There is an ordinance that I believe is going to be voted on in the future. This involves the noise and light nuisance caused by businesses operating in an residential zone. Something that was brought to my attention is that there are already ordinances in place within the municipal code that cover many of these issues, but the new ordinances are much more stringent than what’s already in place.
Tonight, at the Board of Alderman meeting, what I witnessed was a lack.
- A lack of communication – The mayor and the board stated that there isn’t even a final version of the new ordinance to be voted on. On the other hand, the mayor was very apologetic in his comment on this. He did say that he should have been more prepared for this meeting and in light of the circumstances, he was sorry for the result.
- A lack of courage – There was only one person that took the floor tonight that didn’t fall in line with the common rhetoric of the fact that the bill shouldn’t pass. None of the other residential members, mentioned by the Board as being affected by the lights and noise, were there. Or at least they didn’t take the floor to speak. On the other hand, based on the attitudes of some (not all) of the business owners that were there, it would not have boded very well for those residents anyway.
- A lack of integrity – At the beginning the mayor asked who would like to speak. After counting only 6 hands that went in the air, he said that each person would get 4 minutes for comments. He said it would be less if there were 20 people that wanted to talk but gave more latitude in light of the circumstances. However, not only 6 people got up. It was probably closer to 15. On the other hand, I can certainly understand the need to speak your voice after hearing other comments and realizing that there might be aspects that need to be covered. However, if you’re going to do this then please be respectful of other people’s time.
- A lack of courtesy – This was, by far, the biggest lack I saw tonight. With all the people that got up and spoke, the mayor and the alderman seemed to be engaged in the remarks. They didn’t interrupt (except for once, maybe). They answered questions. I felt like they took an entire room of people who were disappointed in them very well considering the circumstances. What happened afterward, was very disappointing. Both of the Alderman that got the chance to speak seemed to be interrupted frequently. The other 2 Alderman didn’t even get a chance to talk.
Personally, I think the new ordinance is useless. There are already rules in place that govern how businesses should operate in a Residential district but no consequences have been pursued. Seems like you shouldn’t try to fix what isn’t even being utilized now.
I do love this town though. This isn’t a sign that Hermann’s broken … just needs some help. There are some great businesses here. There are some great residences here. I do think that tourism is an up and coming industry here and I’m glad to be a part of it. Although, the business isn’t within the city limits and isn’t governed by the city, I still wish to see the city thrive and grow.
My suggestion to those who read this is to be patient with others. “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” – Steven Covey. We all have our own agendas but it’s when we lay them aside for the moment and the sake of community that we will grow together. We may not agree all the time and luckily we don’t have to … but we do have to live next to each other and I would rather have you sit down with me over dinner and discuss our differences rather than walk to the other side of the street to avoid you.
If you feel I have misrepresented the meeting, please feel free to mention so below in the comments. I’m not above reproach and welcome any and all constructive criticism and conversations.