Mayor Connie Moran said that the citizens need to give the ordinance a few months to see how it helps and then, if needed, the board will revise it. "The right to peace is a fundamental right accorded to us on local level and a state level. We have one request and that is to turndown the volume," said Pete Pinto, a local citizen. The two aldermen who voted against the ordinance were Jerry Dalgo and James Hagan.
Arturo Barvolley, owner of Mosaic Tapas Bar, said of the ordinance, "Ocean Springs grew so quickly and the Alderman seemed not to notice the problems that ensued. This type of planning was needed 6 years ago. Now that downtown is developed and at its pinnacle, now we are implementing laws?"
Chief Cothern spoke exclusively to the Gazette, saying, “The City of Ocean Springs Government had to adopt an outdoor entertainment permit, because a few establishments’ managers or business owners refused to be good neighbors and respect the rights of others.”
Chief Cothern went on to share with the Gazette that 90% of calls for service to Ocean Springs Police Department for disturbing the peace by outdoor entertainment have been received after midnight.
We asked the Chief what will change about noise complaints during the other times of the day and he responded, saying, “The current Noise Ordinance and State law will still be enforced 24 hours a day. If Ocean Springs Police Department receives a noise complaint (at any hour of the day) an Officer will respond to the vicinity of the complainant and access the noise, music or disturbance level.”
The Chief went on to say that the OSPD always attempts to issue a courtesy warning to the violator, unless they are uncooperative, and a second complaint after the courtesy warning will result in a citation for disobeying a lawful order and a court date with a mandatory appearance.
The complainant will then be subpoenaed to court to testify that their peace was disturbed and thus the reason for Law Enforcement actions.
Another ordinance was also adopted during the meeting by the Board which will require special events like outdoor festivals to end by 10 p.m. The newly adopted Ordinance goes into effect June 15th 2012. This ordinance applies to commercial business.