Editor’s note: The following was submitted to the Whidbey News-Times as an open letter to the Oak Harbor City Council:
As a father and grandfather of wonderful children, I would implore you to change your minds on permitting the sale and consumption of alcohol at my Fort Nugent Park — we have our children’s soccer games there; we play in the park; we use the Frisbee golf; we have picnics.
We love it there because it is a place for family activities. Alcohol consumption never was conducive to family activities.
Do we have to allow drinking at one of the few places where it isn’t allowed? Do we have to tolerate the consumption of alcohol at our family’s park? Please don’t allow it; there are plenty of other places to drink alcohol.
I know you feel you can control the responsibility of people drinking. However, look at how well we do with other establishments where alcohol is served — we still fear drunk drivers. I know these times when the beer gardens will be set up will only be when youth activities are not scheduled.
We as families cannot schedule when our children need to get out of the house and run around.
I know you want to promote Oak Harbor for large events to draw a lot of tourists here. That’s wonderful, but the exclusion of a beer garden from our park would not hurt such events.
We want events at our park. We love to see the people. Yet nothing ruins a family outing more than one person who wasn’t responsible in their drinking habits.
Worse yet, nothing ruins a family more than having one of our children killed in the parking lot by someone who wasn’t drinking responsibly.
I again beg you, please, just say no to alcohol at Fort Nugent Park. It leaves us one of the few remaining places where we can be as a family.
We don’t need the problems alcohol can bring to our neighborhood park. There are proper places for alcohol consumption, and our park is not one of them.
When I sight my gun in, I don’t do it at the park — I go to the gun range.
Let us not take chances with alcohol at our park, our neighborhood. Please vote this ordinance down at your City Council meeting in September.
Gordon Keyes, a soccer grandpa