A few weeks ago our little town held a hearing regarding a proposed noise ordinance. Basically the ordinance mandates that the use of amplified outdoor music must be ceased by 11pm Sunday night through friday morning and at 11:59 Friday night through Sunday morning. I don't disagree with these times by any means. I would like to go ahead and make this clear. I think that is fair enough.
The night of the hearing walked downtown to listen to the arguments and show our support for the local businesses that are pumping our local economy full of revenue.
Our "march" to city hall
Our illustrious mayor and wonderful board of alderman.
We sat through the comment portion of the meeting, which was mostly populated by ridiculous rants supporting one side or another. There were some very valid points made by several audience members, but it was basically all wasted breath. The board of alderman had already made up their minds and the ordinance was passed with a 5-2 vote.
Again, I don't disagree with the times, but there were some other points that didn't sit well with me. There is nothing in the ordinance that describes what unreasonable sound is. There were many points made in the meeting regarding someone being disturbed while studying, or a young mom and her baby being disturbed. I felt like there was an entire demographic of residents left out. Basically, those who work at night as I do.
I just feel like this city worked tirelessly promoting our downtown social scene. This place really has turned into the hot spot of the MS gulf coast. Now we want to punish them for being successful. This was my first foray into local small town politics and I was pretty disappointed in the outcome. I hate that just a few sour apples can ruin the entire batch. I was also disappointed that the board of alderman were so hasty in their decision. Alderman Dalgo voted against the proposal and stated that he felt like the rest of the board was just taking the easy way out. He felt like they were just trying to quiet a few people that are making the majority of the noise without spending a little more time researching the alternatives.
I realize that the common citizen, such as me, can't really do a whole lot to change the way things operate around here, but I still want to be heard. As small of a cry as it may be, I wrote a letter to the editor to try and get my voice heard. I was happy to see it published in the Sun Herald on this past Tuesday. I am very easily amused, so seeing my name printed in the paper has kept me happy as a clam for the past few days.
My little spot in the Sun Herald
If you'd like to read my letter in a much easier format it can be found here.
Until Next Time,