After a few days of collecting quotes from around City Hall for an upcoming story on the alcohol ban at beaches proposed by Councilman Kevin Faulconer, the votes are beginning to come into focus.
Of the eight council members, four, including Faucloner, said they will support a ban or will likely support it. Two said they could be swayed, but were leaning toward no. Spokespersons for two other offices said they remaining two were undecided.
In numerical order, according to council district:
- Council President Scott Peters is on vacation, but a spokeswoman said he likely won’t take a position publicly until he has more information on a proposal.
- Faulconer is a resounding yes. Prior to the nationally infamous Labor Day melee, he had been undecided on the issue, and the task force he set up to study the issues of alcohol in the beach area did not reach a consensus on the item. The events of Labor Day changed his mind.
“What happened at the beach was not safe,” he said. “Under no circumstances is it ever OK to have that environment going on.”
- Councilwoman Toni Atkins said she has always been for the beach ban. She said she’s observed that the beach resembles a college kegger more than a relaxed family atmosphere.
“I can see how it’s nice if you’re having a glass of wine quietly on the beach. But that’s not what I’ve experienced when I’ve gone to check it out. Sometimes it’s a bit much,” she said.
- Councilman Tony Young said he is leaning against a ban, but that he’ll keep an open mind.
“I’d like to hear some discussion about it, but I think we should be really cautious about taking away privileges at our public spaces,” he said.
- A spokesman for Councilman Brian Maienschein said the councilman has not made up his mind.
- Councilwoman Donna Frye said she favors a one-year trial ban.
“I know lots of people who I never thought in my wildest dreams would say ‘Please, stop the drinking,” Frye said. “They just can’t stand it anymore, and that’s not good for the community.”
- Councilman Jim Madaffer said he will probably vote against a ban. He said he is concerned about curtailing “individual liberty” and doesn’t want to let “a few idiots” from the Labor Day fracas ruin the privilege for everyone.
- Councilman Ben Hueso said he has “always supported it,” but that he “will keep an open mind” on a ban.