An open letter to the mayor

Dear Mayor Christian:

I hope you don't mind if I refer to you rather informally by your -- pardon the pun -- Christian name.  It's a habit that was developed during the previous administration when the mayor was called by his nickname by friends and foes alike, with occasional expletives thrown in by the latter. It's in vogue now as even President Aquino is fondly called by half of his nickname.

I had to publish this letter complaint instead of e-mailing it to you as I had no idea where to address it, hoping that some of your family members and friends who read the Nueva Ecija Journal will relay the contents to you.

Kindly look into what's going on in the Gapan City plaza during the early morning hours, when people living in the mostly residential neighborhood near the area are supposed to be still in bed and sound asleep.

This morning (July 17), I was AGAIN awakened by loud music blaring from the plaza.  I checked my bedside alarm clock -- it was 3:41 A.M.!

Who, in his right mind, would want to play loud music at the city plaza at 3:41 A.M.? Ask around City Hall. It had to be one of your men.

My neighbors and I have been experiencing this problem since the days of your predecessor. It was ostensibly for the benefit of some people who engage in regular morning Taebo sessions in the plaza (and perhaps to fish for additional votes which, by the way, failed to materialize in the May 10 elections, which explains why YOU are in City Hall and not HER).

I live in the block fronting the city plaza, just three houses away, across the street named after your ancestor, and have adapted to sleeping while wearing ear plugs just to escape the loud morning music from there -- to little avail now, it seems, as whoever is in charge of the sound system has become a bit bolder, playing music just a bit louder and just a bit earlier since your new administration took over.

Why must tens of households near the plaza sacrifice valuable sleep for the benefit of a handful of obese matrons who still entertain illusions of ever becoming slim?

Solution No. 1: Transfer the noisy Taebo sessions to the City Hall compound a couple of kilometers away where there are no neighbors to disturb.

Solution No. 2: Provide each Taebo participant with an MP3 player with earphones.

If something is not done about the situation ASAP, then this would be a clear example of a local government's use of resources bought with taxes paid for by its citizens to violate those same citizens' basic human rights to be left alone and in peace.

Next time you confer with City Hall's legal officer, kindly ask him/her to explain in layman's language the case called "unjust vexation". It would be useful, too, to ask if any local government has ever been sued for that crime by its own citizens, as the last thing we want to do is set a precedent.

Thank you, more power (please don't take that literally) and I hope you can finally help solve a problem that we residents around the city plaza have been enduring for the past three mayoral terms -- interrupted sleep.

Very truly yours,

 
RAMON R. VALMONTE


[July 15, 2010]
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