Pinot in the Park
The council is taking up the idea even though the city park commission turned it down. Some Columbia residents agree with the park commission, including Sandra Simmons. Simmons likes taking her son to the park, but she thinks alcohol sales in those same parks may not be such a good idea. At least, she doesn't think that anymore.
"If I was in college I would think that was cool, but being a parent, I can see that being a debatable topic," said Simmons. The council meeting marks the beginning of that debate, and the mayor wants citizens to know they don't have anything to worry about.
"The parks are family friendly now and I don't see this changing things in any way," said Mayor Darwin Hindman. However, the Parks and Recreation Commission doesn't agree.
"We just think it sends the wrong message, that we are condoning selling alcohol in the parks," said Terry Kloeppel from the Parks and Recreation Commission.
The Parks and Recreation Commission didn't like the idea when it voted it down in July, but it is simply an advisory committee, and if the city council wants the proposal to go before the public, it has that right. So Columbia residents will get a chance to voice their concerns and hear both sides of the debate that is just now brewing.
"I would prefer it not in public parks, but confined and controlled. I mean, if they had something like that, a more controlled area, that would change my opinion," Simmons said.
The council will hear public comment on the ordinance on October 15.