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March 2nd, 2009
CONA takes party complaint to the top

EDITOR’S NOTE: Of all the charges that might be leveled against some residents riled by unruly house parties, a lack of proportionality in their reactions may be among the most potent.

We received this tidbit in the morning mail, an e-mail written by Council of Neighborhood Associations president Camille Phillips to a Texas State University administrator about a get-together Thursday night on Chaparral Street.

One irate resident, Phillips writes, has taken the complaint to U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, among others.

Text of the e-mail:

Dear Dr. Smith:

I hope you are well.

I assume that you have been informed about the party on Chaparral Street late Thursday night to early Friday morning (Feb. 27, 2009)

I was not there, but this is what I am told by residents of the street:

  • the people attending the party appeared to be of undergraduate age
  • they were drinking large quantities of beer
  • their full-size trucks blocked the street so that no vehicles could pass
  • the police came and broke up the party
  • many of the party goers fled when the police arrived, leaving their trucks
  • the alarms in the trucks went off for hours, keeping the residents awake.

I am also told that the residents on the street have been experiencing problems with noise and parties for seven years.

As we all know, the U.S. economy is not doing well. The residents are worried about their property values being decreased by the inconsiderate behavior of others.

The residents, who are employed in various occupations, were distressed at being kept awake so that they were very tired when they went to their jobs. In these tough economic times, people are particularly anxious to perform well at work.

On Friday one of the residents called the San Marcos city manager, the mayor, the office of Kay Bailey Hutchison, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and other state agencies in Austin. This resident is also interested in contacting the regents for Texas State University and in discussing the issues with them.

I appreciate the efforts of the group Achieving Community Together; perhaps it would be productive for ACT to give some attention to Chaparral Street.

When you were at city council recently, you showed a slide that listed the members of ACT. I noticed that no neighborhood representative to CONA is a member and that no one who has historically been active on behalf of neighborhoods in San Marcos is a member.

The University of Nebraska in Lincoln instituted a program that has been successful in dealing with the inconsiderate behavior of students. This program might be worth investigating.

The residents of Chaparral would welcome any help you can give.

Best regards,

Camille S. Phillips

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3 thoughts on “CONA takes party complaint to the top

  1. Brad, where is the overreaction?

    All I see is someone desperately looking for ANYONE who can get this problem under control.

    Are you saying that *speaking* with elected officials and those associated with the university is inappropriate? Who is it ok to talk to about possible solutions?

    What is your proposed solution?

    We’ve had people come into our neighborhood in the middle of the night and harass property owners after parties have been broken up. What is a “proportional” response to that?

  2. Ted, I didn’t think this one through too well. I was specifically referring to contacting a U.S. senator about a neighborhood issue but I take your point.

  3. I agree that contacting a senator is a bit much, but it sounds like desperation to get the problem addressed, not an attempt to rain fire and brimstone on the partiers.

    I’m glad you see my point. I should have assumed there was more to your thinking, but it is a very sensitive issue for those of us who can’t just pick up and move out.

    I can only imagine the level of frustration this person must feel, having tried to deal with the problem for seven years. Not only is there the immediate stress of the parties and the loss of sleep. There is the stress of reliving the problems every time you go to a city council meeting or a CONA meeting or wherever else you go, to try to get the issue resolved and the stress of being vilified by various politicians and special interests in town, who paint you as some unreasonable complainer, with a vendetta against all college students.

    Frankly, I pin 90% of this on Chief Williams, who year after year seems to have one excuse after another for his inability to get this under control. It would not surprise me to hear him tell City Council that he could manage the issue if we would just pass a 9:00 curfew and ban rock and roll.

    Meanwhile, people like this poor individual get to be the bad guys.

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