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Tuesday, July 3, 2007 | As a member of the Beach Alcohol Task Force, I was surprised to see Kevin Faulconer quoted as saying the committee was “absolutely a success,” as though its work was done. We have at least two bits of unfinished business that some of us are determined to get some action on: some restrictions on beach drinking, possibly in the form of some “family” zones; and a conditional-use permit process that will bring the bars under some semblance of control.

All that has really been agreed upon, so far, is a wish list of more cops, more restrooms, more trash cans, more cops, more surveillance cameras, some wishful thinking items like incentives for more taxis in the area, and more cops. As a panelist, I found it difficult to oppose this stuff, but I had to wonder where the money would come from, and I felt we were applying expensive Band-Aids and not facing the basic problem: out-of-control drinking by large groups of very young, often underage, drinkers.

Had Faulconer polled his committee as to the success, he would have had a mixed message. The majority he selected to serve, those who think the status quo is just ducky — all we need is more police, more trash cans and more restrooms — I’m sure are happy. For those who were hopeful we would attack the over-consumption of alcohol by installing some restrictions with teeth in them, this has been a waste of time so far. Stay tuned.

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