Counterpoint to Hutton’s letter on Dewey noise ordinance

May 23, 2013

Many people I talked with last weekend are taking umbrage with Marie Hutton’s letter in the May 17 Cape Gazette. In point of fact, umbrage is taken so often in Dewey these days, it is a more frequent thing than taking of AC units for scrap metal value. It falls just shy of taking for granted, which is something that the public does in expecting more acrimonious banter to fly around in the nasty e-blasts and nefarious articles in the run up to election season. But I digress…


Marie, who’s a friend (at least I think so), lambasts the town council for adopting a classification of the noise ordinance that makes yanking a business license for repeat offenders a possibility, but neglects to mention that it was a criminal offense until a short time ago. By making enforcement of the noise ordinance a criminal rather than civil penalty, it enables the town to have recourse if the offending establishment chooses to ignore and absorb the fine and continue the offense.


The good doctor’s supposition that a charter change should be enacted to remedy this situation instead is a red herring, as everyone knows that would take a long time at best, and the path to the charter change is fraught with potholes that would likely derail it anyway.


Here’s something that is irrefutable: Dewey has a noise problem, and needs to address it. The ability to enforce the noise ordinance with a penalty that has teeth is important, and everyone knows it.


And Marie, the town council holds public hearings in the interest of listening to and doing the will of the majority of the people who voice their opinions. They do this on every major issue, and did this most recently with the tally of the percentage of those who spoke out in favor of banning smoking on the beach, versus those against it. They asked for public input, received it, and voted accordingly - as they do on all matters.


Further, I’d really like to know who all these businesses are who “donate huge amounts of money to the town.” There clearly are some business owners in Dewey who are active in the community and make donations to various good causes. But I think the term huge amounts might be a little hyperbolic, eh?


One more thing: it has not gone unnoticed by many that Marie’s article received special placement and emphasis in the print edition of the Cape Gazette. Since Dennis Forney and Trish Vernon are so diligent about maintaining objectivity and avoiding media bias in their content, I can only surmise that it was Marie’s academic credentials affixed to her name that garnered the special placement and emphasis. While I usually refrain from using my full academic title, I do want to ensure that this letter receives equal treatment and emphasis and so I’ve included my academic suffix hereto.


Kindly afford this letter the same visibility as Marie’s so that the record can be closer to factual, and let the ensuing umbrage begin.


Dave Davis, Ad.D.

Dewey Beach


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