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American Legion Post 69 Commander Joe Love took to the mic during the public comment portion of Monday’s City Council meeting to criticize what he called the disrespectful behavior of skateboarders at the Veteran’s Memorial Building in downtown Hollister.

“That memorial is there for the guys who fought for this country and the freedoms it has,” he said, noting that while the structure was built as a symbol of respect, skateboarders who ignore the skating prohibitions posted at the site have not been respectful to him when he’s asked them to stop skating there. “This is not a playground. A lot of soldiers have put their lives on the line,. We didn’t think we were going to have such a headache. We thought the younger generation would respect that property.”

Love said he has brought his concerns to the Hollister Police Department and now he was asking the council to help. 

“Sure, I was a troubled kid when I was growing up,” he said. “But I had a lot more respect for the military than half these kids realize.I need help from you all to make thi sgo away because that building is damaged every day from skateboarders.” Love said that the recently refinished concrete at the site is already damaged. He suggested that skateboarders who ignore the rules be fined and have to repair the damage they’ve done.

“I’d love to have them come out here and get down on their hands and knees and repair the damage they’ve done,” Love said.

The council thanked him for his comments and did not discuss or take action on the matter, as that is not permitted with issues raised during the public comment portion of the meeting.