Friday Catchall: Hear NIMBYs roar in this nanny state

Concerts can be loud, but what is too loud?

Courier file photo

Concerts can be loud, but what is too loud?

The Friday Catchall:

• NOISE – Music (rather, its noise) took center stage at the Prescott City Council meeting Tuesday, when the city’s noise ordinance was up for review.

We’re not talking about the barking dog (an entirely other column I could write). No, it’s about events downtown – often at the middle school, not necessarily on Whiskey Row or the plaza – that result in noise complaints.

“When I can hear the words to a song in my living room, (the music) is too loud,” a resident of McCormick Street said.

In the end, instead of re-inventing the wheel or picking an arbitrary decibel number, the council members opted for current policy (enforcing or working through what’s already on the books).

Good move.

At the same time, I cannot help but wonder if this is like the NIMBY (not in my back yard) complaints we hear about. For example, years ago some in the Cliff Rose area complained about the concrete batch plant that was nearby (like the chicken or the egg argument, the batch plant was there first); or some who do not like the airport plane noise (which was there first?).

Hopefully everyone has gone into this with their eyes wide open; and real estate agents told buyers of the potential for noise. That said, as we move forward the question is whether something has changed. I recall a Sunday night concert by area churches a while back that elicited many complaints; was it the volume or the night in question? (I pray it was not the content.)

It is times like these I am slightly glad I am hard of hearing.

• ACCOUNTABILITY – Just when you thought the craziness over police behavior could not edge up another notch, that Utah officer – who was seen on video in September roughly handcuffing a nurse because she refused to allow a blood draw – was fired this week.

So many jobs, even being a journalist, pale in comparison to how difficult the job of law enforcement has become nowadays. Body camera footage, alleged assaults, trials and convictions (or not), killings of police or their suspects … the country is on edge.

Seriously.

Still, while that officer likely will appeal, I thought it was interesting to read he has prior disciplinary actions, and police admin have apologized and changed their policy.

Being under a microscope is never easy; yet, anyone who is under scrutiny must be doing their job better than ever before.

Here’s wondering if the nurse will sue.

• PLASTIC BAGS – Should a city be allowed to outlaw plastic shopping bags or can the state prohibit municipalities from enacting such laws?

We all hate to see blowing bags, cluttering fields and fences. That’s what the city of Bisbee wants to get rid of, and its city attorney says his community’s regulations on plastic bags are none of the state’s business.

Bisbee’s law prohibits retailers from providing free single-use plastic bags to customers; paper bags from recycled material can be provided with retailers required to charge a nickel, according to Capitol Media Services. The result has been a cleaner community and lower costs for retailers.

Thus, at issue is the Legislature’s 2016 law preempting local governments from regulating these bags. I see this as a local control issue, especially if it is benefitting the community as well as the retailers.

Sadly, a separate 2016 law requires the state Attorney General to investigate any legislator’s complaint that any city ordinance runs afoul of state law. If determined to be illegal, the AG must move to withhold that community’s state aid.

I say the state lawmakers must have more integrity and stop promoting a nanny state. Some politicians can do their jobs just fine, for their communities, without such micromanagement.

• PICK OF THE WEEK – (Proving there’s always something good to do in the Prescott area that’s cheap or free): the Community Preparedness Fair, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the Harkins Theatres parking lot, Prescott Valley.

Follow Community Editor/Senior Editor Tim Wiederaenders on Twitter @TWieds_editor. Reach him at 928-445-3333 ext. 2032, or twieds@prescottaz.com.