Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hey, This Mayor Makes Sense

In the far northern region of California, in the heart of the Siskiyou Mountains, is a small town named Weed. I stop in Weed several times a year as I travel to my folks' place in Southern Oregon, the people are great and there's quite a nice 'homey' feel to the downtown area - this, by the way, is not a big city, it's barely a small town. Anyway, Weed is home to a nice little brewery, Mount Shasta Brewing Company, that recently was granted permits for an outdoor beer garden, a place for tourists and locals to enjoy a pint (or sampler) of beer when the weather is nice (and it can be down-right beautiful).

Not surprisingly a few town-folk got mad about this new development. After all, the brewery was 'near' a park and a public swimming pool where youngsters could be corrupted by the view of adults enjoying a beer. Petitions were filed and an appeal was made to revoke the license, for the kids' sake of course. Finally, the city council convened over the matter and a shocking clarity of opinion was expressed by none other than the Mayor of Weed. But first, let's get an idea of what the city was fighting here (this is from the Mt. Shasta Herald).
“Children use the swimming pool all the time,” said Gubetta, “this is too close to the park, it's not right.”
Well, that's almost logical, right? I mean, what if a kid accidentally mistakes the beer garden for the park and then gets his hands on a few pints of beer - don't you care about poor Johnny, you know he gets confused... and garden, park... they're so similar sounding. I may be a bit mean there, but come on.

The mayor had this to say in response.
“in regards to the park, people can go to the park with a keg of beer and cook, and get drunk. So, being next to the park, as far as I'm concerned, is a little insignificant.”
Whoa, seems the only logical thing to do now is ban alcohol in the park, lest the kids be forever endangered by the evils of beer.

In all seriousness, I am impressed with the logic expressed here by the mayor. I'm even more impressed with his next comment.
“I don't think some people understand what a beer garden is. It's not a bar or a party house, it's a place where people go to taste beer and have a sandwich or a hot dog. It's not a place where people typically go to get drunk and party, that's not what a microbrewery is.”
How do you like that? I couldn't agree more with this rational statement expressed in a meeting where it seemed some lacked reason. Wouldn't it be great if all city representatives had the same reasoning ability, to be able to look at the world around them and realize that it isn't black and white? I love that this mayor understands the business of his town, that he can distinguish a beer garden from a frat house. Score of for Mayor Sutton.