Friday, September 28, 2012

Mountaindale...Living Life Under a Microscope

Most of us in this life have simple wants when it comes to where and how we live our lives...we want peaceful enjoyment of our abodes, want left alone, our business our own.  Sadly, in speaking with various of my neighbors here in town, watching the ebb and flow of our small hamlet, it seems many of us feel as if our every move and action is being watched, observed and commented upon by eyes we never see as Big Brother watches and tabulates our every action as we go about our daily lives.  Living under such constant surveillance at best is difficult.

This past Wednesday night several of us were talking outside the Mountaindale Inn when a Fallsburg Police Officer arrived wanting to speak to a member of staff...seems that several noise complaints had been called in by supposedly upset neighbors...odd since many of the few neighbors we have were in the bar enjoying a drink and listening to the live music.  Disturbing when Ed has bent over backwards (as have his patrons) too keep noise levels down when Wednesday night Open Mic is happening.  More disturbing is the FALSE NATURE of the the time of the officer's arrival, as is often the case, several of us were monitoring the noise level with decibel reading apps we have installed on our phones...once the active and working app was shown to the officer, once it was pointed out that the sound levels were within the legal limits required after ten o'clock at night, he left not to be seen for the duration of the night.

Whoever it is that is making the noise complaints should be careful that they are not filing false complaints...the law clearly states that the decibel reading be taken in front of the property of the complaining person...odd, but I have yet to see one of the police officers show up at the property of the complaining person to take a reading to see if the noise complaint holds merit.  However, several of the patrons routinely step outside after ten, our decibel meters in tow to make sure we are within the legally allowed noise limits established for our community.  After while, it begins to feel like harassment...and for what purpose?

Yesterday while talking to neighbors, it seems that some in town don't like some of us parking our cars on the public street in PUBLIC PARKING SPACES.  I may be wrong here, but would seem to me that the Fallsburg Police would be issuing warnings and then tickets if our residents were illegally parking on the PUBLIC streets of Mountaindale?  No one owns the public streets, no private citizen has the right to tell you that you cannot park where you would like to park on public streets in public parking spaces that have no restrictions placed on them by our local governing body that I am aware of...if I am wrong on this, if a private property owner, or some citizen has a monopoly on and control of our public parking here in the hamlet, would love to know about this. 

These are just two examples of living life under what feels like a microscope.  I've heard stories from people who are hearing complaints that they are using too much water when they take their showers, wash their dishes and live their lives.  Really? Is there a water conservation order in place that we have not been made aware of?  Is my shower time is being timed, measured and graded by town of Fallsburg officials...I hope not.  Others in town have been told by un-named people that their  driving is inappropriate, or that they need to be a bit more careful with the language they use, or should learn to lower the modulation of their voice. Is there some secret list over in the town hall of what is and is not acceptable language and tone?  Crying kids in a stroller OK, but two adults laughing over a humorous joke unacceptable...I mean there could be for all I know.  After all, even though a lot of us would love to see it lifted, there is a ban on skateboarding here in the hamlet of Mountaindale.  If Steve is reading this, could you tell us what we would need to do to lift that ban so that our teenagers here in the hamlet could skateboard without the fear of finding themselves running afoul of the law?

What happened to live and let live?  What happened to being accommodating of others?  More importantly, do we really have that many people in town who are running to the authorities about every little behavior they find distasteful in their neighbor?  No one likes feeling they are living in a Gestapo State where they fear their every move is UNDER SURVEILLANCE.  No one likes being told where they car or cannot park on a public street, or fearing someone is going to call in false complaints about abandoned cars.   Is it possible for people to learn to embrace tolerance here in our community? Inquiring Minds want to know.