Thursday, February 23, 2017

Light Tresspass

Light Trespass

That is the proper term when an individual or government entity installs lights that invade your privacy.
This subject brings more enmity in city council meetings than most other items.
Several years ago when I approached city council to consider removing a street light in front of my house, I was met with criticism and negativity, mostly from uninformed people who were looking for any reason to complain.
The former Mayor and newly elected County commissioner suggested that problematic street lights in his day were shot out.
That was then.
This is now.
Last month my neighbor had Garkane install a new LED street light on a city pole adjacent to their property.
The light lit up my entire backyard. 
I wrote a letter to my neighbors voicing my objections and concerns.
The next email went to Garkane to inform them that I objected to the street light and wanted it removed.
Then I waited.
And waited.
Nothing, no response from either party.
I mulled over the advice that the former Mayor gave at city council several years ago.
No, I won’t go that route.
I called the CEO of Garkane, Dan McClendon and voiced my concern.
Then I waited.
I called again, this time apologies and promises to look into the matter.
I waited.
Finally a phone call from Casey the operations manager gave me hope that I had reached a listening ear. He let me know that he was looking into the matter.
I waited.
And waited.
Finally, several weeks later I got a calls from Casey and Dan to inform me that they had a possible solution and Casey would be out later that evening.
8:30 PM
Knock at the door … three Garkane employees working overtime informed me that they had a possible solution and were there to try it out.
9:00 PM
A shield to confine the light to the neighbors property was installed.
So … If you have a bothersome street light, what should you do? 
I can’t give you that answer, but here are some suggestions.
Don’t panic
Write a letter to all party’s involved voicing your concern and any possible solutions.
Persistence and the sticky wheel will get the grease.
Speak kindly and show appreciation.
Sometimes it takes weeks to get things through the proper channels.
Sometimes you have to go to the top to get solutions.
Final follow up: Dan McClendon called me this afternoon to get my feedback and any possible suggestions. He said they were working to find solutions to future conflicts with light pollution. He suggested that anyone having similar problems with light trespass call him directly and he will work with them to find a solution.
Thank you Dan and Casey at Garkane.

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