Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Havre’s Unenforced Cell Phone Ban Sent Back to Committee

On June 6th way back in 2011 the Havre City council passed a cell phone ban which made it illegal for everyone other than “exempt” city personnel to drive while talking on a cell phone. A couple weeks after the vote some members of the council started playing the “Gee - what have we done?” routine and on June 24th Councilwoman Pam Hillary was quoted in our local “News” paper as saying “Law is law. It’s made by men and men make mistakes” as she was publically doubting the wisdom of their decision. This law was to be implemented on October 1st but as luck would have it nobody from Public Works had remembered to order signage informing drivers of the ban even though they had 6 months to get it handled. Enforcement was delayed until signs could be ordered and erected. On November 29th the local Havre Daily “News” took after the council in one of their infamous anonymous editorials chastising the city for “lollygagging” in enforcing the new ordinance. Keep in mind that former HDN publisher Val Murri was the incessant push for the passage of this ban in the first place. A drop-dead date for enforcement was eventually set for March 1st of 2012.

Today, February 7th 2012 The Corrector received a press release saying that at last night’s council meeting the council voted 4-3 to bring the as yet unenforced cell phone ban back to the ordinance committee to discuss a full repeal.

The following council members voted Yes to send the law back to the ordinance committee to discuss repeal.
Brian Barrows, Ward 2, 262-7020
Andrew Brekke, Ward 4, 265-5256
Rick Dow, Ward 3, 399-1059
Gerry Vies, Ward 1, 262-3915
Council members voting against the ordinance review
Bob Kaftan, Ward 3, 265-2869
Bonnie Parenteau, Ward 1, 265-7654
Woody Woodwick, Ward 4, 265-1533
Janet Trethewey, Ward 2, 265-8023, was absent and excused from attendance
When this ordinance was passed we talked to scores of people that didn’t get involved because they just wouldn’t believe our council would do such a thing. Well they did so if you have an opinion on this matter I would suggest that you start making some phone calls to your council representatives to let them know how you feel. If you really want repeal to this ordinance it would behoove you to attend the ordinance committee meeting scheduled for February 15th at 6:30 pm in the council chambers of City Hall. There is strength in numbers and this council only pays attention to vast amounts of citizens voicing their opinions. It is time to move from being the silent majority to the irritated and vocal majority.

Inform everyone you know and come and pack the council chambers. Also give the council members a phone call. If they truly represent the majority as they claim it is important to let your opinion be known.

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  1. They advertised this was in affect in October. Has anyone actually gotten pulled over for talking on the cell phone?

    I see the police do it all the time

  2. Police aren't going to enforce the ban so why have it?

    City government big-shots and meddling do-gooders lording it over the peons with more rules and regulations

  3. I don’t know why everyone is getting so worked up. This is little backwards Havre America where we have hundreds of laws and regulations but we enforce close to none.

    Havre has a law against jay-walking and no enforcement. We have a barking dog ordinance yet when I call to file complaints about dogs barking all night long I am told there is nothing they can (or will) do. We have a law forbidding people walking animals from defecating on your lawn. Try calling in a complaint about that sometime and see what doesn’t happen.

    We have restaurant cleanliness regulations and an inspector here in town yet Wendys had issues for years that no one seemed to notice. We have laws against parking the wrong way against traffic yet I never see any tickets. We have a recreational vehicle parking ordinance that is never enforced. We have an ordinance against parking non operating vehicles on the street that is never enforced. Just check with the people up on the 800 block of 7th Street and see how that works for them. We have a two hour parking law downtown and I have yet to see a ticket in the police blotter for this offense in all my time in Havre. We have building codes and sell permits yet we have roofs collapsing, buildings blowing over and shoddy renovations going on all over town. We have weed ordinances up the kazoo yet just take a drive through town and you will see weeds 3’ high. Must I drone on further?

    Sure – Why not? ……………………. Make a new law to add to the list

  4. Lots of people bitchin about this ban but I bet not many show up for the hearing

    What good will it do if they already have their minds made up?

  5. Every day i see people in havre driving along bs'n on their device.

    I agree with Dow, its just another way the police can pull you over if they need an excuse, but after reading Jimbo's letter, I'm just not worried about it anymore.