Thursday, February 21, 2008

Commissioner Challenges Councilmembers to Debate Noise Issue

In an open letter to the community and Councilmembers Kwame Brown and Yvette Alexander, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (ANC6A) Joe Fengler challenges the two elected officials to publicly debate the noise issue. The full text is below:

We are disappointed with Alexander and Brown's vote to table the Noise Control Protection Amendment Act of 2007. By tabling the bill, Alexander and Brown voted to deny any discussion of the bill.

It is hard to understand why Alexander voted to table the bill given her publicly stated support at the January 5, 2008, Hillcrest Community Civic Association meeting. At that meeting, she told approximately 100 Ward 7 residents that she would support this bill.

More perplexing is Brown's support of Evan's motion to table as he was a co-sponsor of the bill. Brown has participated in many Capitol Hill community meetings over the last few months as part of his re-election campaign. At no time did he indicate to the residents that he was anything less than 100% behind the bill.

Yesterday [Tuesday], Alexander and Brown failed to support the residents of Ward 6 and Ward 7. After the vote, Alexander and Brown both mentioned they still supported the bill, but that it needs to be "worked out" before it comes to the Council again.

I am personally prepared to debate the merits of this bill with Alexander and Brown in a public forum over the next three weeks. I would welcome that opportunity.

We have worked over two years to develop this bill to balance the concerns of all parties. Perhaps a public debate will provide the opportunity for Alexander and Brown to highlight what changes are needed to garner their support.

Our goal is to get this bill back in front of the council in early March in order to protect the residents from unrestricted levels of noise in their homes. Every resident should have the right to peace and quiet within the confines of their own home. By voting with Evans, Alexander and Brown appear not have that same goal.

As a reference guide to understand how unrestricted, amplified speech impacts a residential community, please see the comprehensive review published in the Washington Post, Sounding Out Solutions for Noise Pollution.

Regards, Joe

Joseph Fengler, ANC Commissioner 6A02


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