I urge the South Portland City Council to keep in force the long-standing ordinance prohibiting alcoholic beverages at city parks, beaches and recreational areas.
The change is advocated by a group that wants Sea Dog Brewery to sell beer at an upcoming festival. Once the ordinance is changed, however, the floodgates will be open and other vendors will have a “green light” to sell beer at city beaches and recreational areas.
A better solution is to let Sea Dog participate in the festival, selling its food and soda products, but not alcohol.
Our city has recognized that city parks and beaches are special areas that are heavily utilized by children and youth. That’s one reason why alcohol has been banned since 1974. Recently, use of tobacco products was banned.
Our community is trying to reduce substance abuse by children and youth. It sends a mixed message to use city beaches and property to enable alcohol sales. In fact, this change in the ordinance is promoted by a group whose members would benefit financially from the change. I don’t see any school guidance counselors, law enforcement officials or substance abuse counselors supporting it.