Talking to local politicians is important. Especially if you want to see things change in your neighborhood.
So we should all take a pointer from Barb Church, a North Mankato resident who is clearly upset with the goings on across the river in Mankato, and let her representatives know in a direct, assertive – but still respectful - manner.
Church spoke at the Feb. 21 city council meeting (h/t southernminnesotanews.com) about loud concerts at the Mankato River Stone Amphitheater by her house: specifically Hairball and Nelly, though she's worried about the upcoming Alice Cooper gig too.
"If we're not going to have you guys help the citizens, then we'll try and find resolution some other place," Church told the council members. "But I believe, when your citizens – not all of them, but many people – are being virtually tortured almost every single weekend ... something needs to stop."
Church, who lives just across the river from the River Stone Amphitheater, said she first brought this up in 2015 after a Hairball concert. After a meeting, she thought there would be some conditions on which artists played at the outdoor venue, with the loud "Hairball-like" acts being moved to the indoor Verizon Wireless Center.
But things haven't changed.
"The City of Mankato was going to help remedy this and they brought us Nelly," she said.
That October 2016 sold out gig led to more window rattling and house shaking, and Church said she measured 100 decibels of noise at her house.
The City of Mankato has a public ordinance that says that any activity or operation that produces noise "shall be conducted so that no noise from the activity shall be deemed a public nuisance, as declared by the City Council."
When Church saw Alice Cooper was coming June 9 – well, she wants to know why her representatives aren't pushing their neighbors in Mankato to be more neighborly.
"I think you guys need to step up and need to talk to Mankato very seriously about this issue," she said, later adding: "And if you don't want to do anything, say it. ... But I want to know where we stand, because I want some resolution. Thank you."
There you have it: A great example of how to talk to the people you vote into power, when you're not happy with the results. And if they don't listen?
Well, that's when you speak through the voting booth.