Between 50 and 75 people showed up last weekend to protest a ban on sledding in all but two city-owned properties in Dubuque. The organizer of the protest said a petition to area lawmakers has garnered about 200 signatures, as well.
“My stance on the whole issue is that the City Council passed this ban to gain attention to their plight with the state legislature,” Justin McCarthy said. “It’s almost like a 5-year-old throwing a fit at the store because his or her parents wouldn’t give him or her a candy bar.”
The group has an online petition urging legislators to close a loophole that exposes municipalities to lawsuits due to injuries sustained while engaged in wintertime activities. The petition states:
We, the concerned citizens of Dubuque, Iowa, respectfully ask that you revisit bill 2013 HB 158 which failed to pass the state senate in the 2013 session.
The reason that we are asking you to revisit this bill is that due to the bill not being passed, the City Council for the City of Dubuque was forced to pass an ordinance banning sledding in all but two of our city parks. We understand that the city does not wish to be held liable for injuries that may occur during winter activities such as sledding, skiing, and snowboarding. Since the city government has stated that the State let them down on this issue and will not reverse the ban until the state legislature approves this bill, many residents of Dubuque will no longer be able to enjoy the winter months as they have done for decades. We thank you for your time, and hope that you will consider our petition in the upcoming session.
You can view the online petition by clicking here.
“At last count we had around 200 signatures,” McCarthy said. “After all the media attention on this issue, the city council is now rethinking the whole matter.”