Paul Osborne's

Patrick McDaniel

McDaniel Has Made His Decision To Be A Candidate
For Mayor

Last week in this column I wrote that Councilman Pat McDaniel was seriously considering seeking election as mayor in the April 7th election.
Now, McDaniel is doing more than thinking about it.
Thursday (Sept. 4) he will hold a news conference in the civic center lobby to make official his candidacy and his platform on the issues for the mayoral race.
McDaniel said: “During the news conference, I will outline my views on where I think the Decatur community has been, where it is now, and where and how it needs to move forward to create a sustainable environment for personal growth for local community residents and for the businesses community for the foreseeable future.”
McDaniel’s present four-year term on council does not expire until 2017.
As also indicated in this column last week, Mayor Mike McElroy has told me that he will be announcing “officially” that he will seek election to another term at a news conference at the civic center in September.

 Reaction To Loud Music

My “Osborne Online” column elsewhere on this website is about the noise ordinance that is drawing quite-a-bit of attention in our community these days.
  I have to admit that, sometimes, when I’m driving on one of Decatur’s major streets, or filling up my car in a service station and I hear incredibly loud music coming from another car -- music (or noise) that is generations removed from the music I listened to when I was a teenager -- I want to play a Danny & The Juniors or Chuck Berry song from the late 1950s and crank it up as loud as I can!
It would be so nice to pull up to a stop light beside a car that has loud music rattling the windows of my car, lower all of my car’s windows and give the other driver a blast of “At The Hop” or “Sweet Little Sixteen”!
If the driver would look at me (if he could hear me), I would smile and give him a big “thumbs up!”
I know, if I actually did that, I would be the one arrested for breaking the noise ordinance instead of the other guy -- and probably would also be charged with playing “oldies but goldies” in a “No Oldies Zone”.

Not Much Has Changed In 
Noise Ordinance Comments

Following are some of the comments made to the city council and also sent to me about the city’s noise ordinance years ago.
Since several years have passed I’m not including the names of the citizens who addressed council or who wrote signed letters to me. 
The minutes of the Sept. 19, 2005, city council meeting had an item for approval from the previous meeting.
Following is how the minutes read:
“This being the time set for Appearance of Citizens, G----- B----- addressed Council relative to her daughter receiving a noise ordinance citation and where can one appeal. Corporation Counsel Morthland responded it is a court process and there are legal documents one must file. M---- T---- commented on the noise ordinance saying it is not good for the community and racial profiling will divide the community.”
The citizens were addressing us (city council) two years after we had approved the noise ordinance and nine years before recent concerns about the ordinance are being expressed.

• Another letter that I received in August of 2003, about the noise ordinance stated “Regarding the noise issue, I am glad someone is finally addressing this problem.  I have lived in my neighborhood for 19 years and for the last 8 of those years, I have been bothered at all hours by music that is so loud it shakes my windows. There is a gas station on the corner about a half block away from my house and it is one of the main causes of the noise.  I can sit in my house with all of the windows closed, the air conditioning on, and the television blaring, and I can STILL hear the music!  
“I'm so depressed and I can't stand it!”

• I only have enough space to print one more letter I received about the noise ordinance in 2003 which I also found interesting in “looking back”:
“Motorcycles, particularly two cylinder, with the baffles out of the mufflers.  I'm sure you have heard them some time or other.  I normally enjoy the sound of a well tuned engine exhaust blasting away, but at two in the morning, it isn't of much interest.  Similar to the two-cylinder hogs, the crotch rockets are equally noisy, just an octave or so higher.  I guess what they lack in charisma, they make up for in decibels.
“Engine braking of semi’s inside city limits.  You may even have seen signs along the interstate at more urban exit ramps, saying "NO ENGINE BRAKING".  The roar is pretty phenominal.  With Decatur receiving truck traffic 24/7, it might be something to consider.”

I don't think there is any question that we still need a noise ordinance.  I do think the city council should take another look at the structure of the fines. (See editorial on page 3 of print edition.)

Does The Debate Challenge
To Scherer Ring A Bell?

Maybe it is just me but the following debate challenge issued in a news release today  does not create much political excitement for me.
Following is part of the news release containing the challenge:  

Mike Bell, candidate for State Representative is calling on his opponent to a series of debates in each county in the 96th District.
Bell is running against incumbent State Rep. Sue Scherer (D-Decatur). Bell wants to have one debate in each of the three counties (Macon County, Christian County and Sangamon County) comprising the 96th District.
“There are many challenges facing the State of Illinois and the need to debate these issues is perhaps greater than ever,” Bell said. “The voters deserve a chance to hear our ideas for how to move Illinois forward and see for themselves where we differ on the important issues facing the State of Illinois.”
  Bell has sent a letter directly to Rep. Scherer and is awaiting a response from her office.  Pending Scherer’s acceptance to debate, Bell will request members of the local media to serve as moderators of the Macon County debate to include but not limited to Sean Streaty with WAND, Doug Wolfe from Talk101 and WAND, Brian Byers with WSOY, and Gary Sawyer of the Herald & Review.

OBSERVATION: As most of us know, the debate challenge usually is from someone who is not getting much traction in his (or her) campaign and they really have nothing to lose to debate the incumbent.
I would assume that Rep. Scherer will not take the bait and then Bell can use her refusal in campaign advertising. (That's usually the way that works.)
From all of the feedback I've been getting in recent months, no one is paying a lot of attention to this race and feel that Scherer will win, but of course, the only feelings that count are on election day.
The most positive part of this news release is that I wasn't asked to be a moderator of one or more possible debates.  (Honest, I don't resent that even a tiny bit.)


Listen to the “City Hall Insider” hour with Paul Osborne on Byers & Co. at 7:00 every Thursday morning over NEWS/TALK 1340 WSOY.  



Paul Osborne
Editor & Publisher

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