August 2018 Not Our Best Month At Put-in-Bay

You read the headline correctly! With all the great things we have going on on the island, we’re sad to say in August 2018 Put-in-Bay is still garnering bad publicity in everyone’s “favorite mainland newspaper,” the Sandusky Register. But don’t blame the Register, these stories don’t just stay in our area, but go out all over thanks to the Internet. What stories, you ask? For starters, a former Put-in-Bay Police officer who worked on the island last year, El’Shawn Williams, was indicted for allegedly assaulting a man and falsifying reports to cover it up. This is serious business. It not only reflects on this officer but on the Put-in-Bay Police Department and the entire community of Put-in-Bay. On a bright note, Put-in-Bay was named one of the Top Ten Destinations In Ohio

Put-in-Bay Councilman, Tip Boyles, was cited for disorderly conduct

A Put-in-Bay Councilman, Tip Boyles, was cited for disorderly conduct, after a confrontation with a young woman passing out flyers for the Blue Marlin, an island swim up pool bar located a block south of the main downtown area. The details, like with any story, are fuzzy, but the bad publicity from this encounter just adds to the fodder faced by the island in the press, There’s also a story about an island businessman
who allegedly removed the water meter at his place of business and then installed a bypass line. When the Register reporter tried to get a
police report on the matter, he reported he was stonewalled with the excuse that “There was no secretary in the police department who could access the report.” The reporter reportedly did not have phone calls or email inquiries returned after that. The island sure didn’t get any good headlines from this story.

Then came the dreaded Christmas in July,” Friday and Saturday on July 20th and 21st. The island was inundated with hundreds of people who came on buses from Detroit, Cleveland and elsewhere to celebrate the holiday which most island business people and residents have come to loathe. Headlines following the event included “Large crowds fight in Put-in-Bay” and “Brawls break out during Put-in-Bay Christmas in July.” The lead line in a story read, “Chaos erupted all across Put-in-Bay Saturday during the notorious Christmas in July event.” There was one good article praising the police and the work they did to keep the lid on any disruptive behavior, and that was
certainly welcome, but the bad headlines overwhelmed the good by a long shot.

This is a mixed bag of bad news stories for Put-in-Bay in August 2018 to say the least, and what they have in common is that they all reflect negatively for the island, islanders, and island business people with headlines and social media posts. Probably the stories stemming from Christmas in July” have the biggest impact on the island. The many times we heard of people saying they would never come back to the island after seeing what happened was staggering. We also heard of businesses down 30% or more over a normal summer weekend. Granted there were some businesses that had to be way up, but perhaps it is time for them to step back and take a look at whether these short-term gains will hurt their businesses in the long run. The island businesses spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year promoting the island, yet in a flash, stories like these, at no cost to anyone, undo all the good things about the island everyone tries to promote. This must change, but it takes the entire business community to work together on this problem that seems to get worse and worse every year.

Put-in-Bay welcomes people from all over the world. They are every color, race, and creed, but some of those who come to the island on Christmas In July” bring out the worst in themselves as they litter our streets, openly smoke pot, drive golf carts dangerously, flaunt the law and play the fool. They should be ashamed that they give a bad name to their entire group. This lack of respect for the island and themselves is a mystery to those who love Put-in-Bay and welcome all. For this reason, Put-in-Bay Christmas In July has been canceled