Your rights shouldn’t violate rights of others

Published 10:09 pm Tuesday, July 16, 2013

To the editor:
It would appear that the majority of Polk County commissioners are not particularly interested in a problem that is affecting the rights and health of some of the county’s taxpaying citizens.
At a meeting on July 8, 2013 the commissioners refused to consider a noise ordinance similar to the one that is working well in Henderson County.
Several of those in attendance spoke of constant annoyance with noise resulting from gunshots, loud music being played throughout the night and other disturbances. They related their health concerns from being unable to sleep, and their fears of guns being fired indiscriminately.  Commissioner Ray Gasperson spoke in favor of an ordinance, but other commissioners criticized the Henderson County ordinance as being “too complicated.”
Members of the Silver Creek community told of calling the police on numerous occasions, only to be told that without an ordinance, they were unable to bring charges.
The main reason I felt this was needed was to give law enforcement the ability to do something and make a reasonable decision on the issue at hand. Every call they go on is a waste of taxpayer money if they go to the call with their hands tied in legal hogwash with no resolution. I have tried for many years to get the police the power to make a judgment call on a noise complaint and resolve the matter.
I guess in Polk County, the county police will never have this power to use their heads. I was very disappointed by the attitude of the other commissioners at the meeting, they did not even have an open mind about this matter; they had their minds already made before the meeting ever started. I tried to present everything in a correct, open and honest way.
Some of the commissioners expressed the opinion that such an ordinance would be infringing on personal rights. I was taught in school that rights in a democracy also carry a responsibility to use them wisely. That means that rights are necessary, but they do not include actions that violate the rights of others by affecting their sleep, their health, their happiness and their general welfare.
Let’s hope in the next election, Polk County citizens will remember those commissioners who do not seem to grasp that concept and support candidates who show interest in the concerns of all the people of the county.
– Ronald Deal, Mill Spring

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