2003-06-13 / Editorial/Opinion

Why Write A Rule You Don’t Want To Enforce?

Why Write A Rule You Don’t Want To Enforce?

Why Write A Rule You Don’t Want To Enforce?

The newly-posted rules for beach and boardwalk use have stirred lots of controversy in Rockaway. Most residents wonder what kind of beach community this is to restrict beach and boardwalk use. The new signs say that you cannot be on either the beach or the boardwalk prior to 6 a.m. in the morning and you must be off the beach by 9 p.m. and the boardwalk by 10 p.m. Even the New York Times did a piece entitled "City Hall’s Had Too Much Sun, Say Residents About Beach Rules." The Times story included an interview with Liam Kavanaugh, the head of operations for the Parks Department. Kavanaugh said in the interview that they did not plan to overzealously enforce the rules. "I know that there’s a concern over a summer of tickets out in Rockaway," Kavanaugh is quoted as saying. "But, that’s not our plan." City Councilman Joe Addabbo, who represents the west end of Rockaway and who chairs the council’s Parks and Recreation Committee, put it more succinctly last Friday night at the parade in Broad Channel. "The police are not going to enforce those rules aggressively," he told a Wave editor. Our question to Addabbo, then and to Adrian Benepe, the Parks Commissioner who set the rules in the first place with no input from local residents, is why write a rule if you do not plan to enforce it? The answer seems to be that the rule exists so that it can be selectively enforced, something that we would not like to see in any case. It is time for Addabbo and Benepe to get together and change the rules to allow late-night romantic walks as well as early joggers. Addabbo will be hosting a town hall meeting on June 16 at the Beach Club. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. We hope he does not plan a walk on the boardwalk afterwards.

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