The Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners would like to turn Santa Rosa County into another Panama City Beach.

Dear Editor,

 

There is a bigger story unfolding on the proposed  sale of alcohol on Sundays. The Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners would like to turn Santa Rosa County into another Panama City Beach. The story is an important one for our way of life and needs to be told.

Many, many years ago, Daytona Beach was known as the spring break capital of Florida. The politicians thought this was a great idea. Relax the sale of alcohol, bring in the mega beach concerts, turn a blind eye to kids ‘just having fun.’ One day the politicians noticed the countybudget was not looking as good as they’d told voters it would. They took a closer look and found the additional cost of law enforcement, fire and rescue, maintenance and increase in government employees was costing as much or more than spring break revenue. The politicians decided to clamp down on alcohol sales, hard enforcement of under age drinking and sent a message to the spring breakers they were no longer welcome. The spring breakers heard the message and began looking for a new party town. The money hungry politicians of Panama CityBeach thought it would be a good idea to invite the kids to their beaches. They relaxed the sale of alcohol, hosted mega beach concerts and welcomed the ‘anything goes’ clubs. The politicians were famous. Panama CityBeach appeared on national television including MTV and Girls Gone Wild. However, the anticipated increase in revenue to the countybudget did not happen.

Same song, different verse. Increase in government services took a bigger percentage of revenue. The spring breakers brought unwanted attention to Panama CityBeach and those looking for a family vacation place headed to Destin. Recently, the Panama CityBeach politicians set aside an additional $200,000 to cover additional law enforcement cost. So the spring breakers began looking for another party town.

The politicians of OkaloosaCountyforesaw this and adopted strict laws to deter spring breakers while trying to preserve family values. They let the party-goers know they were not welcome. While being proactive, it has still cost the taxpayers. The city council budgeted an additional $100,000 for law enforcement. The spring breakers got the message and re now looking for a new place to party. However, the politicians of Santa RosaCounty are listening to the same money changers, telling them everything will be alright. There might be some changes, but think of the money.

Santa RosaCounty politicians are following the same road; relax alcohol laws, host mega beach concerts and invite the ‘anything goes’ clubs. This cancer will not stop at Highway 98. It will spread from the beaches to the cotton fields of Jay. Our law enforcement is already stretched to the limits. How will they handle hundreds of arrests if not thousands like Panama CityBeach is faced with? Government costs will rise and the taxpayer will foot the bill.

The Board of CountyCommissioners must think they are smarter than the politicians in Daytona Beach, Panama City Beach, Destin and FortWalton Beach. They must think their crystal ball is clearer and everything will be alright. The cost will be great both financially and morally.

 

Larry Brockway

Pace