Cameras aim at Jim and Samm Markstrom, flanking their attorney, Mark Hazelbaker
Samm the ham got his day in court Wednesday ... well, his day before the Mt. Pleasant Planning Commission ... and won a 60-day reprieve for the ham radio tower in his backyard.
Although his lawyer admitted the proper permits were not obtained -- "Sometimes, there's miscommunication between client and contractor," said Atty. Mark Hazelbaker of Madison -- the argument came down to two issues: Who has the right to specify the height of a ham radio tower, and is the one built by Samm's parents sufficiently sturdy and safe.
When it was suggested that the radio tower not be raised to its full height, Samm gave an impromptu lesson to the commission, explaining how lesser height would not only make the tower less effective, but would cause more interference for neighbors.
"Everyone wants a safe antenna here," said Hazelbaker.
After the meeting was over, Samm was interviewed by a number of area TV stations. He said he was happy with the outcome, but -- in a way that only a 10-year-old can -- cut right to the chase: "It's stupid," he said. "We have an inch-and-a-half stack of paperwork." He said he had been "kind of nervous" before the hearing, and said the commissioners "would understand this better if they'd get the manuals."
Mother Cathy said, "They just weren't prepared for the laws of physics." She said she was "really proud" of how Samm handled the hearing.
Links to some of Samm's TV interviews are here, on his Facebook page.