DeLand, FL - There was no mention of free beach passes for Volusia County residents during the more than 20-minute discussion of naming rights for all beach approaches. That discussion ended with all council members voting to table the subject until after October 1.
Item number 12 on today's (April 6) agenda belonged to Chair Jeff Brower who made a strong push for staff to be instructed to move forward with the idea by making a presentation of what he calls another revenue source. "One of the things that we could do is set a goal for collecting a million dollars a year, an alternative revenue source. We have 29 beach approaches, that's $32,698 a year, per approach."
Other council members, starting with Ben Johnson, said that county staff has a lot on their plate right now and that this discussion should be tabled until after October 1. Brower reiterated several times that he just wants the discussion to get started on the subject of beach access naming rights. He said now is the time to think about this as the county begins refurbishing beach access points.
Johnson said talking about this now is like "putting the cart before the horse" and that there are budget issues as a result of Amendment 10, SunRail issues, and the final steps affecting the Ormond Beach Scenic Loop that are more important.
Brower's response was that putting things off seems to be a familiar theme for the Council. Dr. Fred Lowry pointed out that beach passes only generate a portion of the revenue needed to take care of the beaches, with the balance coming from the general fund. Brower says he doesn't want the council to be known as the one 'who kicks the can down the road.'
After council members each stated that they wanted to wait because there are more pressing matters to deal with, Brower stated that he still wanted staff to look into the matter. He stated that there is a motion on the table made by Heather Post to direct staff to bring back options. Brower asked for a second and there was silence. He asked one more time which prompted Dr. Lowry to make a comment. "In a kind way, sir, I would appreciate if the Chair wouldn't pressure people for a motion or a second. I don't think that's appropriate for the Chair to address a particular person on the council and pressure them for a motion. I think that's highly inappropriate. That's all I'm going to say. Thank you."