Law infringes on rights; hurts business

I am not a resident of North Bend, but the seemingly singular activity of North Bend City Councilman Ed Carlson with regards to cell-phone activity is interesting to say the least.

I read the goings on in the Valley Record, and it appears that there are many more pressing issues in North Bend that need the attention of Mr. Carlson than his apparent obsession with cell-phone operation in a private automobile. But he keeps pressing this one issue. He presents no facts. He apparently ignores the many other issues around the operation of an automobile, which may cause its operation to be unsafe. There are dozens of other activities in which people participate while operating their automobiles that are possibly unsafe. Why does Mr. Carlson have this "cell-phone" obsession?

Business owners, business operators and North Bend citizens should stand back and take note of some simple mathematics. I estimate that I spend $1,500 to $2,000 dollars per year in North Bend. If just 500 to 1,000 other people who feel this potential "nanny-state, feel-good-accomplish-nothing" law infringes on their freedoms were to stay away from North Bend business, the loss to the community's businesses might be between $500,000 to $1,500,000, and maybe more in sales. Is this a big deal? Only the business folks can say for sure.

I, for one, will most likely stay away from a community that supports and elects politicians who apply personal biases into their activities that take away my freedom to conduct activities reasonably and in a safe manner. What about two-way business radios? What about ham radios? What about the police and fire radios? What about taxi-cab radios? What about CB radios? What about the Forest Service radios? What about government radios? What about auto radios, CD players, tape players? Why pick on only one activity, Mr. Carlson? What is next?

We have enough laws on the books for improper automobile operation. If one is not operating their car safely, it seems to me that there is at least one existing law, and probably 10, that can be invoked to stop the improper activity. Is Mr. Carlson going to start a fast-food patrol - $10 per french fry; $25 per soft drink? Give me a break!

I choose to do business in North Bend due to the quality of service given, the extra attention given when I need help, the lack of congestion and I like the country rather than fighting the masses in Issaquah. But it's sad to say that I will turn away from a community that chooses to and begins to infringe on my freedoms.

Oh yes, I forgot to say that I have never used a cell phone in my car while in North Bend!

Ken Rau

Fall City

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