The North Ogden City Council demonstrated common sense on Tuesday night, dropping a ridiculous idea that public parks should be closed on Sunday.
"For now," and we suspect that means "forever," the council has decided to leave the parks open. Councilman Wade Bigler had suggested the issue for discussion, saying that several constituents had complained to him about noise from a soccer league that competes on Sundays.
The league, La Liga, plays at Orton Park. League director Ruben Alvarez paid $120 to reserve the park on Sunday mornings from 9 to 11. La Liga makes sure the park is kept clean and Alvarez says he has mowed and fertilized the grass that the league uses.
According to Alvarez, he was not informed by North Ogden that the council would discuss La Liga’s right to use the park, and only learned about the action by being contacted by media.
At Tuesday’s council meeting, virtually everyone in attendance opposed the idea of closing the parks on Sunday. Julie Anderson said, "I ask that you respect all members of the city. These parks are for the people. I think the Lord will respect our decisions as to how we take our Sabbath."
Brent Cole echoed those sentiments and added, "You guys are opening yourselves up for lawsuits, and that’s a waste of our tax dollars."
As mentioned, we’re pleased that the North Ogden council nixed this idea. However, it’s reasonable to wonder why such a harebrained proposal ever made it into a city council meeting in the first place. Had the council actually banned park use on Sunday because residents complained about a Hispanic soccer league lawfully using its parks on Sundays, a fiasco would have resulted. The story would have become national news, and North Ogden’s council would have become notorious.
Governments are secular, and they don’t use their policies to favor a majority religion or a majority race. North Ogden dodged a PR fiasco this past week.