Council rebuffs alcohol in parks

Posted on Sept. 5, 2012 at 1:00 a.m.

GOSHEN — The Goshen City Council received applause from the public Tuesday night after unanimously voting to reject an amendment allowing alcohol in city parks.

Though only rented facilities would have fallen under the amended ordinance, concerns over safety, enforcement and the community’s values were repeatedly brought up, and in the end, the amendment garnered no support from the council.

Resident Glenn Null was one person who had trouble picturing how the city would oversee rentals with alcohol. “I see an enforcement problem more than anything,” he said. “There’s a time and a place for alcohol and I don’t think this is the time or the place.”

Several people also said they believed drinking and driving from the parks would be a serious concern

“We’ve got incredibly beautiful parks,” added Mark Huser. “I don’t see how alcohol would enhance that.”

The proposal got little support from the council during its deliberation as well.

Councilwoman Julia Gautsche said that although she realized the city needs to find new revenues, she believed that whatever the city brought in through allowing alcohol in parks would not be worth the potential for problems.

Councilman Jeremy Stutsman applauded Mayor Allan Kauffman for thinking “outside the box” in recommending the change to the Parks and Recreation Board, but said that he, too, could not support the new ordinance.

“Parks belong to the citizens,” councilwoman Dixie Robinson reminded the council. If the majority of residents were opposed to the amendment, she said, the council should not allow it to pass.

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