Alderman withdraws ban on booming car stereos
The move represents an about face for the city’s aldermen, who only a week ago approved the stereo ordinance by a 22-4 to vote.
With the specter of a mayoral veto looming, a St. Louis alderman has withdrawn his get-tough plan on booming car stereos.
Alderman Craig Schmid’s proposal to allow police to impound cars with enhanced stereo equipment was criticized as overly broad and intrusive. The bill would have allowed the city to fine motorists with some sound systems straight from the factory, even enabling police to take their cars regardless whether the volume was way up – or turned on at all.
“I’m trying to do the right thing,” Schmid said after this morning’s Board of Aldermen meeting.
Schmid asked the board to basically undo last week’s approval of the bill, sending it back to the Public Safety Committee for revision. The committee will meet on Tuesday, where Schmid said he will propose an amendment that requires loud music to be actually playing before a motorist is in violation of the law.
But even the hint of a mayoral veto apparently was enough to reverse the outcome. Mayor Francis Slay, himself an alderman for a decade, has rarely exercised his veto power during his five years as mayor. This week, his office issued a statement saying that while Slay agreed with the spirit of the bill, he had concerns about its methods.
Schmidt said he pulled is bill, in part, in order to prevent Slay from being in the position of being perceived as siding with the car stereo industry over neighborhood concerns.
“If he didn’t sign it or did sign it, he would be in a spot. And I didn’t want to do that,” Schmid said.
Joining those with concerns about the bill was Comptroller Darlene Green, who made a rare speaking appearance on the board floor. She told aldermen that plan would hurt some city businesses.