Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Drinking at Banfield: A bad idea

The Middletown Township Committee last night approved drinking at the Banfield Cultural Arts Center. It's a poor decision, in my mind. It doesn't matter who belonged to what party. It was a bad idea and establishes a bad precedent in town.

It's somehow fitting that the venue involved was and is a $9 million boondoggle, which was supposed to be paid for with the help of donated funds (and wasn't); in a building that was supposed to be "structurally sound" at purchase (and wasn't); and was supposed to earn back the public investment it took (and won't since it's being leased for $1 a year).

Of course, construction delays and poor managerial oversight of the project led to extended costs, and that is pretty much the lighter side of this issue. The drinking on public grounds thing shouldn't go away. It is a poor example that not even self-righteousness from the dais is going to fix.

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