Odd Noise


A discussion turned oddly contentious at Tuesday’s meeting of the Franklin City Council. It was about noise in a residential neighborhood.

Not that public officials aren’t ever combative. But this one struck myself and other members of the media as strange.

Seems a resident complained about noise from a neighbor a couple houses down. Claiming that police didn’t deliver relief from the noise, the resident contacted city council members to visit and actually hear the problem.

Sounds cut and dry. But it wasn’t, oddly.

There was, during the meeting, long diatribes on “protocol.” Most interestingly, when Councilman Dale Rogers protested, this exchange took place:

“If it was any one of us at our house and had to hear this constantly, we’d have a problem with it,” Rogers said. “This wouldn’t be going on in Eastwood or any place like that.”

“I disagree with that,” McGuire objected.

“What are you insinuating?” Harris demanded.

“It’s a problem in that neighborhood,” Rogers said.

“There’s no data to back up that this is a problem in that neighborhood,” Harris said. “It was a problem on that particular day for that particular resident.”

I think what the chief meant was that if, in Eastwood, an officer ran a decibel reading on a complaint and it came back below the prescribed maximum level of allowable noise, as it did in the complaint under discussion, the result would have been the same: No action taken.

I’m not sure what the mayor thought Rogers might have been insinuating. The incident was in Pecan Acres.

In the end, Harris ordered the chief to research and purchase a decibel meter that is guaranteed suitable for registering noise that includes not only high frequencies, but the low bass throbs as well.

Yet the discussion still remains…curious, with Rogers and Chuck Autin on one end, Harris, Eugene Foulcard, Joe Garrison and Lester Levine on the other.

The constant reference to “protocol” seemed irrelevant since it was clearly established that Rogers and Autin, who also responded to the constituent’s plea for help, neither influenced police nor interfered with police. One is left to wonder if “protocol” means, to some, that councilmen should not respond to the needs of their constituents if they do not feel their needs have been met?

Oddly, during numerous discussions in past years about noise coming from vehicles, very little contentiousness or debate ensued. Tuesday’s discussion just didn’t make sense from a spectator’s point of view.

I am admittedly clearly sympathetic to the complainant. There’s little I hate worse than being disturbed in the sanctuary of my own home, be it loud music, barking dogs, parties, whatever.

No resident of any community should have to experience that kind of inconvenience.

I do agree with the mayor’s declaration that violators should be cited through objective evidence, not subjective.

At the same time, if you can hear and feel low frequency bass in your own living room, sometimes subjective needs to be taken on its own merits.

At the press table, we were shaking our heads and wondering exactly what was behind all the strangeness of the discussion. It never really became clear. But I’m sure that there was something. Perhaps the curtain will lift on it, in time.


I’m no fan of Sen. Mary Landrieu.

But I tend to, in all things political, tend to take things and issues person by person, and issue by issue, not by party line or philosophy.

And I’ll giver her a cautious pat on the back for blocking the administration’s budget director nomination until, and after, the deepwater drilling moratorium was lifted.

Though the moratorium has been lifted from the books, its effects are still present in the form of new regulations that make getting our economy jumpstarted again difficult at best.

Landrieu has said she’ll keep her hold on the nomination in place until she sees how those new regulations play out and if, in fact, they are no different than the moratorium itself.

So a cautious attaboy for Landrieu, at least on this one.

3 comments to Odd Noise

  • Russell

    Funny how goverment goes.City:
    “once its turned over to the police it theres ,not our baby”.
    Parish” : We cant touch that barge in the canal, if we do then we accept responsibility. (Then its our problem, it does not matter what it is doing to the industries operating on the canal or the mills.)
    U.S Goverment: That oil spill is Bp’s baby but we going to keep our foot on there throat”.Thank you 90 days latter.All the cameras and news crews are gone home now , lets go.
    Goverment officals are elected by the people to serve and protect our rights.

    Thank you Roger
    God Bless America
    God Bless Saint Mary Parish
    God Bless Louisiana

  • Russell

    Oh ,buy the way. That grass cutting at the golf course
    only cost the parish $70,000 after the $20,000 fine is deducted

  • blufloyd

    Up here among the miserable corn fields the official policy in my county is dogs bark, it is what they do.

    Don’t re-elect anybody.

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