In this case, it was people letting their dogs run free on Grand Haven beaches.
Many beaches across the state prohibit dogs, for obvious reasons. A slobbery mutt running helter-skelter through a peaceful gathering of sunbathers and sandcastle-building children can wreak havoc. And stepping in a pile of dog poop with bare feet — yuck.
Yet many people love to bring their dogs to the beach. It’s a great place to let their four-legged companion stretch its legs after a long day cooped up in a crate.
There are many who consider their dogs as part of their family, and seek out dog-friendly places as a top priority when traveling.
For years, the area south of the swim buoys at the Grand Haven City Beach has been such a place — where dog lovers and their furry friends alike can enjoy a stroll along the beach, watching the sunset or getting their toes wet in the surf.
But a few who refuse to follow the rules — specifically keeping their dogs on a leash and cleaning up their dogs’ droppings — nearly ruined it for everyone.
City Council recently discussed possible changes to the policy at the south end of City Beach, with proposals ranging from banning dogs throughout the summer months to keeping dogs off the beach between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Many residents voiced their opposition to either proposal, adamantly stating that they cherish the beach which they can share with their canine companions.
City Council adhered to their wishes and decided not to ban dogs at the beach.
That’s great news, but it also levies the burden of responsibility back on the shoulders of those who use the so-called “dog beach.”
They must adhere to the rules in place, and be sure that other dog owners do the same.
Otherwise, it becomes a scene straight out of “Marley & Me,” where one dog and one irresponsible owner ruins it for everyone.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.