Keeping Alcohol Out of Gilbert Parks

In 1990, as the new mayor of Gilbert, I got a complaint from a former vice Mayor, Eldon Hasting.  He had taken his family to the then brand new Freestone Regional Park and had their good time ruined by another group there who had gotten drunk and rowdy.  His experience closely paralleled one I had with my family at the park. 

At that time no parks in Arizona restricted drinking.  I thought this might be a good time to take the lead on something whose time had come.  Freestone  Park became the first park in Arizona to forbid drinking.  I can’t tell you how much grief my friends and people I worked with gave me over this.  They called me a prohibionist, and a few things worse than that.   I was asked how I dared try to prevent people from drinking, from enjoying a perfectly legal beverage.  I basically told my critic’s though I don’t drink, I used to, I know people don’t have to be drunk to not look in their rear view mirror before they back out of parking lot. 

People eventually got used to the idea, and now parks all over the state have followed our lead and restrict drinking.  I know not everyone agrees with this decision, but I know we have never had a child injured at Freestone park by someone who had been drinking.


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