Letter: Protect people, not dogs, at Willard Beach
As the election nears, I want to point out a few things for people to think about when it comes to the ordinance change for Willard Beach in South Portland. The biggest reason I support it is because I have a problem with allowing my grandchildren (or me for that matter) to play in the same sand that hundreds of dogs use as a bathroom every week.
The dog owners who walk their dogs at Willard (many of whom are not even from South Portland) will tell you that it is not a problem. Who do they think they are to tell us it's OK for us to play where their animals defecate? Of course it's not a problem for them. The CDC says otherwise, and so does common sense. This ordinance bans only dogs during the warmer months – not humans, as some would like us to believe. It does not privatize the beach. It protects people that are, for whatever reason, uncomfortable around dogs and allows them all day access to the beach.
So before you vote, please think about how the outcome of this referendum will affect you, your family, and your neighbors. More than 1,000 South Portland voters signed the petition to put this before the voters. I certainly hope you vote in favor of the ordinance, but more than anything, I hope all voters will take the time to make an informed decision.