Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Asking the Help

Jamie Page offers an interesting perspective on the upcoming Island Authority proposal to force employees of Quietwater area businesses "to park elsewhere, freeing up an estimated 100 of the 485 ... spaces for patrons." He talked to the bartenders, waitresses, and shop clerks.

How novel! Ask the people who will bear the burden. Turns out, the people who actually work on the beach have a point.

"If they are going to ask us to park elsewhere, they need to have a covered area for us and a trolley to shuttle us from another parking lot to make sure we get to our shift safely," says bartender Tracy Porterfield. "And they need some kind of security to ensure our safety."

Island Authority general manager Buck Lee claims "several owners" of boardwalk businesses favor the proposal. Don't hold your breath expecting him to name them. Lee is deluded -- or hopes you are.

Here's a better idea: Before doing anything, remove the signs that "reserve" parking places 24/7 for Lee, himself, and all the Island Authority board members. Open up those spaces for the workers who actually make the beach work.

Then, on the six or seven days a year when parking actually is tight on Pensacola Beach, make them carry the cash as they walk through the midnight darkness of Casino Beach.

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