At the April 23 noise ordinance meeting, I saw two things I was very glad to see.
First, our attorney Scott Shirley wrote an ordinance that was very limited in scope and temporary in nature, expiring in August. This gives the Commission time to decide if it needs to be permanent. The ordinance gives law enforcement a needed tool in that instead of the criminal penalty for breach of the peace, it allows for a civil citation (similar to a traffic ticket) to be issued. The ordinance only applies to those with a temporary use permit- or doing something that would require such a permit, and it only applies during the hours of 11 PM through 7 AM. The ordinance was in response to one incident where a group with a temporary use permit abused the permit and played music so loud it disturbed nearby residents for an extended period of time.
Normally when government responds to a few people doing wrong, everyone else pays the price, which brings me to Sheriff McNeill. The very first thing he said was his concern over the county’s response to the misconduct of a few people causing a problem for the other 15,000 residents. He gave the commissioners a good presentation and ultimately the ordinance was moved forward for another hearing.
It’s encouraging to have those in government service that look out for everyone and do not overreact when a problem arises.