DORA zone talks receive opposition


CAMDEN — Pastor Greg Jackson of Camden submitted a written statement to Camden Village Council to be read in his absence during the council meeting on Thursday, April 21. The statement, addressed to council, declared Jackson’s opposition to discussion during council’s April 7, meeting regarding implementing a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area in Camden.

Jackson’s statement was presented and read by council president, Judy Michael:

“First of all, I apologize I cannot be here tonight in person, due to a prior commitment out of town. Thank you for your hard work and trying to make our great town a better place to live and to raise a family. Your efforts are appreciated. Pastoring here in the village for 29 years, we have watched a steady improvement touching different aspects of our community. I am writing in regard to the article posted in The Register-Herald that leads me to believe you may be considering a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) when it comes to events here in Camden. My understanding of this would be an area where alcohol can be purchased and then carried around the event as long as it is in a special DORA cup purchased to do so. If this is the case, as the pastor of the first Southern Baptist Church, I want to go on record that we would not be in support of this move.”

Jackson’s letter continued, “As someone who continues to see the effects of the abuse of alcohol in the lives of families, please reconsider making the move in this direction. With all of the work our police department and village leadership have put into place to get us to where we are, I believe that doing this will have the opposite effect you’re trying to achieve. What makes Camden unique is that we don’t have to be like other communities. Please know I will be praying for you and praying for wisdom as you look at the big picture and impact this could potentially have. Let’s keep our public space family friendly as we always have. With gratitude and respect for your service, Pastor Greg F. Jackson.”

Jackson has been the senior pastor at the First Southern Baptist Church since 1993, and was appointed as the Camden Police Department Chaplin in 2020.

Councilman Jeff Steele later presented a DORA cup and explained the manner in which restrictions to the DORA cups would apply, “You set your own hours and your own days,” he explained. “You can’t pour a drink from your house into (the cup,) walk down the street. You have to buy it from a vendor,” he concluded.

Council has made no official decision regarding the implementation of a DORA zone at this time, and continues to discuss its potential uses and consequences for the village.

Camden Village Council meetings are public meetings held on the first and third Thursday of each month, at 7 p.m. at Camden Town Hall.

By Nathan Hoskins

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Reach Nathan Hoskins at 937-683-4057 and follow on Twitter @NathanHoskins13

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