Floyd County’s battle of the barking dog ended quietly last week when the Board of Supervisors ratified their decision last month to scrap an unenforceable — and some believe unnecessary — noise ordinance.
Three out of the five supervisors on the board say they see no need for a new noise ordinance so the issue should be dead.
But it may not be.
The noise that came out of a short — but vocal — public hearing suggests the fight is just beginning.
John and Alice Moyer, the Burks Fork couple who started the debate three months ago because they said a neighbor’s barking dog kept them awake at night have said they might seek legal remedies or take the law into their own hands.
Depending on which actions — if any — they choose to take, the Moyers could end up in civil or criminal court.
The issue stems over whether or not the county should force a resident to muzzle a barking dog because the animal’s barking bothers others who live nearby.
Those who see no need for a noise organize argue that barking dogs…or mooing cows…or other noises are part of living in the country and getting the law involved violates the county’s traditional “live and let live” attitude.
At the moment — legally at least — the issue is moot. Floyd no longer has a noise ordinance nor is it likely to have a new one in the near future.
But another issue — one that suggests bigotry — surfaced during the public hearing as three of the six residents who spoke complained not about barking dogs but about Floyd’s growing Mexican population.
Phyllis Beall, a senior citizen and activist, told the board that dogs aren’t the problems…drunk Mexicans are.
Beall, who like many Floyd Countians, has a police scanner in her home, says she often hears deputies summoned to Gray’s Trailer Park — which rents trailers to several Mexican families — because “some Mexican ran out of beer and is causing a ruckus.”
Beall was joined by a father and daugher — Jim and Kristen Brenner — who complained about noise from radios of trailers inhabited by Mexicans and even noise from the Mexican restaurant at Winter Sun. Kristen also complained about noise from Contra Dancers — an activity more aligned with Floyd’s alternative lifestylers than Mexicans.
The comments suggest the problem is not an intolerance for noise, but instead one for certain ethic groups and others with lifestyles different from our own.