IRB Moves Ahead On Noise Problem; Election Heats up
By Leo Coughlin
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - This "fun" city is struggling to resolve its "noise problem" - the racket made by music and frivolity stemming from various nightspots.
The City Commission will vote next week on an ordinance addressing the situation, with a first reading of the law already approved.
A citizens ad hoc committee is to be established to deal with the problem, and will conduct a 60-day study; in which it will evaluate noise levels at each site, set forth ideas for reducing noise, investigate what other cities do, and recommend fines and enforcement procedure.
The controversy reached a crescendo of clamor in December when residents complained to the commission about noise levels from bands at places like JD's, Cuso's, Crabby Bill's, My Place, and Jimmy Guana's. While listening to citizen complaints, commission members also recognized that the entertainment places have rights too, and that the city has a resort atmosphere.
One member of the ad hoc noise committee is Don House, who has cranked up his campaign to challenge R.B. Johnson as mayor. The contest will be the only one on the March 9 ballot. House, in a release over the weekend, called it "IRB's Biggest 'Little' Election". He pointed out the single contest on the ballot in March, and said he has a degree in finance, and cited his experience as a business owner and his service on the city's Planning and Zoning Board "dealing with complex issues".
House said that voters will have an opportunity to keep large developers at bay by electing him, and that is the best way to cut spending, because of decreased tax revenues. "I have worked hard all my life and have struggled to make ends meet", he said.
House is a familiar figure at commission meetings, and lost a previous campaign for a commission seat. Johnson has pointed to his performance in getting the city back on solid ground with a new city manager and finance director after several years of upheaval.
Both candidates participated in Candidates Night Monday at the City Hall.
A "hands across the sand" event will be held Saturday, February 13, to demonstrate opposition by local communities to off shore drilling.
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