Palmetto Bay may soon lose its distinction as of Village of Parks in favor of a new title — Village of Silence. The details are not yet in place, but the future intent is far too loud and clear. New sound levels may be coming to the village and you may be the recipient of the new sound codes in Palmetto Bay. And you better be quiet at future meetings as well.
Perhaps due to the lack of real work to do, this village council seems intent on reinventing itself into a condo board and will now venture into new codes that may be great for day sleepers and napping babies but extremely burdensome on the living and active.
One of the big examples cited for greater sound noise control was barking dogs. Has Palmetto Bay really become that unlivable? It is apparently so to a very loud minority. I mean, really, is everyone ready to go back to using brooms instead of leaf blowers on their lawns so no one next store has to hear the activity? How about never starting your boat for regular maintenance at your home? This could begin to get really absurd. Get ready to use hand signals instead of whistles at park games.
We are not talking about stopping the 2 a.m. garage bands and loud parties that go on too long after midnight. Those protections already are in place. We are talking about cracking down on man’s best friend and punishing owners of their family pet, an animal that cannot comprehend that the Palmetto Bay Condo Board — formerly known as the village council — wants library level quiet throughout the village. It won’t happen. This is a community and we periodically are affected by those around us just as others are at times affected by us.
Wait, it gets worse. Mayor Shelley Stanczyk has proposed a ban on all electronic devices at meetings and even to ban whispering in the council chambers by attendees. Violators would be escorted out or even subject to arrest. Original council member Dr. Ed Feller spoke out against this move at the Committee of the Whole meeting. There has been no record of disturbances before the council.
There are people now at meetings using these electronic devices, iPads and other such devises to blog, tweet and take electronic notes of meetings. Is this really that disturbing to the mayor, who herself has been a chronic example of someone texting and reading texts on her city device throughout meetings?
Remove or arrest people who read or use non-disturbing electronic devices or even whisper — really? Perhaps the mayor and council should ask the South Miami Commission as to how well received the arrest of a local activist went for speaking out at a commission meeting.
This is yet another reason why the council needs to be televised. Not just the council meetings, but even the committee meetings. Council antics like this will continue to go on until everyone can see the foolishness for themselves.
Are there really no more pressing issues? There is very little coverage about the increasing burglary rate in the area, but perhaps this council feels that perhaps we will be more likely to hear the burglars if we all would just be a whole lot quieter.
You can bet that this attempt at noise reduction is a not-so-veiled attempt to silence Palmer and the other area private schools. The problem is that these laws become the tools of vindictive neighborhood feuds once these ordinances are on the books.
Selective enforcement is corrupt enforcement. The ride down the slippery slope continues and it won’t be long until the present village council decides that special event permits with noise nannies will be required for two or more people to gather outside.
Soon you will have to gag your children or keep them inside to prevent the joyful sound of child’s play from bothering this council, which seems to be far too removed from active outdoor play.
Did Palmetto Bay incorporate to overregulate your activity? This is your local village government. Demand better. Live and let live, folks — life is way too short. We need to realize that most residents are responsible people. Quit complaining and making more regulations about every little thing.
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