With clipboard in hand, Church Street resident Brent Ferguson is taking his cause to task.
Ferguson, upset with park conditions, especially William Meyer Park, is seeking signatures to petition the Oakdale City council to “… extend the current alcohol restrictions in force at Dorada Park to all community and neighborhood parks.”
Ferguson’s concern is many fold, citing that the daily consumption of alcohol by certain individuals that gather has created an unfriendly and hostile environment to citizens and their families. He adds that those same individuals initiate crimes, destroy park property, leave trash and other unsightly messes; all which create a financial and resource drain on limited city funds and staffing.
Currently, Dorada Park is the only city park that prohibits drinking due to the children’s play park located on the grounds.
In April 2012 the matter of banning park alcohol was brought before the city council with Police Chief Jenkins advising that no other cities in the county allow drinking in their parks.
Many citizens then spoke in support of a ban.
At that time two council members who still sit on the city council, Tom Dunlop and Mike Brennan, along with Councilwoman Kathy Morgan felt that additional laws were not needed and voted against the proposal.
Earlier in the year there were similar concerns about the same individuals resulting in the city removing the benches to be refurbished as a deterrent. The city plans to reinstall the benches at a later date.
“I want to take back our parks,” said Ferguson stating that just after a couple of days going door-to-door he’d collected over 75 signatures. “I’m tired of having to walk by this park (William Meyer Park) and see this. Our kids can’t go by without seeing this. It’s become a hobo park.”
Ferguson, a block captain for Church Street Neighborhood Watch, said other block captains from other neighborhoods have supported him in the park alcohol ban.
“It’s been well received when I’ve discussed it,” Ferguson said. “I’m sure it will be a topic for National Night Out.”
For the full story, read the Aug. 7 edition of The Leader.