local governments in Alabama. MS. Bowers has also held numerous elected positions in a number of state-wide organizations.IDK
Mr. Patterson has over 30 years in the telecommunications industry. He spent 17 years with a large Southeastern power company building, operating, and maintaining the second largest privately owned microwave network in the United States. The last 13 years were spent in the engineering, construction, and operations of major fiber optic networks for large regional telecommunications companies. In this role, he worked with many cities, counties, and government entities to obtain permits, construct, and operate telecommunications facilities within public rights-of-way. He understands the goals and technologies of the telecommunications industry. These industry experiences enhance his ability to provide insight and understanding to the benefit of the public sector. Mr. Patterson graduated cum laude with a BS in Business Information Systems from Samford University.
Jennifer Fox is the owner of Fox Engineering, a multi-disciplined consulting engineering firm offering innovative solutions to problems. A 1994 graduate of West Virginia University, Jennifer brings over fourteen years of experience involving structural design and inspection. She has been responsible for the complete design of both state and federally funded bridge projects which involve hydraulic studies, superstructure design, substructure design, and contract plan preparation. She is also experienced in structural inspection and rehabilitation, inspection equipment operation, and non-destructive testing. Jennifer is a Registered Professional Engineer in West Virginia, Indiana, South Carolina, Ohio, and Maryland.
As a full service firm, FOX Engineering provides surveying, civil engineering, construction inspection, contractor services and structural inspections to their clients including government agencies, municipalities, consultants and contractors as well as private clients. FOX Engineering is a certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) in Engineering Design services as well as Surveying and Mapping services.
Fox Engineering brings a panoply of talent and experience in every engineering discipline involved in the construction and modification of towers and wireless facilities and has been an invaluable addition to the CMS team of professionals dedicated to assisting local governments and helping them make informed decisions.