A Significant Issue Which Many Communities Face:
It is a moral shame that some communities’ law enforcement continue to disrespect its taxpaying residents by continuing to allow the unruly to disturb the peace and quiet, law and order
I occasionally engage in his town’s online forum. Recently, I responded to a forum comment, and in that forum comment decried the reality of flagrant, unnecessary and nasty noise here in Bay City.
To that comment one of the Bay City Commissioners, responded that his dog doesn’t like the noise anymore than I do, but the State of Michigan passed a recent law allowing for more “obnoxious” fireworks to be legally sold. He concluded that with the new law, the Bay City Police Department will be less likely to be able to limit the noise (whether we have local ordinances or not). Basically he concluded the same old status quo type answer – namely, don’t expect any improvement. His excuse, basically, was also the same status quo type answer. The police department does not have the resources [manpower / money] “to deal with all the offenders.”
The best that this city official could offer was the empty promise that he was sure that there would be a “focused effort” now and then to crack down on city nuisance noise. In short, Bay City, Michigan has no honest way or program to deal with the unruly nuisance noise and nuisance perpetrating noisemakers of this mid-Michigan town, now dwindling with declining population.
To the Commissioner’s less than hopeful comment response, I [then] added my two cents – http://www.mlive.com/forums/baycity/index.ssf
Commissioner: Thanks for the response, I had a 100 lb. dog when I moved to Bay City. He was part Australian Shepherd and Golden Retriever. He was the best of [watchdogs] But, he was terrified of the fireworks. However, be that as it may, I understand your thinking behind your answer, but I contend otherwise. Here, (following) is my [logical] reasoning:
When law enforcement only prioritizes to concentrate on the “largest” of crimes and offenses, what type of message does that send to the rowdy and unruly whose lives are in continued flux, that they (somehow) feel they must prove their manhood’s by disrupting the [reasonable] peace and quiet of Bay City residents?
All it would take, is some organization; some targeted issuance of noise nuisance tickets to the major several who make lives miserable for the rest of us in Bay City. Please don’t tell us that there is nothing that can (practically) be done. It’s called “law enforcement deterrence,” which can be had with strict monetary fines and community awareness. [This “law enforcement deterrence” can help pay for itself] When the trouble-maker nuisance noise makers are fined big bucks, that, in, and of itself, will help to put a crimp in their disruptive behavior. They will have less disposable income to buy their big noise makers, and, will have something [negative] on their record. And, word of mouth will get around as to their nasty behaviors. Perhaps, some of these people then will develop some good old fashioned, sense of shame.
I will tell you that if the city’s noise ordinance was enforced – and, even strengthened to deal with more “modern” noises, – despite the state law which allows for these fireworks, etc. – I believe that local enforcement would upgrade this city in such a way as to help attract the non unruly type of people to buy houses within city limits. [I just talked with someone the other day, who helps cut grass for well over a hundred vacated house lots] The city is rife with foreclosed homes and people who have vacated because their mortgages were [are] “under water.”
If ever Bay City government desires to gravitate to the level of attractiveness and respectability, it needs to crack down on those individuals who aggravate peaceful residents, thus (sadly and pathetically) making this city miserable to live in. [Bay City is more than the almighty downtown area] With conditions so unruly, the less than desirable, flock to Bay City and negatively contribute to its downhill slide. The “vicious circle” effect then, also, kicks in. I don’t think that Frankenmuth, MI local government allows the horseshit in its town which Bay City local government allows in our town.
Following is a 1962 news piece from the Iosco County News -May 1, 1962:
“Noise Complaints Bring Crackdown”
East Tawas – Numerous complaints of noisy mufflers in the Tawas area brought a warning from State Police in East Tawas that officers will commence a crackdown on drivers whose cars are making excessive noise. Included will be those with faulty or worn out equipment and other with straight pipes and mufflers which do not conform to state noise regulations.”
Every day and age has its nuisance noise (trouble) makers. This 50 year old news piece reflected the times. It was still the age of the loud muscle cars. But, law enforcement, apparently responsibly, responded.
I was in Tawas and East Tawas yesterday visiting a dear elderly lady who would visit me frequently when I spent 9 weeks in Bay City’s Mercy Hospital in 1954 (as a 4 year old). [My parents could not, but visit me once or at the most, twice a week because our family lived in Tawas, Michigan] Not once did I hear a firework go off in that twin tourist town community, yesterday, – unlike that of Bay City.
Commissioner – please don’t tell me as an acquaintance friend and Bay City Commissioner, that Bay City cannot attain [to] a more respectable community standard. The longer the boom box and firework insanity continues here in Bay City, the less attractive Bay City will be for those considering a move here. My wife and I have friends who want to move to the Bay City area. They are looking for a home to buy in Bay City. We’ve warned them to stay outside of Bay City, city limits and seek residency elsewhere.
Commissioner: Word of mouth gets around. Bay City government, law enforcement and courts are only fooling themselves if they think that they can allow these less major offenses to stand, without law enforcement penalties. Law enforcement, local government and courts have a great opportunity to help shape and mold the general peace and security of a community, rather than just come upon an already done crime scene with investigation and clean-up.
Remember the old adage: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?” Don’t think that for one minute that these “minor” offenses aren’t important. Major crimes such as theft, rape and murder are crimes that an individual perpetrates because they have “graduated” from the lesser offenses of disrespect for their neighbors and community. I do believe that there is a progression. [Scripture even suggests, so: Ecclesiastes 8:11] Good law enforcement is to be a deterrent. Law and law enforcement are principally for the ones who refuse to live by the Golden Rule.
Commissioner: I appreciate your efforts on behalf of Bay City. But, before Bay City government raises anymore taxes, it needs to raise the level of livability here in city limits. It can be done. I have no doubt. But, it takes a resolve of priority and the willingness to elevate the whole principle of “law and order.” Bay City government needs to quit rewarding the troublemakers (by neglecting the sanction of their offenses) and, instead, reward the bread and butter taxpaying residents who would like some normal peace and quiet and some decent law and order. [I would even volunteer as a member of some resident council and neighborhood residents, to work with law enforcement to that end]
P.S. Commissioner – This piece will become public once I post it on the mlive.com Bay City forum. The untoward nasty noise of Bay City has been public for a long time. Since I have spent my time and effort on this response comment, I think that I will utilize this response as an article to post [it] on my moralmatters.org website. The contents of this response will be dispersed in local, state and national cyberspace.
Bay City government has known about this nasty noise problem for a long time, – at least since, I’ve moved here. I’ve spoken my peace about it a number of times, – and, I’m convinced others have, also, – but, to no improvement. Bay City government has been “digging its own grave,” by neglecting this important (aforementioned) issue.
These online comments of mine posted as a website article on the Internet will be my friendly warning to whomever: “Move to Bay City, Michigan at the risk of your own peace and quiet.” I hope that as you age, – you and other local government personnel will be proud of yourselves for playing your part in the decline of Bay City, Michigan. State laws and local community government neglect, does have its (unintended consequences), – don’t they? At least that’s my free speech (1st Amendment) opinion…………
Pastor emeritus Nathan M. Bickel – Bay City, MI resident
Related: Neighboring town puts Bay City to shame:
Please note 2 informational links:
Nathan M. Bickel