The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

March 7, 2014

Lack of communication hinders planning

It’s not often that City Council members play the role of mediators.

However, on Tuesday, Rules and Regulations Committee members were in the middle of a disagreement between three downtown entertainment entities.

The Clinton LumberKings, Clinton Area Showboat Theatre and Finally Fridays members came to an agreement to work together after voicing their opinions at City Hall.

From seeing videos, hearing audio and reading the story, it appears the three groups, along with the Clinton Parks and Recreation Department, suffered from a case of bad communication before meeting Tuesday.

The issue at hand is a good thing for Clinton. Too many events at one time in Clinton is something to be proud of as a city. But we have to work together to make sure each event is given an ability to be a quality attraction.

If Showboat-goers can’t hear the performance or LumberKings fans are annoyed with constant noise, then those events are not being given a chance at offering a quality environment. If bands at Finally Fridays have to whisper into the microphones and go acoustic, then why offer a free opportunity for people to let loose on a Friday summer evening?

So, working together is necessary for residents to have a chance at entertainment.

The decibel limit originally proposed by the Recreation Department didn’t add up. The committee had heard the agreement was changing a month ago, and when members saw the limit for noise would be 65 decibels, they didn’t know how the concert series could proceed.

A normal conversation is 65 decibels. When I mow my lawn, I produce 107 decibels.

But figuring out the decibel level isn’t as easy as portrayed by the Finally Fridays committee on Tuesday. Measuring decibels is all about where someone is measuring from.

The ordinance states the 65-decibel limit is measuring the sound at the property’s boundary. Would a concert produce more than 65 decibels at the edge of the downtown park? Likely, but I don’t know and it shouldn’t matter.

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