Roeland Park council votes to allow residents to bring own alcohol to city block party


By Holly Cook

After a brief debate Roeland Park councilors approved an ordinance 5-2 allowing residents to bring their own alcohol to the June 10 city-wide block party at R Park.

The pirate-themed event features a children’s treasure hunt from 11 am to 1 pm and lasts until 6 pm.

Councilmembers Tim Janssen and Ryan Kellerman voted against the ordinance and Sheri McNeil, Michael Rhoades, Erin Thompson, Teresa Kelly and Michael Poppa supported it.

Janssen said he was concerned about including alcohol at a family-oriented event.

“I just worry about the message,” Janssen said.

Kellerman agreed with Janssen’s concern and pointed out that a previous Roeland Park City Council had voted against allowing alcohol at a city-sponsored event.

Councilmember Sheri McNeil said she would like to see the city promote more events that do not include alcohol.

Councilmember Erin Thompson said the decision of whether to bring alcohol to the block party should be a personal one.

“My thought is if you are coming with your family it’s up to you what message you want to send to your family,” Thompson said. “And if you don’t want to bring alcohol, then you don’t bring alcohol.”

Poppa said the council had approved an ordinance allowing alcohol at the previous two block parties and that he was not aware of any alcohol-related problems occurring at the events.

“We have had no incidents,” Poppa said.