Beach Vendor Meeting

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by steel1man, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

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    OK I understand your argument about supply and demand, but what about your usage of public property to conduct a private business?

    Are you willing to pay a fee or tax for the revenue you generate from public land use?
     
  2. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    I think your numbers are waaaay off. The vast majority of people at the public beach accesses do not rent set ups.
     
  3. Andy A

    Andy A Beach Fanatic

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    Jdarg, I think you are absolutely right. The vendors are appealing to a minority of those using the public beach. Most going to the beach do not plan to stay all day long. At least they usually don't on our private beach. The problem as so many have stated is the "ghost chairs". Ban the setting up of chairs and umbrellas unless they have renters and you solve the problem. Let the vendors sort out how that will be accomplished. They may have to hire a few more people and change their method of operation some but from what I heard at the meeting their profit margin will certainly allow such changes. The beaches, as so many have said, are public. The public should be allowed to use them as they see fit as long as they are lawful and respectful.
     
  4. Danny Glidewell

    Danny Glidewell Beach Fanatic

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    How can someone participate in the debate/discussion of an issue and then not vote due to a conflict of interest? In the past a commissioner with a conflict left the room when the topic was brought to the floor.
    The "50/50" rule seems like it will cause a huge cluster and enforcement will be a nightmare. Andy/Jdarg have an idea that might totally solve the problem: Ban "ghost" setups and allow only chairs actually rented to be placed on the beach. No one is prevented from doing business just a change in how they do it. It would also help if complaints of belligerent and unfair practices were investigated and those with verified complaints were fined.
     
  5. Geo

    Geo Beach Fanatic

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    Maybe 80-90% of people who come talk to you about buying golf carts use beach chair rental services- which would make the very first part of your statement true. But let's make sure we do not in any way confuse your cited numbers as a representative sampling of actual demand or usage of rental chairs on our public beaches.

    The data point that 80-90% of users of our public beaches rent beach chairs is simply NOT a true statement. Not even close.

    There isn't enough sand to make those numbers plausible even if you are using 150% of the beach at the waters edge. Each beach setup accommodates only 2 people and takes up - what- maybe 6-8 linear feet of sand?

    IMHO vendors are lucky to be given half of our public beaches.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
  6. Geo

    Geo Beach Fanatic

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    Doesn't seem so hard to me. Left half of the beach- no rental chairs. Right half of the beach- feel free to rent your chairs. If you put chairs on the left half someone will take a picture of it and send it to the county. Your name is on the chairs. So they will know from whom they will be collecting the fine. And if it ends up being too difficult for the vendors to make it work then we can simply end all vending on public beaches.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
  7. Zebraspots

    Zebraspots Beach Fanatic

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    I've gone to the beach hundreds of times and have never felt the need to pay someone to set up a chair for me. Neither have my friends or family. Let's be realistic about how many people truly use this service.
     
  8. Leader of the Banned

    Leader of the Banned Beach Fanatic

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    All I need is a towel. If they're renting out beer in coolers, then take my money.
     
  9. Danny Glidewell

    Danny Glidewell Beach Fanatic

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    Geo wrote:

    "Doesn't seem so hard to me. Left half of the beach- no rental chairs. Right half of the beach- feel free to rent your chairs. If you put chairs on the left half someone will take a picture of it and send it to the county. Your name is on the chairs. So they will know from whom they will be collecting the fine. And if it ends up being too difficult for the vendors to make it work then we can simply end all vending on public beaches."

    Sounds good in theory, but things do not often work that way. Even if the picture quality is good and includes all the elements necessary, all you will hear are excuses and accusations. Not to mention the manpower needed to answer and investigate complaints from one end of the beach to the other. So the result would be exactly what you stated at the end: an end to all vending on public beaches.
    Why not place kiosks at the upland end, rent them competitively and ban "ghost" setups? The vending businesses get to operate and provide jobs, the county makes money and those who do not wish to use their services can enjoy the beach without a fight. And free enterprise will sort out what works and what should go away. Just thinking.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
  10. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

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    How is the County going to make money? Tax? Fee?

    Better yet, we can have a sort of bed tax but for chairs and keep the funds to "tourism" driven projects...

    Your ideas are interesting, but this ultimately comes down to which chair vendor is going to be pro-active and not continue to operate with this "gang" mentality of screw you, we'll do what we want...
     
  11. Danny Glidewell

    Danny Glidewell Beach Fanatic

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    The county would make money renting kiosks and selling licenses.
     
  12. Andy A

    Andy A Beach Fanatic

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    Agreed!!! And I am sure that type of arrangement is what Jdarg and I had in mind. Let the vendors bid for who is going to have the kiosks or divide them up proportionately. The fee for establishing and maintaining the kiosks could go to the TDC to further other tourist interests.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2015
  13. WileCoyote

    WileCoyote Beach Lover

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    Well I understand a complaint will be filed to determine that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
  14. Beach Buggys

    Beach Buggys Beach Lover

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    The numbers i quoted are just an educated guess from my dealings with vacationers on a daily basis, but maybe a study should be done to properly assess the demand before passing ordinances that will limit their availability to the tourists.

    The Beach Chairs are a luxury which people on vacation expect, take that away and you risk them going somewhere else. A day on the beach can be a lot of work, the beach chair guys make it easy. i agree with the problem of the ghost sets, this problem should be addressed specifically not pass ordinances that could potentially put numerous small businesses out of business. Tourism drives this county, give the tourists what they want.
     
  15. Beach Buggys

    Beach Buggys Beach Lover

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    I was present at the meeting, the commissioner was elected to represent the people in her district as best she can. She is a part of the community and having first hand knowledge of the situation and what effects it will have on local businesses made her voice a valuable one. The conflict of interest was only if she voted, the county attorney verified she had every right to be involved in the discussion.
     
  16. steel1man

    steel1man Beach Fanatic

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    Problem is enforcement(tuff enforcement) once passed it must be enforced. Last summer one beach enforcement officer told me it was a waste of time to issue citations. Mainly,( get this) because HE would have to spend a day on court if the vendor fought the citation...
     
  17. Danny Glidewell

    Danny Glidewell Beach Fanatic

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    Enforcing rules and ordinances is an ongoing problem. If you cannot/will not enforce an ordinance or rule, then why bother with it?
     
  18. Bob Hudson

    Bob Hudson Beach Fanatic

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    Here is my inquiry to the County Administrator and County Attorney on January 14th.

    Her son is a permitted Beach vendor. That's the conflict and the one the Ethics Commission will consider.

    [TABLE="class: ajC"]
    [TR="class: UszGxc ajv"]
    [TD="class: gL, colspan: 2"]Robert Hudson <xxxxxxxxx@gmail.com>[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR="class: ajv"]
    [TD="class: gG, colspan: 2"]to: Davis Mark <mdd@co.walton.fl.us>[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR="class: ajv"]
    [TD="class: gG, colspan: 2"]cc: Jones Larry <jonlarry@co.walton.fl.us>[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]

    Mark


    As a follow up to our discussion last night I reviewed my notes and provide the following.

    The statute seems pretty clear to me.

    I request that you either advise me where there is an exemption or seek a ruling prior to her further participation in the "Beach Vendors" ordinance issue.

    Clearly Bill Imfeld has realized the impact of his association with Sandestin and has not participated in votes or discussions revolving around Driftwood Estates.

    Mrs Jones should act in a like manner.

    My concern is based on the following. I have marked that section which I believe applies.

    I would appreciate your thoughts on this issue.


    Bob


    Florida Statutes 112.3143. A state public officer may not vote on any matter that the officer knows would inure to his or her special private gain or loss. Any state public officer who abstains from voting in an official capacity upon any measure that the officer knows would inure to the officer’s special private gain or loss, or who votes in an official capacity on a measure that he or she knows would inure to the special private gain or loss of any principal by whom the officer is retained or to the parent organization or subsidiary of a corporate principal by which the officer is retained other than an agency as defined in s. 112.312(2); or which the officer knows would inure to the special private gain or loss of a relative or business associate of the public officer, shall make every reasonable effort to disclose the nature of his or her interest as a public record in a memorandum filed with the person responsible for recording the minutes of the meeting, who shall incorporate the memorandum in the minutes. If it is not possible for the state public officer to file a memorandum before the vote, the memorandum must be filed with the person responsible for recording the minutes of the meeting no later than 15 days after the vote.
    A member of the Legislature may satisfy the disclosure requirements of this section by filing a disclosure form created pursuant to the rules of the member’s respective house if the member discloses the information required by this subsection….If disclosure of specific information would violate confidentiality or privilege pursuant to law or rules governing attorneys, a public officer, who is also an attorney, may comply with the disclosure requirements of this section by disclosing the nature of the interest in such a way as to provide the public with notice of the conflict.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
  19. Danny Glidewell

    Danny Glidewell Beach Fanatic

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    Someone does not need to cast a vote in order to influence the outcome of an issue. Guiding the debate to a desired outcome is very much a possibility. The only way to avoid any hint of impropriety would be to excuse yourself when the topic is introduced.
     
  20. Beach Buggys

    Beach Buggys Beach Lover

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    It does not seem clear to me. I do not feel like this constitutes the private gain or loss of an individual , it effects an entire industry and the entire community. Many Many people will be equally effected by this. In my opinion Mrs Jones had every right to be a part of the conversation, she was elected to do so. I feel like she was representing the community to the best of her ability. I've only met Mrs Jones one time, briefly, at the courthouse annex earlier this year and I was very impressed that she took the time to ask me my opinion on a few issues, this being one of them.
     

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