2019's first five months saw 60% increase in noise calls for the City of St. Petersburg.
St. Petersburg FlOpinion
By author: Robert Neff
All the noise calls are available on the City's Stat Map:
What's causing the increase in noise calls?
In the City of St. Petersburg, residences and vehicles with loud car stereos are more likely to be cited than bars.The city's growth is a very minor issue as compared to the four main issues.
ISSUE #1: Mayor and Police did not actively enforce the noise ordinance, reference below the April 11, 2017 email from Mayor Kriseman to Police Chief Holloway to enforce the noise ordinance for two weeks because there is a revised noise issue and this would make the public feel like the City was engaged. For a further understanding of this and other issues, read the previous article, Tampa Bay’s news media missed another one.
ISSUE #2: In the past, City Council Members, Police officers, and bar owners have worked together against their residents who report noise to the police. They have done so without the resident's knowledge!
Mayor Kriseman, City Council Chair, and Police Chief Holloway have allowed this activity. When asked to investigate, they were silent. I asked Police Internal Affairs but they opted to take no action.
What message does that send to residents? Why are our elected officials so eager to protect the bars? Did they actually read and understand the proposed noise ordinance?
We do know Council Member Kornell worked with Flamingo Owner and Skyway Marina Board President Jack Dougherty, and Community Service Officer Kelly to develop a strategy to deal with a resident who complained about the noise. I am that constituent and resident, see the email below.
ISSUE #3: Police officers are not enforcing the noise ordinance for bars. This is evident in the abysmal bar citation rate. However, the police found time to target certain areas with dedicated patrols to cite vehicles with loud car stereos.
On May 16, 2019, the new noise ordinance was approved by City Council and subsequently approved by the Mayor. The only significant changes were motorboats were added, warnings and penalties were added, and Section 11-54 was annotated to remove ambiguity regarding Section 11-53’s priority.
ISSUE #4: In the official noise ordinance, LDR 2019-02 Draft Ordinance, the City proclaimed rights for residents and commercial establishments to use amplified sound.
WHEREAS, residents of the City of St. Petersburg have a right to express themselves and enjoy the sounds that enhance the quality of their lives; andMeanwhile the City is stating how serious hazard amplified sound can be, residents have a right to be free from harmful and disturbing sound, and how the City has a substantial interest in protecting residents from harmful and disturbing levels of sound.
WHEREAS, the City intends to treat the commercial establishments who have helped the City prosper fairly and recognizes the right to free speech enjoyed by those establishments and their need to utilize amplified sound as a means of continuing their successful commercial endeavors; and
WHEREAS, excessive amplified sound can be a serious hazard to the public health, welfare, safety, and the quality of life for City residents; andWhile an acoustical engineer was hired to study the City noise issue, no medical expert was hired to report on the negative impact noise has on adult and kid's health. City declined my request to hire an expert and stated nothing really changed in the noise ordinance. Then why aren't Mayor Kriseman and Police Chief Holloway enforcing the noise ordinance and why are City Council Member(s) working to develop strategies to deal with residents? Doesn't seem like the City wants to protect residents!
WHEREAS, City residents have a right to be free from harmful and disturbing levels of sound; and
WHEREAS, the City has a substantial interest in protecting its residents from harmful and disturbing levels of sound; and
Next steps?I will be monitoring these statistics as benchmarks, along with the warnings and citations issued by the police. The results will be added to my 2013-2018 City Noise Citation Analysis.
Email: April 11, 2017 between Mayor Kriseman and Police Chief Holloway.
Email: May 30, 2014. Flamingo Resort's Jack Dougherty to City Council Member Steve Kornell
City Council Member Kornell refuses to respond to a constituent about why City Council Member Kornell worked with Flamingo Owner and Skyway Marina Board President Jack Dougherty, and Community Service Officer Kelly to develop a strategy to deal with a resident who complained about the noise. I am that constituent and resident.
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