CONSTITUENT COMPLAINTS 7-20-16 LMS
Street dances approved and sanctioned by the city were held on three evenings in the parking lot across from Veteran’s Memorial Park during Salmon River Days. Those dances drew angry complaints, phone calls and remarks City Council recipients termed abusive and inappropriate.
As per agreement with the city the street dances were held until 11PM on Friday, July 1, and until midnight on Saturday, July 2, and Monday, July 4.
Mayor Leo Marshall, Councilmen Neal James, Jim Baker and Rob Jackson received telephone calls Friday and Saturday nights as well as texts from a residence next to the park and the parking lot on which the dance was held. The complaints were focused on the late night hours and volume of music.
Jackson said his calls started shortly after midnight on Saturday. He said the caller was upset that the dances had not shut down by that time and when she started using profanity, he hung up. The phone continued to ring until the Jackson’s unplugged it. He said he was told of a threat made by a member of the same family to Salmon River Days Committee personnel.
Jackson said the harassment is now including future scheduled events to the point event organizers will probably cease being involved with the park. He said the same person has written a letter of complaint about the Calvary Church’s scheduled and city approved “Rock the River” event.
Jackson said the long established park as well as the downtown area in general has most recently been the recipient of a good deal of money from the Urban Renewal program. He went on to confirm the park and adjoining commercially zoned area had been established long before the current owners of the neighboring facility bought the building from which they operate a business and use as a residence. By all indications he doesn’t think the harassment and threats are going to stop and he said something needs to be done about it. Jackson said one group of people is being allowed to run off park users.
Councilman James said the city has not received complaints from any of the other neighbors in the area. He said that the only one complaining is an individual who is running a commercial business in a commercially zoned area which is next to a city owned park.
Council President Jim Baker recommended finding a middle ground in terms of hours and volume. Jackson agreed with middle ground for next year but disagreed with the complainant’s response which has included attacks on future users and internet advisories about not using the park.
Councilman Bockelman suggested considering the possibility of moving the street dance location to the Sacajawea Center. He also acknowledged that one group of individuals is controlling how the city makes decisions.
Councilman Ken Hill said he made a specific point of going to the dances on all three nights. He said he sat on the corner near where the calls originated and did not find the music to be offensively loud.
Baker said the council needs to be aware of the situation and Jackson said that was his goal in opening the discussion. He said he hopes the council’s attention will help calm down the inappropriateness of the comments.
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