Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Read My Lips: The Amphitheater Project Is Bad Politics

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Read My Lips: The Amphitheater Project Is Bad Politics

Article excerpt

Today let's look at the controversy over whether to build a

new amphitheater at Metropolitan Park strictly in terms of

politics.

If you do that, it's absolutely clear that Mayor John Delaney

should abandon this pet project and move onto something more

worthy of his attention.

Do you remember George Bush's "read my lips" promise and what

happened to him after he broke it?

A better question might be, do you remember George Bush?

Delaney, riding the same kind of wave of popularity that Bush

once did, should pay attention to Bush's downfall.

In an all-out push to get the amphitheater built, Delaney is

making promises that might be impossible for him to keep.

First, Delaney has pledged that noise coming from the

amphitheater won't be a problem for neighborhoods across the

river from Metropolitan Park. He says if sound experts can't

assure that, the amphitheater won't be built.

But the record shows that despite such promises and assurances

from experts in other cities, amphitheater noise has been a

problem for adjacent neighborhoods.

Delaney goes further and promises to monitor the noise from

concerts. If bands get too loud, the city will turn down the

volume, he says.

That sounds good, but will it work? Musical groups want to

entertain their fans and if the fans want the hard beat of

blasting bass notes, and they paid $30 a ticket to hear them,

the bands will give it to them. Or the bands will refuse to play

here under those conditions.

That leads us to another promise Delaney is making.

Delaney says that any deal with a promotion company to manage

the amphitheater will be structured in such a way to prevent

acts from playing there that violate community standards.

Delaney is smart enough to know that trying to decipher

community standards is stepping into a gooey mess from which few

politicians emerge clean.

Jacksonville's "community standards" history varies from Elvis'

hips to Ozzy Osbourne's taste for the heads of bats to Marilyn

Manson's satan worship. …

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