County should take another look at Social Host ordinance

On Feb. 5, the Brown County Board of Commissioners refused to act on a proposed Social Host ordinance. When Commissioner Scott Windschitl made a motion for its approval, the other commissioners let the motion die without a second.

The county board should hold another hearing on this ordinance, and reconsider its inaction. We think the ordinance is the victim of some misinformation, judging on the objectinos aired at the Feb. 5 meeting.

One township official, for instance, said it would force him to become “a vigilante.” We suppose he means if he is aware of an underage drinking party taking place on some neighbor’s property, he has to turn them in or face prosecution. No, the ordinance would make whoever hosts the party liable for underage drinking.

It does not make a property owner liable for drinking parties held on their property if someone sneaks in and starts drinking. Simply owning the property doesn’t make one a host.

What the ordinance will do is target those who allow such parties, knowing that there will be illegal drinking, and allow it to happen.

The county should hold a hearing where all these objections can be aired, and answered. If there is some odd wrinkle, let it be ironed out. Then, the commissioners should take action, and at least give it a vote, up or down.

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