I read with great interest the articles in the recent publications the responses by Presiding Commisioner Kris Franken regarding article 600 and the double talk by all of the county commissioners on the decibel levels of noise levels at the lake. The pure politics and self serving comments purposely ignore and avoid the identification and dealing with the real and core issue, their failure to enforce the code and the violations of that code for three years. There would be no noise issue with the Paradise Restaurant if they would have simply enclosed the music area as required by the code. They would still be playing their music, they would have the support of the neighborhood, the neighborhood would not have lost over $180,000 of home equity, and the commissioners would have performed their responsibilities that they were elected to perform. No reason for a CUP exists. There is no study that we are aware of that outside music is worth more to a business than inside music. It is apparently an ego factor.
Mr. Franken asks for public support for the Article 600. In fact, Mr. Franken and Mr. Hathaway have used article 600 to avoid being held responsible for the non-compliance of and illegal performance of the outside music by the Paradise Restaurant. We call about a violation, and we're told we have to file a written complaint. Then we're told there's a 90-day grace period. By the time we call and then go in and file a written complaint and wait 90 days, the season is over and the commission says they can't do anything because there's no violation then. They use the 90-day grace period and complaint re-filing each season as a means of condoning the violation by the restaurant and the resulting noise disturbance issue.
They have always had authority to enforce the code. Instead, they say it is up to the neighbors to file civil actions against the restaurant. Nowhere have we found that we have the authority or responsibility to enforce the code and laws of the county. Nor are we expected to personally finance the enforcement. We sincerely believe that is what we elect to serve and act on behalf of all its citizens, not just special interest groups and entertainment on the lake enterprises. Last summer in three months, there were 117 fishing tournaments, 13 golf courses open, and many small businesses that provided great and desired services for tourists. Each and every one of them was expected to perform their services and sell their products in compliance with the codes. And, to the best of my knowledge, they did. If continued violations occur, driver's licenses are revoked, bad food and uncleanliness result in loss of license, other legal violations result in fines or jail time, why are the same principles not applied to the violations of the Paradise Restaurant? The simple truth is that we have every wish and desire for them to be a successful and healthy, vibrant business, but they need to obey the law. They are entitled to have live music, simply enclose it as required, and the noise issue goes away, the value of our homes is restored, and everyone becomes supportive. The commissioners state that there are only 2 problem areas on the lake. Based on all the letters and comments by the citizens recently, they don't understand how wrong they are. They admit that the restaurant is in, and has been in violation for over 2 years. A CUP does not solve the problem, it only gives the commissioners another excuse to avoid the real issue and give them political capital with the special interest groups. It's time to step up for the individuals of the county.
Page 2 of 2 - Another opinion article calls the article 600 a shell game, and our selection of Mr. Loraine a part of the game. For the record, I am, and have been a volunteer with the Sunrise Beach Fire and Rescue Department for over 9 years. I met Mr. Loraine at the department as he is the legal representative of that and many of the other fire districts in the area. He has done an excellent job for the department and we felt he would represent us well.
I do agree that there appears to be a shell game in place. We are beginning to see it as a need to elect county commissioners who communicate honestly, make no backroom deals, and represent all of its citizens, not just a few special interest groups. The planning and zoning commissioners did their job three years ago. We are grateful for their courage and sense of responsibility.