In reference to the article published in the Morrison County Record titled Coalition Collides with County Concerns by Matt Perkins.  Is it just me or is there something seriously convoluted going on within the Morrison County Board of Commissioner.

From what I read, the County Board approved a $300,000 grant to the Pierz Area Coalition(PAC), an organization that fights against under age drinking through education. Their mission, according to the Record is “to create a collaborative movement that will change community norms regarding alcohol.”

The organization came under fire when they proposed a host ordinance in September. A host ordinance would “prohibit, and establish penalties for any person hosting a party where alcoholic beverages are present and being possessed or consumed by persons under 21 years of age,” according to the Records report.

For that PAC has been accused of being a group of prohibitionists despite their clearly set agenda to exclusively target under age drinking.

Doesn’t the proposed ordinance mirror laws that are already in existence? So, the Board of Commissioners are taking issue with an ordinance that places additional pressure on the community to uphold state law, laws that are clearly being ignored?

The Record reported that Commissioner Young said, “I think you guys really put the cart before the horse on this one. Nobody likes to feel the heavy hand of government coming down on them.” Young went on to say that outcries have been pouring in from all sides of the county over a possible social host ordinance. He said PAC may have distanced itself from its initial goal of educating the public on underage drinking.”

I think the Morrison County Board of Commissioners may have distanced themselves from state law. If constituents have a problem upholding under age drinking laws, tell them to rewrite state legislation. Otherwise, if laws are being systematically ignored local action to support its enforcement is completely appropriate and warrented

To Recap:  The 300,000 dollar grant was for lip service not effective action.

So to circle back to the headline “Coalition Collides with County Concerns.” Exactly what is the County’s concern? Elections? Interfering with the serving of alcohol to minors? The PAC organization bolstering enforcement of state law?

What the entire discussion illustrates quite clearly is that the real issue doesn’t lie with the minors in our community. Here’s my bit of advise: Ensure enforcement of state law, be the grown ups and just say no.

No Pandering in the Pond,

Brooke Trout

There has much confusion over the proposed underage drinking laws and host ordinances. Since MC Record has pulled their story here is an additional source brought to you by the folks who own the Morrison County Record.