It's often said that party labels don't matter as much at the local level, and generally that's true; there's no Pepublican or Democratic way to fill a pothole. But sometimes it does matter -- even at the local level, Democrats probably have a tendency to favor "fixing" things, and Republicans are likely to look more skeptically at change. A case in point is the amendment to the noise ordinance approved by City Council last night in which annoying lights were added to annoying noises as invonveniences residents shouldn't have to suffer. Four of the five Republicans voted against the amendment; it wouldn't have passed unless Marty Bender had defected and voted with the four Democrats.
The law, pushed by Councilman John Shoaff, D-at large, determines lighting violates the law if it causes glare 5 feet inside a neighbor's property. The glare must cause discomfort or limit the ability to see properly. The law does not apply to motion-sensor lights, which turn on and off, he said.
I'm with the four Republicans on this one. A light is in violation if it "cause glare" that brings "discomfort"? Well, that's a little vague, one might even say a lawsuit waiting to happen. Shoaff introduced the measure because of a problem between two neighbors. As Liz Brown asked, couldn't the neighbor whose bedroom the light went into just have gotten blackout shades? It's not usually a good idea to make a law affecting the whole city just because two people can't get along. Tom Smith and Tom Didier pegged it: oeverreacting and micromanaging.