EDITORIALS: Boozing is a losing deal

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN
W e affirm the Hillsboro City Council’s desire to raise additional funds to keep fees low for its city-wide recreation program. But we don’t believe exempting additional public properties from the statewide ban of alcohol consumption is a good way to do it.

Encouraging the consumption of alcohol at public events is not helpful in the long run. Even if it could be proven that doing so would raise significant revenue-no projections, or even the indication of research, have been offered in public session-encouraging alcohol use sends a bad message to kids, even if the intent of doing so is to support programs designed to benefit them. The “party hardy” lie already pervades popular culture. City government doesn’t need to reinforce it.

At another level, looking to unhealthy and potentially harmful behavior to serve the “common good”-as in the state’s support of gambling as a revenue source for public programs-is governance by cowardice. If a program is worthy of public support, let’s pay for it with a straightforward tax increase rather than delude ourselves into thinking that the revenue such behavior generates surpasses the price society ultimately pays for addictions and abuse.

So drop this idea, please. And while you’re at it, decide to enforce the alcohol ban on public grounds rather than look the other way, as has been the case in Hillsboro for some time now.

This is an opportunity to maintain good faith and truly serve the public good. -DR

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