Letter: A no vote on DORA will keep our downtown safe

To the Editor:

Troy residents will vote yes or no on Nov. 2 as to whether Troy’s city council and state approved DORA should be given a majority voter approval. The November ballot does not reveal that Troy’s DORA (Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area) actually covers the entire downtown quadrant wherein two major highways crisscross and pedestrians freely walk around. Dozens of desirable downtown businesses and all Troy residents will be adversely affected.

When DORAs were authorized by Ohio law in 2015, Governor DeWine likened them to each community being able to have their own “Bourbon Street.” Accordingly, in 2021, Troy’s rejuvenated and beautifully restored, desirable family-oriented, downtown business area became our “Bourbon Street.” “Bourbon Streets” are known to create booze parties and not strolling shoppers. “Booze Parties” are known to create intoxicated individuals (drunks) who often become irresponsible, boisterous, combative, destructive, prone to criminal activity and violence, among other such bad attributes. Our beautifully decorated plaza in the downtown circle area is bound to be seen, by all partiers within commuting distance of Troy, as an ideal destination to hold a “Bourbon Street Booze Party.” It could easily meet Troy Main Street’s stated vision, “for Troy to be the most desirable downtown destination in the Midwest.” It is difficult to conceive a better layout for “Booze Parties” than Troy’s downtown. Why should we think that such parties will not occur and become a detriment to our usual driving through the area? You won’t find predictable bad consequences on the city’s website, troyohio.gov/dora. Troy’s DORA will become Drunks On Road Area.

DORA promoters want our focus to be kept on personal drinking viewpoints and for none of us to consider that limitless drinking of alcoholic beverages is already available and occurring at 14 establishments in the Troy DORA. In fact, three “booze” sellers on the square already provide an outdoor drinking place. It is important to keep who drinks the booze as a legal requirement of the sellers. It should not move outside their establishments. Minors can neither buy nor consume alcoholic beverages under those legal requirements. Once the drink leaves the premises and enters the DORA zone, the consumption observation liability becomes the responsibility of city of Troy and they have virtually no likelihood of succeeding. Accordingly, Troy’s DORA will produce some under age drunks, to all our shame and regret. That is a real issue of our votes and not the decoy offered as to whether booze itself is bad, which I personally know it to be.

A no vote on DORA will keep our downtown safe, desirable, and drivable for all.

— Allen Easterday

Troy