Flagstaff Passes Overreaching Party Ordinance

By Elisha Dorfsmith

I was in attendance at last night’s Flagstaff City Council meeting where Flagstaff Liberty Alliance showed up to oppose the second reading of the City’s overreaching party ordinance.

Thanks so much to Councilman Jeff Oravits for his lone NO vote. Unfortunately it passed 6-1.

At the meeting, Flagstaff City Councilmember Celia Barotz dismissed FLA’s concerns and insisted that this language in the ordinance would only apply to trouble makers at a gathering. Interestingly, the Daily Sun interpreted the ordinance the same way Flagstaff Liberty Alliance did.

“If the amendments are approved any and all of the persons at the nuisance party could be cited and fined individually for the offense.”

Barotz and Flag PD insisted that the offenses in the ordinance that say “including but not limited to” would apply only to noise disturbances. Flagstaff Liberty Alliance was concerned that the “not limited to” language would give police unlimited reasons to cite event attendees. I strongly question Flagstaff PD’s argument. If this really is strictly about noise, then how can they list littering as one of the possible offenses? Last I checked, throwing plastic cups on the ground was not excessively noisy.

The Flagstaff Police Department also told attendees to trust them to use their judgement to enforce the law properly and only go after the bad guys. It reminded me of when the Flagstaff Police Department showed up to my house a few years ago because of a barking dog complaint. They knocked on my door and the dog barked from inside the house. They left us a warning saying that when they knocked the dog barked and if it happened again we would get a fine. How do you like that judgement? We had to get rid of our dog because you can’t keep a dog from barking inside your home when a cop knocks loudly.

The City who created the original ordinance that Flagstaff’s ordinance was crafted from was sued and the ordinance tied up in court. I expect the ACLU and others to push back against the City of Flagstaff on this one. Some of the language in the ordinance seems like it could infringe on people’s right to assemble.

Josh 2

Josh Collier of Flagstaff Liberty Alliance speaks against the Party Ordinance at last night’s meeting.

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  1. May 20, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Another great post!

    Drake

    Date: Wed, 20 May 2015 14:47:48 +0000 To: mitchell3006@hotmail.com

  2. Joe Cobb
    May 31, 2015 at 8:41 am

    Good for you guys! When is the next city council election?

  1. June 13, 2015 at 7:23 am

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