HELP WALTON COUNTY PROTECT THE PUBLIC’S RIGHT TO USE OUR BEACHES
The Walton County Board of County Commissioners is working to affirm recreational customary uses on Walton County Beaches.
Show Your Support at the Public Hearing
September 8, 2018, 9:00 a.m. South Walton High School 645 Greenway Trail, Santa Rosa Beach HELP WALTON COUNTY PROTECT THE PUBLIC’S RIGHT TO USE OUR BEACHES
The Walton County Board of County Commissioners is working to affirm recreational customary uses on Walton County Beaches.
You can help.
Show Your Support at the Public Hearing
September 8, 2018, 9:00 a.m. South Walton High School 645 Greenway Trail, Santa Rosa Beach
Submit Your Photos of Yourself or Others Enjoying Local Beaches – Include Name, Location and Date • BeachIssues@co.walton.fl.us
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View Map of County Beach Areas
Download Full Packet
Below is video and Transcript of meeting at Walton County High School by elected officials to explain HB-631 and how it specifically affects Walton County Florida. The main speaker is Rep Brad Drake. **Copyright 30a Media – 30A TV do not reproduce without permission
[00:00] Thank you all. We appreciate your indulgence and for being here tonight. Give us an opportunity to talk about an issue that’s very important to our state and especially here in our community of Walton County. I want to take an opportunity before we get started to introduce our theme, the group of panelists here. We have to my left, Mel Ponder, who is state representative over in House District Four. Yeah. Representing Okaloosa County. Give Representative Ponder a warm welcome.
[00:41] And then also like the introduce someone that’s not a stranger here in our community. Grew up in Walton County, became our sheriff and has done an outstanding job. I haven’t found anybody that is upset with our sheriff.
[01:05] And we also have County Administrator, Larry Jones who put it in a lot of time with Walton County. Grew up here, serving as our County Administrator, Mr. Jones. We thank you for being here.
[01:23] BRAD DRAKE SPEAKING — “Okay. So there seems to be a lot of passion that exists on an issue that we term as “customary use.” So, last night I went into a great length of detail about what is customary use and how it originated. I don’t think that I have to introduce, I’ll make an introduction or what customary use is. I think all of us have an understanding what customary use is and how it’s applied, but there is some concern and disagreements and misunderstandings about how the customary use law applies now, how it applied prior to the passage of House Bill 631.
[02:04] BRAD DRAKE SPEAKING — So I thought that the appropriate thing to do tonight is to go through House Bill 631. Some of you, I mean, I see a lot of stuff that passes across social media: Facebook, Twitter and Snap and all that stuff. Lot of, lot of passion I see on the internet, a lot of things that “House Bill 631 does this,” “House Bill 631 does this,” “it takes away this.” So a lot of times we see those monikers but we don’t actually know what’s in them. Of course I have to vote on them, so I like to read the bills before I vote on them and I want to make sure that everybody in this room who has an interest in this issue and where we are with the law of the land as it exists based on the passage of House Bill 631, so I want to make sure that everybody that has a position on this, then we can walk through this and let’s find out where we agree and where we disagree and let’s find out if there is merit, if there is garbage, but I want to make sure that we don’t just talk in generalities about a house bill associated with a certain number. We’re going to dive into it. We’re going to walk through it together and we’re going to find out if there’s some interest. If there’s some common ground, if there’s some starters.(??) The only thing I ask of you is to be fair. I know I’m on trial here tonight, absolutely, but you know what? Anybody in this country that has ever been accused of anything, that Sheriff has unfortunately had to arrest, someone who was falsely arrested or falsely accused. They get to go before a court and they get to plead their case and thank goodness that our founding fathers set it up, that every individual that goes through that process, we have an opportunity to be considered by a jury to be innocent until proven guilty.
[04:03] BRAD DRAKE SPEAKING — So the only thing that I want to do tonight is I want to ask each of you, we all came here with a predisposition. More than likely, we all know how we feel about this issue and there’s two sides. There’s, there’s, there’s not three ways to slice this. There’s either you believe in customary use and the way it’s applied, the way it was applied five years ago, the way it was applied 30 years ago, or you believe that it should be applied differently now and there’s…that’s it. There’s two positions. So I’d like to walk through those. Um, all that I ask is keep up, keep an open mind wipe the slate clean. Give me an opportunity to go through this and the only I want to accomplish two things tonight. Number one, I want to earn your trust. At the end of this program, you may not agree with me at all, but I’ve seen a lot of stuff that’s going across the internet and the world web that concerns me.
[05:03] A lot of visceral, vile accusations, a lot of hate, a lot of disdain. This is the United States of America. We are Americans. We get along, we love our neighbors. We don’t live in Cuba, we don’t live in foreign countries where they chastise their people and hold them in bondage. We love each other and we’re going to disagree, but we should be civil about it. And that’s all that I ask. So I’ll dive into this. Let’s take a look if you will. I think everybody got a packet. It’s very important. 6:3131, the engrossed version. So all those words that you see right there is the title fall. So that tells you my subject, what’s going to be contained in this bill. So when we start off here on page three, after we get past the title, we start out with ejectment. So I know there are a bunch of attorneys here, so you’re very familiar with ejectment law and there may be some of you like me, they’re just learning it.
[06:10] BRAD DRAKE SPEAKING — But let me give you an example of ejectment law. If you are a property owner, let’s say you live in (??) or let’s say you live down here in South Walton, but you don’t live on the beach but you own a piece of property and you have a description of what your property boundary is, but someone builds a fence or puts up a structure or something that you consider a nuisance on your property and you know good and well that it shouldn’t be there. So ejection law provides that you can go to the court and ask them to make a determination and figure out who’s right and if you’re indeed right and somebody was infringing on you, there’s a process that exists so that you can defend yourself. So House Bill 631, 90% of this, I think it’s a 15 page bill to start off with, maybe an 18 page bill, about 85 or 90% of this is cleanup from old laws that were created way back that were probably offered, maybe not as appropriately as an attorney might, would prefer so that they can make the final, an accurate determination whenever they appear in court.
[07:21] So the bill author addressed some of those laws. Also ejection law will be like if you were a property owner, you own some rental property and you had a tenant that just said, you know what, I’m not going to pay and you can’t get rid of me. So the laws exist provides you an opportunity to have to be treated fairly. So now let’s go through. We can skip. I’ve just described everything from page three, page four, page five, page six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12, 13. Here we go. All right. We’re getting to the good stuff. So turn in your handbooks to page 14. Now let’s dig into some customary use. So now the first almost 14 pages covered ejectment law and what I just described to you, that doesn’t sound so bad, does it? It’s okay, you don’t have to comment. Now, let’s get to section 10, 163.035. Florida statutes is 383. Ordinances relating to customary use, a municipality, county, district, or other local governmental entity may not adopt or keep in effect, an ordinance or rule that finds, determines, relies on or is based upon customary use of any portion of a beach above the mean high water line as defined in section 177.27. Now if you go to 177.27 in the statute, it spells out how you figure out what the high water line, but it’s basically an average of a, of a system of maps over a 19 year period. So we cross, we go back to the reference of 177 to define that. We’re using the waterline as defined in 177.27. Unless such ordinance or role is expressly authorized by general law or unless a specific portion of the beach above the mean high water line has been determined by court before the adoption of the ordinance of the role or the role to be accessible to the public under the doctrine of customary use. This section does not apply to an ordinance adopted ineffective before January 1, 2016. Okay. And then you see Section 11, 12, 13 and 14. And those section (??). 359, line 3/16 and 3/61. Those were just deletion. So the statutes to talk about summons goes back into the uh, ejection law. So let’s go back to section 10, line 345, 346, 347, 348. All right, 349: entity may not adopt or keep in effect an ordinance or rule that binds the term customary use. So this bill, they said that the local governments cannot establish customary use. I just read through the whole bill. We just went through the whole bill 631 in its entirety. Everybody in this room and the four of us sitting up here. Okay, now I want you to turn over the next page and there’s a vote sheet. It’ll look in the second column. I want you look down that vote sheet and you’ll see in red: “Drake: No.” So when the house bill that I just went through with you, we all went through together and we discussed everything I think, and there’ll be questions and we’ll go through those. The end of the day, the portion there, that spoke about customary use, about counties being able to adopt their own ordinances. That’s what a lot of people were asking for. Drake voted no, you’re not taking away customary use. Okay. Now that bill passed 92 to 14.
[13:36] Well now let’s go back to our old days and our favorite fourth grade teacher’s class and let’s talk about how a bill becomes a law. So now this house bill left the house and traveled over to the Senate. The Senate took this bill up and amended it prior to it being taken up in the Senate. It went through several Senate committees. I think most of all of the Walton County Commissioner, uh, came over to Tallahassee, testified in front of committees. There were people from the surf rider organization, there were many of you that were passionate about this issue and this bill came over and testify before the Senate and some of the senators started waking up and they said, wait a minute, do I understand this correctly? Is what you’re telling me is that those beaches that have always been used, that we have all used, we’ve invited friends to come, we’ve invited families to come. We grew up here or we moved here. You’re telling me these are the senators. They’re saying, you’re telling me we’re going to eliminate that? And the bill sponsor had to say, “well, I mean, you know, like this, well, it’s complicated and all that.” No. So state Senator Rob, our state Senator Rob Bradleys, they sent Senator George Gainer and there was another one of those State Senator, I think the actual sponsor of the bill State Senator Kathleen Passidomo. They got together and they said, “Wait a minute, I don’t know if there’s common ground here or not, but we’re going to look for it.” So what they did is they said, all right, let’s find out what, what is the difficulty over there? What is the difficulty that would exist statewide, and they go back to the customary use doctrine that was created in common law in 1974 and a court case in Volusia County called Volusia County versus Taller Rama, and the essence of that deal was that a public observatory was placed at the end of a pier that was all private property, but it was used by the public forever and ever and ever and ever. And so whenever there was a dispute over this issue, they went to the court. You know what the court said? The court said that because this is where customary use started in 1974. So the court said no, that we were going, we’re going way too far back. That that observatory has been there. It’s been used as part of the community. It’s a fixture. What I’m going to do as a judge and the discretion that I have is I’m going to rule in favor of the of the defendants and I’m going to spell out a doctrine and he’s the one that created what we all refer to and use today as customary use and in his, in his ruling that judge said that in order for lands to be considered customary use, he thought it was fair that they do ancient, reasonable without interruption and free from dispute.
[14:38] BRAD DRAKE SPEAKING —So what does the ancient mean? That it could go back to the Native Americans. It could go back 20 years and go back 40 years. It’s not certain what ancient is, but the judge’s discretion and those were the words that he used. But to show that it existed for a period of time. The judge also said, and now this is customary use doctrine that I am reading from; why we’re all here. The judge also said that it has to be reasonable. What is reasonable? Having a big fiesta in somebody’s yard, a property owners yard? No. Having a keg party on the beaches. No, that’s not reasonable. Acting, disorderly, creating a scene where Sheriff Adkinson and has to send his crew or himself go down there, trespassing on someone’s property using their pool, being disruptive, breaking into the night, go and trash everywhere, picking up stuff off the beach. Is that reasonable? No. Are people doing it? Yes. It’s happened. ‘Without interruption.’ What is that?
[15:46] That that means that there were no other laws or ordinances that were created after what was being considered or what was argued as to be customary use and it existed in that fashion. However, at some point down the line, maybe a local governance or maybe some other government entities said, okay, well we’re going to change the rules, and if they did well then and they had the liberty under the law was granted to them by whatever government agency that they’re representing. You can’t go back, but if they did not, then it meets the criteria spelled out by the judge and they told the beach or they told the beach versus (??) that it can exist without interruption and the fourth element of customary use the judge said that it was free from dispute.
[16:32] So what does that mean? If you can show that those beaches were used in the fashion that you’re describing or that you’re claiming, meaning that they’ve been there, they’ve been used, it wasn’t by the property owner, it was by the general public that were people were coming in the 1940’s. And guess what? They got a picture, maybe they were up there in front of Van Ness Butler’s family store and they got a picture of them walking out on the beach. And now you have documentary evidence that says, “Hey, this happened. There were strangers out out there on the beach. Maybe you have some facts that show that, uh, it goes back to the 1920s. What about the people that were part of the United States Air Force that were stationed at Eglin. Those were the people that really hit it big. They joined up, joined the, uh, committed their life to the service, became an Air Forceman and they drove those planes over this beautiful, beautiful property that we’re so blessed to have. And they said one day I want to live there, and so they decided to stay. And then there’s pictures of them out on the beach. There’s pictures of them on their neighbor’s property. There’s pictures of people that have been coming down here since the 1950’s there. Let’s get into the 1960’s. There wasn’t a whole lot here, but in the 1980’s you started seeing some things pop up in the 19 late-80’s, especially in the 1990’s. You’ve had people from Freeport High School at Walton High School. I came down here in the 90’s and we enjoyed these beaches. I guarantee I was sitting on somebody else’s property. I was sitting on most of the time we went down to (??), went down the steps, went to the left, maybe went a little further if it wasn’t crowded, we went to the right.
[18:11] BRAD DRAKE SPEAKING —So there are pictures that exist to show that that was being used in that fashion. There are pictures that exist that show, there’s all kinds of documentation. So that’s what the judge wanted to know was it? Is this disputable that people were using it? All right, we’re at the end. That’s it. That’s customary use. That’s what the judge in Volusia County said. He wanted to be the law of the land and his determination. Whenever he heard that court case. Now there were other court cases that were tried after that and I’m sure some of you will get into that where there’s a different element though of the law that was argued and some of the customary use argument didn’t hold water in that case or maybe it was a little bit lightened and then there were other cases and other cases what the law, but the doctrine of customary use, I hope I’m not putting you to sleep, sir, in the front row, the law of customary use began in 1974 with this judicial decision.
[19:15] Now, so let’s go back to the Senate. The Senate absorbs a lot of this information and they said, no, we’re not gonna do that. But what we need to do is we need to figure out a way to resolve this issue. So do you know that customary uses not, it’s not defined in statute, it’s defined in the court case of 1974. So the for the first time ever in House Bill 631, when it became in the possession of the Senate, the Senate said alright, that part in there where there is an obvious attempt and we went through it, I read it word for word, you were right there with me. He said in that section right there, we’re not having that. If we’re going to move forward and figure out a way to resolve this issue, then you got to come up with something that’s fair and equitable. And everybody said, okay, we don’t disagree that customary use exists. Now let’s figure out how to determine how to apply it. So the Senate drafted an amendment and it was presented on the floor and it passed. Now you have a brand bill. That bill that I read you earlier, scrapped. Start over. Now turning your (??) to the yellow bill.
[20:38] Alright? So you see a lot of things that look similar. So you got your title there and page one on the yellow bill, you’ve got your title extending out page two, page three,
[20:53] page four. Now that gives a general description of the contents of the bill that we have to read over and examine and make (??) when we’re considering legislation on the floor of the House and the Senate and even in committee meeting. So now if you’ll go back to section one of the bill, you’ll see at 66.021 Ejectment. So there we go. The author pick right up, they picked up right where they left off all the good stuff that was in the previous 631 that did have the bad stuff in it. They picked up right where they left off and they put in those good laws. That good verbiage there. That helps you in cases of if your rights are infringed on and places where you have property owners that just say I’m not going to leave the property or I’m going to put up a fence on your property and you’re just going to have to enjoy it. Alright, thank goodness they brought all that back in. So let’s, let’s move through page six, page seven, page eight, page nine, 10, page 11. And if you’re at home and you don’t have anything else to do, go back and read that. It can be fun.
[21:59] Um, you can talk about it at the Red Bar when you’re there over dinner. Let’s see. So now we pick up, we go back to page 13. Sheriff talks about summons notices and how your people have to carry those out in a particular type disputes that I was describing which was in the original bill. So now here we go. Everything was the same. That was in the good bill. What I’m going to refer to as the good bill, but because there was no objection over that cleanup language over objection laws and removal from property.
[22:40] Alright, so now here we go. Let’s look at section 10. Section 10 on page 15. That’s line 364.
[22:59] Now I’m going to. Don’t, don’t turn your hymnal. I’m going to, but I’m going to go back to the part that I didn’t like in the previous bill that I voted against and the language was negative. It said ordinances related to customary use. The Municipality County district or other local government entity may not adopt or keep in effect. Okay, that’s negative language. I didn’t like that. So now here we are; on line 364. We’re going to create a new section of law 162.035. I believe that first word: establishment. Now, that’s a positive word. That’s a building word. That means we’re about to put forth for the first time in the history of Florida statutes we’re about to put forth customary use as defined in the smart judge from Volusia County in 1974. 163.035 says, “establishment of recreational customary use.”
[24:02] BRAD DRAKE SPEAKING —A-ha. Now we’re picking the people that didn’t want it. They can see it. They said, all right, we’re not doing it, but now let’s figure out how do we determine the usage of this property and how do we become… How do we accept reasonableness, but guess what? Somebody offered an amendment. It says, “Establishment of recreational customary use.” Look at their line, 365, a definition. “The term governmental entity includes an agency of the state and regional or local government created by the state constitutional by General, Special Act, any county and municipality or any other entity that independently exercises governmental authority.” What is that? That’s a county, a city, somebody that’s legit. It’s not just a group of people that got together, so lines 364 through 369 says, alright, we’re going to establish customary use and you have to be a governmental entity and we can find what that is and we get to section two, ordinances and rules related to customary use. “A government entity may not adopt or keep in effect, an ordinance or rule that finds, determines, relies on or is based upon customary use of any petition of any portion of a beach above the mean high water line as defined in section 177.27, unless such ordinance or rule is based on,” wait for it, wait for it. Here comes the good stuff, “A judicial declaration, affirming recreational customary use on such beach.” So what does that mean? That means that you go back to that governmental entity that I just described, somebody from that government entity, that body, petitions, a circuit judge just like the judge in 1974 and Volusia County, someone with equal authority. You go before that judge and you say, “Judge, we’ve got a problem,” and in Walton County we want you to determine if the laws that we’re putting into place, if the land is considered equal under the law with the ruling that you ruled and that they ruled in 1974. So they’ll go before a circuit judge in the first circuit here, which is the Pensacola, Escambia County, Santa Rosa County, Okaloosa County, Walton County. That’s what the first step is. And they will ask the judge based on documentation of why they feel like this land should be considered customary use. So guess what? Walton County said, we got a shot at this because we have evidence to prove that it’s ancient, it’s reasonable, it’s without interruption and it’s free from dispute. Everything that the honorable judge said in 1974, we got it. We’ve got the evidence. Let’s do it. Let’s go. Yes. Guess what a declaration is? You’ve got a lawsuit and you go before the court and you ask him in a ruling, get his ruling. That’s it. It’s done. No extended lawsuits. He’s made a determination, end of story. Before House Bill 631 was passed, let’s go back to the law of the land in 1980 and people were using the beaches. Let’s go the way the law of the land existed in 1990 or 2000 or recent or just brought up before the law passed.
[27:55] People were using the beach the way that they thought they lawfully could and then all of a sudden, guess what pops up out of nowhere? We’ve never had this in the history of Walton County from when people were coming down here on the beach when the butlers were here and the Nike way back. Guess what popped up for the first time? A dispute. A property owner who has deeded property that says, “Guess what? The United States Constitution provides that I have access to the courts and I feel like that I, if I have been wronged in a civil matter, United States Constitution and our founding fathers who were very smart group of individuals who created a pretty substantial document in the constitution itself and the amendments that follows.
[28:54] So someone says, my rights have been infringed on. This is my property. I’m going to court. Okay, so they sued the county. Now we got lawsuit number one. Not much longer, another lawsuit pops up. Boom. Got more activity in the courts; got more activity in the county defending the lawsuit. Lawsuit number three pops up. Lawsuit number four pops up. Next thing you know, we’ve spent 300, the county spent, almost $300,000 defending these lawsuits in court. And guess what, if there was a final determination. So you’ve got, you’ve got a pending case out there just like in 1974 when the judge ruled what his determination was, what his determination of customary use was. It was from a case that was sitting out there; it was pending. He made a ruling. He said, here’s the law of the land, and guess what? It wasn’t pending anymore. It was the law and that’s what’s been the law from here on out. Now, we got challenges. We got us a new lawsuit right here in the middle of Walton County. Court cases and guess what? Those of us that define customary use and have used the beaches in the fashion that we feel like it was spelled out on the court as customary use. Guess what? If the judge rules on that pending case and it’s not pending anymore and he does not rule in our favor? Guess what the law of the land is? It’s now a new precedent. The law of the land customary use no longer exists in Walton County, so before those cases were resolved or the judge made a determination on that, people went to the legislature and said, now is the time. I know we don’t like it. I know we don’t like it but now is the time. Well, that’s what they put in the process. It says, based on a judicial declaration, affirming recreational customary use on the page, if you the government entity, if you can prove that? Done. End of story.
[31:34] Alright, so here’s how that process works. It’s spelled out in statute. So looking at section 377, I’m sorry, look at line 377. Here’s what has to happen now and here’s where we are actually. A notice of intent to affirm recreation public use on private property, a judicial determination. So now it looks more and more like we’re establishing customary use in statute. It goes on to say, “a government entity that seeks to affirm the existence of a recreational customary use on private property must follow the procedures set forth in this subsection.” Alright, so here we go. “Notice the governing board,” which is the Walton County Board of Commissioners, are they governmental entity, “must at a public hearing,” which guess what…is coming up September sixth or the eighth, put it on your calendar.
[32:31] “Governmental entity must at a public hearing,” probably September six or eighth, right? “Adopt a formal notice of intent to affirm the existence of a recreational customary use on private property. The notice of intent must specifically identify the following.” Well, I think everybody is clear what that does. We’re putting it out for public notice that we’re about to go through a process to establish customary use. Now. “Number one, the specific parcels of property. These have to be identified, the specific parcels of property or the specific portions thereof upon which a customary use affirmation assault,” so the county has got to go before the judge and say, here’s what we’re going to ask for customary use on.” The public has to be notified of that. Number two, line 390, the detailed specific and individual use or uses of the parcels of property to which a customary use affirmation is solved.” Fair enough. “Detailed, specific and individual use or the use of the parcel of property which the customary use affirmation is solved.” What’s it going to be used for? “Number three, and each source of evidence that the governmental entity, i.e. Walton County would rely upon to prove a recreational customary use has been ancient.” Here we are, we’re putting it into statute, what was ruled in 1974 by commonwealth practice. We’re putting it into statute for the first time customary use, which many of us like and some of us don’t.
[34:17] Well, what I like and what many of you like your interpretation of customary use. We’re putting it into statute. “Ancient, reasonable without interruption and free from dispute.” Alright, let’s keep going on the bill. “The governmental entity must provide notice of the public hearing for the owner.” That’s fair. Let the known owner of the properties know. “Give them notice with the public hearing of each parcel or property subject to the notice of intent at the address reflected in the county property appraisers records no later than 30 days before the public meeting.” Now, there’s some people that live in Chattanooga and Atlanta, Birmingham and Nantucket, Manhattan. They’re not a resident. They own property so somebody’s going to have to forward their mail so they can get these notices and come down here to this meeting, but they’re going to be notified. Such notice must be provided by certified mail with return receipt requested. A publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the area where the parcels of property are located and posting on the governmental entities websites.” So what does that say? It means that this notice has to be published in the northwest Florida Daily News and/or the Destin Law and/or the Walton Sun and/or the (??) or the Heralld Beach Breeze.
[35:48] We covered that in the law, the section B or sub paragraph B: “judicial determination within 60 days after the adoption of the notice of intent,” which the county is about to come out with, which we think is September six or the eighth, “within 60 days after the adoption of the notice of the intent at the public hearing, the governmental entity must file a complaint.” Here we go. Here’s the action. “Must file a complaint for declaration of recreational customary use with the circuit court in the county in which the property subject to the notice of intent are located.” That means they got to file it in Walton County. “The governmental entity must provide notice of the filing of the complaint to the owner of each parcel of property subject to the complaint in the same manner as is required for the notice of intent in paragraph eight.” Everything’s the same. Daily News, Destin Law, Walton Sun, Harold Breeze. “The notice must allow the owner of receiving the notice to intervene in the proceeding within 45 days after receiving the notice.” That’s fair. Like get the notice they have 45 days after they received the notice. “Then the governmental entity must provide verification of the service of the notice to the property owners required in this paragraph to the court so that the court may establish a schedule for the judicial proceedings.” So the judge is going to say, “do you have your ducks in a row? Is everything in order, County?” Mr. Jones is going to say “yes, we’re ready.” All right, so now let’s keep going. “Section two, all proceedings under this paragraph shall be de novo.” So what does that mean? It’s Latin for from the beginning. So this is fresh. “The court must determine whether the evidence presented demonstrates that the recreational customary use for the use or uses identified in the notice of intent had been ancient, reasonable without interruption and free from dispute.” Everything that we’ve already established, everything that the county says that they can document. Can you provide that?
[38:12] BRAD DRAKE SPEAKING —“There is no presumption regarding,” we’re on the last page line 426. “There was no perception regarding the existence of the recreational customary use.” Meaning you’re coming here, you’re asking, give me the evidence and we’ll make a decision, “with respect to any parcel of property and the governmental entity as the burden of proof to show that a recreational customary use exists. An owner of parcel of property that is subject to the complaint has the right to intervene as a party defendant in such proceeding.” They can show up. They’ll show up at this hearing. You know, say, “Your Honor, here’s why I think I’ve been infringed.” Judge may say, “I’m not so concerned about the infringement. I want to… I don’t understand why you don’t think it meets the element of ancient reasonable without interruption and free from dispute. You’re on the clock and here we are in the last section and this is what I’m disappointed in and this is what I think most of you are disappointed in, but this is not the, the vile individual that, the man that, I’ve seen it come from my neighbors and my friends and people that I live among, um, there are a lot of (??) that goes on in government and creating law and trying to adapt the law so that we can all live and enjoy this Earth that was created by God Almighty.
[39:37] They gave us custodianship. To show our love for our neighbor as we would ourselves. We created it. He gave it to us, he entrusted in and the state of Florida. We got third and after we reached an agreement with Spain, then you take all those. We’ll get into that later, but you take all the data back to possibly when it was granted by the Spanish or for the state itself.
[40:03] Yeah. So here’s the last part.
[40:10] “This section does not apply to a governmental entity with an ordinance or rule that was adopted and in effect on or before January 1, 2016, and does not deprive a governmental entity from raising customary used as an affirmation defense and in a proceeding in any proceeding county’s ordinance. The rule adopted before July one, 2018.” Okay. That’s what I’m mad about and I think that’s what you’re mad about because it singled out in Walton County. We put in a great process. I think I’ve seen a lot of heads shaking throughout my presentation. It sounds like this is good stuff and then there’s that nasty. I’ll tell you what, politics does, not always honorable, but there was some nasty politics that took place and why this showed up in the final bill and it singled out in Walton County and said, if if you your other government, if you had an inaccurate these ordinances, or does it pertain to you? Now we don’t have enough time or some people could get into the weight of those ordinances were created and crafted. They were more. They weren’t as vague, if I’ll use that word, uh, there, there are a lot of Reagan’s life site at Walton County was unique. I don’t necessarily buy into it and I’m going to try to paint a picture and then get you to believe in all that either will be upright and be honest, will tell you what I think. I hope that you will discern what I’m telling you is truth.
[41:40] So that’s it. You look at the last section, 11, 12, 13, 14, and it repeals the unnecessary references in the objection statute and there, Ladies and gentlemen, we have the new bill that was passed over from the Senate. They came back to the house. I’m going to tell you what, it was tough. It was difficult because I said I don’t like the part in there where Walton County was picked on and we were separated and the others got their, what they had in place. But what I do like is I like the process. I like the things that I have confidence that exists in the 1974. Really putting it into statue for the first time so we can go to it, we can touch it, and I had to make a decision. Do I vote no and satisfy most of you here who were fighting for customary use because then it looks like I’m trying to take your beaches away because that no vote or that yes vote. It stands out and stood out. I’m hoping stood out to you when I voted on this on the white bill. Hope it stood out that I voted no. That when when the intent was with was clear as day they wanted to eliminate customary. Yours. I voted no. I hope that stood out. So now here we come to the last bill and all these boats are going to stand out and I know that. So I can just be one of those politicians, that just please the crowd and say, “Okay, well I’ll vote no”, and even though I know that it moves us in the right direction, even though I know that I put a lot of work into this product asking people to make concessions be reasonable, and then I could just be that person that you reach a deal, you strike a deal and then you turned your back on them.
[43:35] BRAD DRAKE SPEAKING — And that’s not how I was raised. When you, when you come to the table, when you’re working together as friends and business partners, when you come together to make a deal, you understand going into the negotiation process, that it’s going to be tough. Some people are unscrupulous. I don’t have time for that. Some people are shady. Some people are fraudulent. I don’t like those people, but if you have to trust in people coming together to negotiate and to work an agreement out, whether it’s on the purchase of a house or whether the purchase of land or whether a customary use or if it’s laws made in Tallahassee, if it’s a commission meeting or an agreement amongst friends or use of of, you know, you can use my refrigerator, you can borrow my chainsaw.
[44:25] You represent honesty and integrity. So there was a lot of work done. A lot of things that went into what I feel like gives us standing, puts it into the statute that puts us on good ground. I said, all right, I’m not going to be one of those turds that doesn’t keep your word and I’m not going to be one of those people that says, Okay, well I got what I wanted, but now I can just go and cast up a vote of no, and then everybody will say I’m a hero. I’m sorry. And I know a lot of you are mad as fire at me right now because that yes vote exist on that last bill, but you know what? I respect people’s ability to agree with public officials. When I asked for this job, I asked for your confidence that when I go into those meetings and when I go on the House floor and what I’m doing is that I’m thinking about people back home. I’m thinking about the best interest of Walton County. I’m thinking about the best interests of the entire district that I represent, and when I vote on issues that I’m doing what I think my constituents want me to do, that I’m making the decisions, that I think that will be most proper for us to live in harmony and to be amenable to one another and to get along. So I felt in my heart that this was an opportunity to move in that direction. So I cast the vote.
[45:49] Now, what would happen if a lot of you, I’ve heard from different ones, to say “Alright, from this day forward, let’s just go repeal the statute.” All right? Let’s think about that. All the good stuff that we went through. Then you had the bad stuff, then you had the good stuff and then all of a sudden you had whoa something that never existed before you had defined in statute customary use. So you want to go and repeal the statute and get rid of that.
[46:22] That’s what we want.
[46:26] So if we do that, let’s say we go back to, let’s say if it were conceivable, then we just do a full repeal of the bill we just passed with all the work that went into it. I guess where we are, we’re right back to day one before any county ordinance, before any House Bill 631, we’re right back there in no man’s land where we were using the beaches and nobody had a problem with it until court case popped up. And then court case popped up, and then court case popped up, four, five, six, seven, eight. So then remember what I was talking about that case pending, but we repeal the bill. There’s nothing that has changed. Court cases are pending and boom, the hammer drops. Judge rules in favor property owners against what was decided in 1974. Ladies and gentlemen, guess what we have as the law of the land as a judge will rule on any matters that come before him or her. We had a law of the land that says customary use is going away. Property owners have maintained their rights that they have exclusive rights to that beach. For those of you that are in favor of customary use. I asked you, is that what you want? Okay, now, furthermore, let’s go back to the county commission adopting an ordinance.
[48:00] The law of the land used to say that based on what the county adopted, they said, okay, we’re gonna decide this matter. We’re gonna establish customary use ordinance that runs 26 miles down the beach. All right? Um, so that was being challenged. A lot of people say, let’s go back to that. They made the decision. Let’s go back to that. Alright, so let me, let me ask you this. So if you like the way the law existed back then when that happened, then let me, let me pose it to you in a different fashion from a different angle. What if you had elected board of county commissioners and some of you want it, some of you don’t. What if you had an elected board of county commissioners that had the same Statutory Authority to pass an ordinance that said there shall be no customary use. Well, I didn’t think about that. So guess what? We moved away from giving the county the authority to make those decisions and everybody’s upset.
[49:17] I asked you what if you had an elected county commissioner said, we’re going to write an ordinance to eliminate customary use. Guess what? That’s the law of the land or it’s back in court to determine whether or not they had the authority to do that. Do we want that also very easily. Here’s the scary part. County Commissioner could adopt an ordinance that blocked off parcels of the beach and allowed the developer to just have their own little land. They can build a wall and create whatever they want. And what if a county commission, sir, let’s be very respect…be very respectful. Yeah, you absolutely are. Okay, so what if, what if that existed? So what if that existed that the county could adopt an ordinance, which they can and said they can build this and they’ll block off access for any of the general public, but do we want that?
[50:27] Okay, well, wait, wait, no, no, not with house bill 941. You can’t. You cannot. So what? Here, let let’s, let’s be very set. Do you want that? Do you want that opportunity? That’s what I’m asking. Do you want that to exist? Do you want the ability for them to do that to exist. If you say yes, you want the ability for them to do that to exist, then fine. Let’s go back to prior 631 because then you got it.
[50:58] Sheriff, if one of your deputies would be on notice of this gentleman being disruptive and we’re not going to allow that.
[51:03] Okay, you’re going to have an opportunity. I’m almost finished.
[51:24] So now here where we are. We have a law that was passed, an opportunity for customary use to exist. If once the process has already been completed, that’s what house bill 631 was. That’s what the governor signed into law, so I know there are many of you here that are, that want to speak on this issue. I’ll welcome an opportunity you just ask that we be very respectful to one another and be very respectful to the panel, but hold on real quick. Before we enter into that period, I want to give Representative Ponder and Sheriff Atkinson and Mr. Jones an opportunity to hearing things they may want to follow up with.
[52:02] Just real quickly, I’m. I’m wanting to come tonight because I know that it’s been a great concern to the citizens as well as tourists here in Walton county about the issues of customary using using the beach. I’m coming from Okaloosa County, we went through this issue several years back and you probably saw on the bill the first go around. I supported what was in the bill based on some questions I had about making sure a guest to Walton county could traverse the beach, get out to the beach. I was assured based on that language that would take place, also shared that they were in discussion with some Walton County representatives of thankfully based on some changes that I felt made when improved the bill that representatives. Right. Talk about back. I remember looking at representing drake before the next vote, talking to some representatives in Walton County who told me that this thing is a future benefit and make sure it’s one case to forgo some of the issues, which is why I support it as Representative Drake did the second go around. Why I’m here tonight though, is as it’s been obviously in the press and my district as well as this insert over in Bay. If you look at the delegation in northwest Florida, the second go around. We all supported it. However, I want to come to hear what’s debated today, tonight. Learn from it to see what the leadership, uh, Representative Drake wants to go with y’alls input this point forward to see what, if anything we do in the next year session. Um, and so that’s why I’m here tonight. And so I’m honored that you allow me to come and be part of tonight’s meeting. Uh, I want to learn from you as well and hear some of the impacts is going on.
[53:35] SHERIFF ADKINSON SPEAKING — So very pragmatically, I think most of you have heard what the, what my position on how this should be enacted. Have you seen any of our Facebook videos here? They think we’re probably be very open about that. We are in a situation at the sheriff’s office, quite frankly, that we do not want to be in. We are forced into a really the first point of contact between a convergence of property law, criminal law, and really constitutional issues. Now the end of the day, our responsibility is this balance, the best interest of the public or the private properties on the right and to try and mediate the problem to the best of our ability to do so. We don’t like where we’re at. So let’s be frank about that. I think I’ve also been very clear that the changing of positions over the last, uh, give or take 120 days has caused what I think is a tremendous amount of confusion, um, so we’re now in the fourth official position in 120 days.
My situation and other situations in your deputies is simply this. I don’t get to decide what laws I enforce. That is a non sequitur with non started with us. We don’t get that often. What we do have, we do have is the option to balance and mediate the way we approach it and that’s what we’re trying to do every step of the way is to mediate it, to try and let cooler heads try and resolve this issue. My thought process, I understand this and I’m certainly not an attorney. If you’re fixing to get a ruling from the judge, you’re fairly quickly, and when I say fairly quickly, prior to. One of the major problems here and there, and there are many, but one of the major problems is the enactment of the July fourth weekend. Let’s be honest for a second that it really exacerbated the situation. If you’re asking me if I thought the position about whether or not a prosecution could be made was going to change, I did not take opponants position to understand why they did it and what their interpretation of the rule of law is. I don’t get to make those decisions and I’ll be honest with you, the judge has followed from that standpoint too, so just to be clear, nobody has been arrested in Walton County for trespassing on the beach to my knowledge ever below the toe today. So if you, if you take the position and one of the things that we’ve said, I think it’s interesting. One of the questions that was posted, and I’m gonna I’m gonna stop. Real quick, I get to be long winded about this. There’s plenty of videos talking about this, but if you. Some of the folks asking, what about a court case? Shouldn’t we? Should we not have a court case? A couple of us were talking about what should or shouldn’t we have a court case to see whether or not a judgment signed a warrant for trespassing. I think the problem with that, quite honestly, as I’ve said many times in front of the interviews, I don’t think that helps Walton County because a judge is fixing to rule on this, so I’m not sure that’s going to accomplish anything other than possibly hurting the county from that standpoint.
[56:32] But certainly the worst thing that can happen in the law for the public not understand it, or it to be ambiguous. Uh, I do not like that. I, I am very displeased about that. But at the end of the day, I will execute your authority in a manner that makes sense with a common sense approach, asking people to be reasonable where we can and hopefully I can find some middle ground or listen to a judge gives us an absolute decision and that’s where we’re at. We need clear unbiased answers and until until we get that we are going to have issues, but I ask you be patient with your deputies because if somebody said this to me before, they do not have the option of not going out on the call, so let’s be clear about that so I don’t care if you’re for or against it. If you call a deputy sheriff, you’re going to get one get one, but we’re not in the business of going down there. We don’t want to be there. It’s hot in this polyester uniform in case you didn’t know that. It’s not a particularly comfortable but we will try and always mediate. We’re not dragging people off the beach in handcuffs. Now listen, if you lose your mind and you spit on a deputy sheriff, you punch them, it’s going to end poorly.
[57:49] So yeah, just briefly, your current board of county commissioners has been steadfast in their support of customary use on the beaches in Walton County. As you know, they passed an ordinance that the legislation that passed this year with PO, but that legislation instead of path forward a permanent solution and the answer to the customary use the board has the other husbands staff direction to do that. We set a date of September six we may look at moving it to the eighth upholding the public hearing that’s required in the statute. We’re in the process of sending out the appropriate notices. Those impacted by the ordinance of that date and from there we will move forward with the process.
[58:53] Is this the best possible process for clearly demonstrating the customary use exists of the beaches of Walton County? I don’t know, I’m not sure anyone knows, but I do know this. It is a process and it is clear what steps of what steps need to be taken to get to the end result and the board of county commissioners has given us the staff, the authority to move down that path, to do the things that need to be done to follow the statute to assure at the end of the day that we put our best case forward. We believe we have a substantial case and then we have substantial evidence and testimony that support the criteria as required, the finding of the customary use, so that’s what we will be moving forward with would spend a lot of time and effort. We spent a lot of money to get to this point and I don’t think you’re going to see them turn back now from a legislative standpoint. It does give us a clear path forward and we’re moving down that path. If I’m sure in the wisdom of our representatives, if they find a better path, we’ll fight for that, but until that better path comes along, we have a path to move and we believe that the evidence supports the decisions that have been made by the board of county commissioners as far.
[01:00:27] BRAD DRAKE SPEAKING —Okay. I understand. I apologize for dragging all that out. That’s a lot of people that want to speak, so we’ll. We won’t belabor that point. Sir. I’m going to give you an opportunity to be the first one to speak. If you would like. Please just come up to the microphone and if you have a question, certainly feel free to ask questions. If you want to make a comment you’re welcome to do that.
[01:00:43] Thank you. Um, first of all, I want to say thank you for coming. I know this is a hard conversation and I appreciate you putting yourself out there and I understand what you’re saying. There was nothing in the law that provides the process The precedent could be overturned and that was a risk and there’s a lot of lawsuits that have popped up and so that’s why this is been drafted. You know, I don’t understand why the government entity has the responsibility of proof, burden of proof. If customary use has been talked about since 1974, why isn’t it the homeowner who has the burden of proof to say no, in fact, it’s not aging, it’s not all these other things. So I think that was a mistake in the bill and if you’d like to address that, that’s fine. But another, another solution might be how 177.27 is defined. Maybe it shouldn’t be the high water mark, maybe it should be 10 feet and toe of the dune. I think it’s very difficult to expect that all the people that come to visit Walton County can line themselves up at the wet fan who, uh, enjoy. Yeah. So again, thank you for undertaking this process and maybe you can go back to your colleagues and say, Hey, we just need to start over or amend or do something better to reflect, you know what the that live here, you know, think’s right.
[01:02:23] Thanks for your comment.
[01:02:28] Oh, and I’m in agreement with you. Absolutely. I take the position and I hope that it’s been clear tonight that that’s what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to create a path, and I’ll quote the Sheriff, he said, to provide a clear solution. That’s what we want is a clear solution. Prior to, and we didn’t have a clear solution, and let me say this right now. You see all this chaos that’s going on on the beach where people are getting run off. Prior to this bill passing the same laws existed to where they could do that, but what happened is if they’re created a, a heightened sense of awareness of now the property owners are getting really passionate about defending their property and the next thing you know, it’s just, it’s become a situation that there’s no turning back, but the same mayhem and chaos could have existed in 1980 or 1990, but it didn’t. And Sheriff Atkinson of, correct me if I’m wrong, your deputies and you would have addressed enforcement of law the same way back then as you would now, correct? So we’re trying to create a solution here and I think both sides want to see a solution. We all have differences of opinion. Okay, so we’ll keep going. I’ll answer your question if I, and I’ll be quick. Although the burden of proof. Well, here’s the deal. Are you a property owner of any property whatsoever? Okay. So, uh, you have the. If somebody felt like if somebody felt like they had some reason to challenge, from use of your property based on the deed, if you all, it shouldn’t be your obligations. So the property owner that may not have to concede that if the burden of proof, it’d be on the ones that say, okay, I know you’re the deed holder, you’re the owner but I want to use it. So I’m going to, I’m going to demonstrate why I think I should use it. It shouldn’t be the property owner say, okay, I’m the property owner now I’ve got to tell you why you cannot. So I mean, I think that’s reasonable.
[01:04:20] Can I reply to that?
[01:04:21] Yeah, you sure can.
[01:04:21] I think there are special circumstances when you’re talking about beach bright because of the, the attraction with that property has for the people to come here and you know, make this county one of the largest economies in Florida, I’m sure. So it’s not like, you know, my little trailer on up and you know, Bonifay, it’s got the same potential to draw that sort of attention that somebody who, and again I don’t, I don’t understand all aspects of this, but it’s my understanding that, you know, how do they own all the way to the beach. I thought what they initially worked as a piece of property that had certain boundaries that didn’t extend all the way to the beach. Maybe I have that wrong, but I don’t think that you can make a blanket statement that says, well, if you are a property owner, you wouldn’t want this done to you because in 26 miles those property owners, it’s, it’s special circumstances and it’s different than, than just any other property owner. And again, like the county commissioner, no county commissioner in his right mind, especially a collection of a majority would vote to eliminate customary use. And if they did, they’d get run out of town in the next vote. So I don’t think it’s a very good example.
[01:05:46] You know what? I’m going to challenge everyone in this room tonight today. People that are running for office, ask them for their stance and their position. In fact, everyone in this room, I want you to ask every person that’s running to be your county commissioner. Where do you stand on customary use to get an answer from him. Those are your options. Okay, so to answer 177.27 or the toe of the dune, here’s the problem that exists. If a governmental body takes an official action and makes that designation and draws that line because trust me, I tried to figure out a way to do this. Let’s say. Let’s just draw a line and say the public you used this, the property owner you use, that’s, that’s yours. And what you have done by governmental body making that decision. You have seized property and you’re subject to eminent domain.
[01:06:32] You would have to pay money for the taking if it went through a governmental action. Now, here’s the cool thing about House Bill 631. Remember when I was talking about judicial declaration? That’s not a, that’s not a legislative action by a body of governments. So guess what? Those don’t exist. There’s no taking whatsoever because the court made a determination on the use of the property they didn’t take from one. So that’s what makes HB-631 even more attractive to try to get to where we are. Anything I missed? Okay. Who’s next? Yes, sir.
[01:07:11] Question about um, if the, if the it goes through the customary use, you still retain your bundle of rights under the constitution and one of those rights as a property owner, unless I call it trespassing, you still have the right to exclude. Is this where the constitution was on top of the, over the doctrine of customary use?
[01:07:36] Forever, ever and always. I mean there’s nothing that, there’s nothing that supersedes the United States constitution. The states of America.
[01:07:45] One of those rights is to exclude. So even if this does go through, will the property owners still have a constitutional right to exclude? Not call it trespassing, but the constitution would sit on top of it.
[01:07:57] It depends on the judicial determination. I mean, you can’t, like some will say, okay, I’m a, I’m a strict interpreter of the constitution. So whenever the First Amendment of the Constitution says, you know, we have the right to speech. Yes, you do, you have the right to speak your mind. You have the right to be here and assembled together and say what’s on your mind, but you cannot yell fire in a theater, you can’t because a, yes that is speech, but it’s a United States supreme court has ruled and made a decision that that’s not an acceptable practice of speech. So there’s an example of where you had the constitution that spells out what your rights are, but it’s everything that we do in this country is subject to interpretation by the courts. I mean there’s going to be disputes and then there’s going to be a decision that’s made.
[01:08:42] Do you see this? If it does and this escalate to a federal court on appeals?
[01:08:47] Absolutely. It could. So yeah, let’s go back. Let’s go back to prior to the passage of 631 and you let those court cases that are out here pending, but say there was a decision that was made. It could then go to an appellate court and then stay in the appellate court for a number of years and then it could be challenged all the way up to the state Supreme Court. So you’re talking years and years and years, you know, are we ever going to get any certainty on this matter? I don’t know how long it would take to go all the way up high and then to your point, if a federal law was challenged, then you’ve got that process that would be subject to judicial discretion beginning at the beginning levels of federal court up to the District Court of appeals in the federal level and then all the way up to the United States Supreme Court. That could take 100 years out of it. So that’s what I was trying to do my best to express tonight is that maybe it’s not a perfect process, but it was what we had in front of us to be able to establish some certainty. Unless there’s a better method and and listen, I’ve got some ideas. There are some other ways to do this, but I don’t understand why there would be any hesitation in moving forward with the process that could resolve this issue immediately.
[01:10:00] Thank you. I appreciate it.
[01:10:04] Just very quickly, if a, from from a criminal law standpoint, from my standpoint, right, so the court of competent jurisdiction says in the fact that the customary use ordinances found that’ll be in the next whatever that is, six months, 90 days, even while it’s under appeal. From my standpoint, it would be, as I said previously, it will be an appropriate to enforce criminal trespass law while the matters in dispute and it had been ruled on behalf of the judge, so from a, from your sheriff’s office standpoint, that would end that part of but it does do it just to be clear, it would not (??) anytime you call it there and you have a dispute and we’re, we’re, we’re going to do that regardless.
[01:10:42] But it’s not a trespass. I mean it doesn’t say in the constitution whether it’s a trespass; it’s the right to exclude. In other words…
[01:10:49] I understand what you’re getting into constitutional interpretation, which is what the court is doing so and I will tell you in the last two town hall meetings I’ve seen two separate people hold copies of the constitution and argue the exact opposite position they thought made perfect sense for them, so at the end of the day, the court will have to give us that jurisdiction, but from my standpoint of criminal law, if the court comes forward and makes that determination and listen until it’s overturned by a court of competent jurisdiction or legislature, that’s the law.
[01:11:15] Thank y’all.
[01:11:17] Just a real quick comment, Mr Ross. You mentioned bundle of rights and that’s that’s very important in this discussion of customary use. You mentioned exclusion and the right to exclude the question that customary use answers is did you have that right to exclude in your bundle of rights and the argument if customary use exists is that you never had that right. Therefore you, your constitutional rights are protected. So the rights that you had when you acquired your property, you still have. However, if it’s proven that the document of custom exist on your property or any other beach property, the conclusion is your right to exclude others from doing those things they have customarily done never existed in your bundle of rights.
[01:12:18] Yes sir. If you will approach the microphone because I can’t understand what you’re saying.
[01:12:28] You guys are saying that the courts, the judge is making a (??)customary, right? Well, I’ve lived in this county for 35 years. Uh, I started out and then moved over to where Rosemary is before it was Rosemary, moved down to Miramar Beach (??). During that period I personally have worked through the baits, go down in my little boardwalk or whatever, make a right hand turn or it was too crowded or whatever, and going fast in front of somebody’s house and set up a chair. That’s all these people are wanting to do is set up a chair. They’re not wanting to build a house on that property. Well, in the last 25 or 30 years have went out to their little boardwalk and it was too crowded at your right hand or left hand turn and go down a little bit, pathway a little more… How many people have done that? Please raise your hand. Thank you very much.
[01:13:44] Thank you. And that’s absolutely what I am attempting to protect. We just have to have some certainty. There was a lot of uncertainty that exists and so that has to be, there has to be a determination and unfortunately it has to be determined by some court, whether it’s either a judicial declaration which is in the new law or it will be determined by some court through the lawsuit. We’ve got to get it. We all want resolution on this matter, but I certainly agree with your position. I was one of those raising my hand that on those beaches all my life. We’re trying to get there. Next question.
[01:15:56] Guest — Thank you. I actually have two ones real quick. I think you hit one of the nails of this issue on the head, Representative Drake, when you said that the um, the targeting of Walton County ordinance when others weren’t. And I think it’s one of the things that a lot of people have issues with. Um, so yeah, and you mentioned that. Do you know of any consideration of the one trying to file a bill in the next session that would eliminate that target of this ordinance? Um, and it really bothered me but it was able to get in in the first place and my second question is just a process question, when this happened and this goes before a judge and the judge approved the doctrine of customary use for some properties, parcels and not others, or is it everything in the jurisdiction of local government and that applies for it and also does every municipality and/or county government have to continue to apply for this if they want to or need and could future actions affect previous actions, so are we going to end up with a patchwork along the coast of Florida eventually, or could we where some parcels have them and some parcels don’t and how in the world would you ever enforce all of that? Like y’all know, that was a lot, but…
[01:18:22] The judge, in my interpretation, would make those decisions based on the way that they would present it, that he wouldn’t be able to parse this decision. I’m not an attorney, but this is my interpretation. If the county came in and said, we’re going to ask for all 26 miles to be usable as customary use, the judge will then make a decision based on whether or not that was indeed acceptable or unacceptable. He wouldn’t be able to parse it out. Now they could ask for. They could say, let’s do four miles. Let’s get this 500 foot section. Let’s go another three miles. If they chose to, it’s up to them to be able to do that, but I think the intent is to ask for customary use it alone, all 26 miles and one parcel.
[01:19:08] That’s great. Representative. Great. We’re. We will present one argument that says the entirety of the beach in Walton County has is covered under the doctrine of customary uses. Each property owner, we know this will have a right to intervene, which means they can go to the judge and say, that did not occur on my property and the judge I would suppose could find that I think it’s going to be very, very difficult when we’re talking about hundreds and thousands of years of history that has been documented by Dr Miller, the state archaeologist who is our expert on this issue. So if you’ve got 26 miles and someone wants to come, it’s like 100 foot segment those things that you’re arguing occurred on the 26 miles didn’t happen here. I suppose the judge could find that that’s correct. I think it would be very difficult. While I’m talking about, that part of the evidence and the fact finding, we have a an email address. It’s called beachissues@CO.Walton.fl.us. Again, beachissues@CO.Walton.fl.us if you have evidence, old photographs, old real to reel, old eight millimeter films that demonstrates the continuous use for the beach, ancient, use to the beach historical use of the beach. Please let us know. Those are the kinds of things and the documentation and the testimony there. That is that we will be presenting to a judge when we get to the judicial process.
[01:21:18] Guest Uh, I came here and this is kind of the hot button issue into Viscaya and I got some paperwork I’d like to leave with you. You probably heard what I’m doing here, but this is something we need to do and it’s something you just touched on. The county administrators should take this and look at it. Okay. It goes through section three, planted in 1948 and then addresses the subdivision of Viscaya and they do not own to the beach and I have the evidence right here to prove it and there’s no disputing it. I would like to, you know, I, I copies of it and I love to give you a copy so you can look it up with the county attorney. I’ve talked with the property appraiser and there’s issues, but what has happened and I think the people in Viscaya, along with the county, because the county got a deed from the developer of Viscaya and they don’t look property that the gave the county and the county paid money for it. You see what I’m saying? That’s on the beach walks. And I’m sure that had to do with the easements that they had to abandon in order to bill it. So anyway, I have a copy of the deeds when the developer bought it from the people that owned it and then sold it to the county for the beach (??) and they don’t match up on the survey and neither does the map. So. Yep.
[01:22:56] Guest — I actually looked at blue mountains deeds because this came up last night. So I’m a trust but verify kind of guy. Right? So we had the attorney go back and look at Blue Mountain. Some of you have seen Blue Mountain’s deeds for the original plot lines on Blue Mountain did not go to the water. And so we said, okay, well we’re there something here. So we go back and look at it and let me be clear, I’m not an attorney, I don’t play one on TV and I’m not advocating for what happened because somebody speaks this dark blue and in about two seconds. So also what happened is in, and I’m going to use Blue Mountain as an example.
[01:23:48] Guest –Blue Mountain originally had these set lot line but did not say to the mean high water line, right? However, the West Florida Holding Company in 1955 ultimately dissolve. Then it was bought by another company. And it was dissolved in 2007, owners went and got several owners, got together and foul quick claims in 2007 to 2013, granting them the property, uh, all the way down to the age. So they went back and sued the original developer from 1955 and their heirs, they hired the people you know, that that party hires an attorney to represent the people that are no longer even in business. And then files for quick thing out. Okay, now that’s dirt law. I don’t know anything about that, but that’s the problem.
[01:24:32] Some of the evidence I gave you is lot 37 at the Palms of Dune Allen bought in 2006 from the United States Government Bureau of Land Management. And back then they were called patents, correct. So the patents from lots 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36 and 37 you have in front of you. The last one is purchased in 2006 by Dune Allen. And you look on that. And the way they spelled it, it’s very specific because back then the United States government and they still to this day retained the mineral rights of everything under that property now or Geo and the property, but you know when the mineral rights in 2006 when the Palms of Dune Allen bought it, if you’re reading into it, they added to it. But what they didn’t add to is the distance to the goal. They added the talk the head to the beach house, which you can do with the dunes, what can be restored and all of that. So nothing has changed on the parameter of what was bought and sold. And this was in 1948 is when they did the resubdivision of section three. So I don’t understand how Viscaya can all of a sudden add to what they bought. It’s very clear. It is a resubdivision of those lots and those lots that was specific square footage on them. So anyway, what I’m saying, I’m no attorney. I play one on tv, but…
[01:26:10] I tell you what, if you’re right, but I can get you some good deals on some art.
[01:26:13] You got it. Anyway, thank you all for everything. I understand you’re for relaxing and you went long winded, but that’s okay.
[01:26:33] And Sir, if you’re, if you’re indeed right with what you have, if you’re indeed right, then they have been. They have access to that property. Absolutely. You can’t run them off. Yes.
[01:27:01] If you’re going to be gone, you’ve got to be tough. Now let’s go get crazy.
[01:27:18] I think you need to put that guy on the legal staff. I’m Rob Wood. Thank you for your service. I know it trying to please this many people. Uh, I just have a question and if it’s already been answered. I’m sorry. Can you blame all the other counties impacted with bill one and again, why would January one, 2016 selected?
[01:27:49] To didn’t answer your question. No. Other counties were affected. And the effective date of July 1, 2018. It’s ultimately the bill sponsor, they, whenever they write their bills, every bill that’s passed has an effective date. It’s almost like the default date on almost 90 percent of every law that’s passed his July 1, 20, whatever the next year he is. However, the author can change that if they want to and I don’t know if if the author intended it to fall on July 1, 2018.
[01:28:24] I’m sorry. I guess I was referring to the date of 1/1/16. What? How did y’all come up with that day? The day that you deal with impact go.
[01:28:37] That was the way that those who I was talking about some dirty politics. What they did is they figured up whatever it would take to exclude everybody by Walton County and that’s how they chose the verbiage. Thank you.
[01:28:59] My name is Dana. I may be the first victim of this new law and I have a couple of questions. I would like to say Sheriff Adkinson is, if not the best sheriff in the country, I don’t know who is. I don’t have a problem with the enforcement of the, I have a problem with the law and what my specific question is. What I’ve heard from what Representative Drake here is that there were some issues with the Walton County customary use ordinance that went to them to be singled out because I think that those issues, (??) Why did such an urgency that you couldn’t say, well, let’s fix those issues with the customary use ordinance, then when you come back next year and not pardon Walton County.
[01:30:15] I can answer that and that’s what’s sad. It goes back to the dirty politics.
[01:30:20] My dad’s a lobbyist and I know who paid for the lobbyists. I know that Seaside Town Council paid $50,000 for a very good lobbyist. I know, I know how lobbying works. I just want to know was that ever considered. Was it considered to say Walton County, there are some issues and I don’t know what they were with your customary use ordinance. I thought it looked great. I mean I think county commission did a great job with it. I think it would have blown through the courts. I already did one. Did y’all think about, hey, let’s single out Walton County. Let’s say if there’s something wrong with Walton County, let’s fix that and then don’t have that. Don’t have as target or was it that the money got it done and I. You don’t have to answer it. It sounds dirty politics. That’s what it is and that is that what happened? Is that what you wrote it one time against it and you go to court and was what dirty politics got you to change your vote.
[01:31:23] The dirty politics didn’t get me to change my vote. The dirty politics began this process to force Walton County to the pickle that we’re in now.
[01:31:34] Guest – There was a very specific question I’m asking you about. You raised in your statement that there was a problem. He didn’t say what with Walton County customary use ordinance was passed and that’s why… we know why it was singled out. Because people with money… He said we got a court case. We sued in federal court. I’ve read all the court case. I know they, it went to federal court judge Wolfe with Walton County. So what did they do? They got some money together and they got a law passed that basically is a land grab, attempt of a land grab for our property and that’s wrong. And I was in the beach for two days doing nothing wrong. They use this law that the (??) and I’m an American citizen and Sheriff Adkinson, I have nothing against you. I think you are the… I should run your campaigns. I mean he is the best. He is the. I don’t have a problem with the enforcement. I think it’s… that’s my second question. Sheriff Adkinson and you said that this point you’re not going to arrest anybody so I could go back out there Saturday and I can sit where I want to sit and not get arrested. Can I get that answer?
[01:32:43] SHERIFF — What I said was, is we have not arrested anybody. I do understand your position. No, no. I said we have not arrested anybody know what I would suggest? What I would suggest maybe the opportunity and you and I think we kind of discussed for is if there wants to be a test case, if you want to test case, then let’s do that. I mean that now we can test it out right now. It doesn’t have to be that I’m dressed, but got my family’s in Atlanta. That’s a little bit more dramatic than we need. My point was we can ask you if that, if that makes sense. That makes sense. That makes sense.
[01:33:23] Okay. I was threatened with being arrested. I’m 45 years old. I’ve lived on every beach in the state and like my grandfather escaped this stuff in Nazi Germany. I mean I know that’s drastic, but I felt like a second class citizen when I’m sitting there on the beach with some guys telling me. I mean, and the sheriffs, you know, they’re just trying to do their job, but this is a bad law and I think we all know that. Governor Scott knows it’s a bad law. So let’s fix the law or let’s just take a pause in the law. Why don’t we just say, why don’t we come back or have. I know special sessions are hard to do, but I think, Representative Drake, I think you were doing the best you can in the situation. I applaud you. I applaud all of you. This is not easy. Nobody wants to be up there but you’re not getting. But I think this law is flawed because I, I can tell you it’s flawed because I experienced it and so I am a lawyer and I, I, I just know this law needs to be working. I think we should. Whatever it needs to be done, tweak that. I think Walton County was singled out because of bunch of people with a bunch of money went up to Tallahassee and I know how it’s done. That stuff paid for my law school. My dad’s a lawyer. So I mean I know it’s, it’s dirt, it’s the way the politics work, but this country needs to stop letting money run this country and that’s what happened with this bill. The dirty politics. That’s not right. Let’s just fix the law and I mean that maybe random dot. It’s hard to quit.
[01:34:52] (??) I’ll tell this whether it’s an AG opinion or something. I would like to know if, if this based on the fact if they sign that, then it’s de facto, right? I mean that’s from your standpoint, what does not prompt costs? If they say there’s too much ambiguity, which I think is the position that we’re all taking. This is. This is confusing. Too much ambiguity because trespassing requires intent, right? I mean that. That’s where we met and it’s very similar to. We talked about the mean high tide water line. I promise you there’s not one thing in this thing more misunderstood in the mean high tide water line because half the time or many piece of property you need to understand it’s in the water. It’s actually in the water in some places, so when you hear people say mean high tide water line on and you’ve picture this big amount of property, right, it’s literally in the water in some places, some period of time.
[01:35:50] So I don’t, I don’t disagree with that and I think maybe there is a mechanism to actually do directly go to the court and ask them absent an arrest to give… or to put a hold on it until such time as they give a (??) ruling. Because my position is, once you say, once we get to the point that they’re, uh, that the court says there’s ambiguity or that they’re, this matter unreviewed now I don’t think you can make an arrest from that. Well that’s Kinda where we’re at now. It’s ambiguous. Oh, I don’t think anything that changes four times, 120 days, it moves the definition of them.
[01:36:23] So let’s scrap it and fix it. I think it could be fixed. Let’s just scrap the law. I mean there’s good parts of it. I understand there’s good parts is. I don’t think there was any intent to do something wrong, but I think my experience has been here 16 days. You’ve had, you’ve made a statement that preposition preposition changes. At least the Governor Scott has that. This is what I brought that I brought up, you know, my wife was out. Let’s go because it said Governor Scott said you could use this and go to the beach. That is a newspaper. It did me no good.
[01:37:02] Did you pretty good because you’re not in jail!
[01:37:07] We need to get in front of a crowd, but I think everybody here is aware of that. I can’t make the. I don’t, I don’t have that option, but I think that was. I guess my point is that the law needs to be fixed. That and I think there’s some good parts to it that I just. My experience in 17 days is that it and I think chair packets and you said, I mean either it’s enforceable or not. Either there was trespassing or not based guys that I was dressed as well. I had two sleepless nights thinking I might get arrested so.
[01:37:43] Well, I, I was told Mr [inaudible] and Mr Gaffrey were told if you don’t move over here, he took my driver’s license. He called my name and put my address in the newspaper. It said if you don’t move, I mean I take it pretty seriously. I mean, so that, I mean, I know, I appreciate you saying like I have not told me a week. I mean it’s like three days. You usually don’t eat here. I guess if I’m saying I just say the same that existed before the law path. I would like to know how many call mind you’ve gotten since July first. As opposed to before July first. Okay. So I think. Okay. So I guess I just wanted to know if that was considered to try to fix this too as long county in that interim time period or using what you’re saying is you want this fit, right?
[01:38:47] We want a resolution on this. Yeah. Yeah. I mean I don’t think that we have is. I think that we should have, um, I think the customary from what my interpretation would have. What would you like to see? You said, first of all, let me, let’s go down this road. You said the law that passed 6:31 is flawless. Can you tell me which portions are flawed so that I could work on them? Okay. I got one. The burden. I think that was a good question. Why didn’t their burden of proof on the government to show that there’s customary use when, when we have a united, the Florida Supreme Court case from 1974 that said, why are we having a fruit? That’s one. Is this appealable? What happens if the judge, is that a final order? Can you appeal that decision of the judge? Why do you not allow the individuals to have standing to challenge is um, why are they, I mean, I don’t know.
[01:39:37] It could be here all day and nobody called me about the Torah was written, but I think the Walton county thing, I think that why are we singled out? I think if there’s an issue with the wall in the county, customary use ordinance, I think, and I don’t know what that is, I think that we shouldn’t be targeted. It seems like. Well, I’m counting with targeted for this bill, so if we can put a reprieve on it so that we can allow whatever happened because there’s gonna be a lot. I know you talked about lawsuits but there’s going to be lost in this, so those are some of my, and I can send you some more, but that kind of led lights and a couple of days because that’s like a restaurant, but those are some of those.
[01:40:16] Okay. Well that makes sense, but those are some of my. I think that I think that. I think the fact that Walden county seems to be the only county that was affected. I think that if that was gonna be the case, I think we should have tried to find out what could have been fixed with long before that was broader than that. Kids are making sense. Daniel as 100 percent agree with you. I mean I think I’ve been clear that I don’t agree with the dirty politics. I 100 percent agree with you. That’s what we’re still down our throat. By whom you know who. Well I don’t think they know. I know, but did they know I have a lit? You can tell it. Tell me that this was a public forum. Isabella political forum, but we’ll talk outside. I don’t really want to go outside.
[01:41:05] I mean I know they weren’t raised in politics. I know how lobbying works. You pay to play thing. I do want to say that I think Mr Scott is right about that. I said to senator pass a Domo because this is concerned me quite a bit. I thought that sort of Tampa folks today is mother. There is this, there is this. We’ve heard from other people. They said, well it doesn’t affect you. That’s the only thing county. That’s not true in that if other people started exerting asserting that private property rights. I mean just because they have not had the problem in Okaloosa county doesn’t mean that you won’t have the problems because they haven’t had in Baker County doesn’t mean they won’t. So it is a potential impact or the entire state of Florida. So just everybody understand that it has real manifests. I, I think they’re doing the best we can and I guess what I’m saying is that situation, to answer your question, yes, I have a plan B, Plan C, I had a plan b.
[01:41:58] What I’m, what I’m trying what I’m waiting on this to see if this works. It does what we don’t know that it doesn’t work when I go to the beach and I’m not getting 100 years. If you were fighting it as a in litigation, we’re asking for a judicial declaration, but these other two counties and Saint John, they got grandfathered in. Right? What was different about their customary use the risk of lung cancer. It allowed them to get in that situation. I tell you what, this bill is house bill 6:30. Why it was alphabetized by. It was authored by Representative Katie at [inaudible] Call Representative Edwards or dad has her phone number and ask for that specifically. Okay. Alright. Well I appreciate you all and um, I just, I wish this with,
[01:42:46] I think I’ve made my point.
[01:43:02] Oh thank you. I think the biggest deal is where the legislator legislature has defined pretty badly. When you say you’ve just defined it by saying, oh, customary use the video portion of the beach above the mean high water line, when that is not a bill of sale, it’s not improperly perspectives. Not In surveys. You had just met a taping. Yeah. Taking a public property. Uh, and he said something about taking a private property. No, this gives private property, uh, taking a public property. Now I spoke with Pampa filter long time yesterday, replace it. And his job was right back here. Uh, talking about this.
[01:43:52] It isn’t just this calling you. We have public land owned by the federal government that is above the mean high water line from inlet beach, Rosemary beach and all up and down the beach. And so we can’t use. This is a terrible flaw in this wall. Uh, and then, so if you, uh, I, I asked Mr Pilcher about this. He’s taking with that quiet title. How did that go back and get land that was not in their original deed or survey or jobs? I mean the property prescription. Um, and I said, so are you now going to reappraise that property and tax them on the additional property they just got, which is the beach? And he said, no, no, we only appraise to the toe of the. Didn’t that sand? Not it has no value to us to appraise it. So these people, they said they’re paying taxes on that thing. They’re not paying taxes on them.
[01:44:51] Thank you.
[01:44:59] The answer to address, call me on
[01:45:02] the portion that you had a problem with is a complete codification of what the guy rode in Volusia county of which we all support. But what he said would be the law of the land. What we did is we took his determination when we put it into the statute. So everything that we’re making our arguments on is based on the Volusia county court case that defined what customary use is we wrote in statute to codified exactly his decision. So if you have a problem with that force and then you have a badminton, you don’t like the decision that the judge made in Volusia county.
[01:45:45] Ma’Am, come to the podium.
[01:46:01] Don’t understand. We’re all talking about the beach, like it’s just a day at the beach, like let’s go to the beach and have fun, but what about our livelihood here? Almost all the jobs that come in this area or from tourism business, the cloudiness and all that, but we just. How we make our money, I work on. I won’t give a lot of people that travel from all other mill cds because this is where they can find jobs and when those people that bought these houses on the beach, I mean it’s not like I’m period to somewhere else in my backyard. So my opinion, my back. Other people’s jobs and lovely hood.
[01:46:41] Yes ma’am. Thank you very much.
[01:46:49] We have to have tourism and why did they come from beaches? I’ve been told this whole couple of weeks. I’m not coming back. I won’t come back. You should wipe all the tours they’re telling me and we to.
[01:47:04] Yeah man, I totally 100 percent agree with you and my position is that we need resolution. If we don’t have resolution. Exactly what you’ve just described will happen. People will move, they will move on. They’ll be gone. The job market with the plate. If we can come to a resolution, if we can resolve this conflict that we have among ourselves and guess what it’s billing, then we can go back to jobs, jobs, jobs. The livelihoods will continue to go, but if we don’t have a resolution and we just say, okay, let’s go back to where we were and let’s let the. The existing pending litigation run its course. That may be three years. It may be seven years, it may be 80 years. I don’t know, but what I’m saying is that this. What this bill offers is a determination within probably six months
[01:47:57] elected official, a governor, whoever we found this deal when Florida is all about tourism.
[01:48:15] If I may, I’d like to offer you an idea when you pass the bill that the aco you doesn’t like to find a judge and get a preliminary injunction so that it’s as if we never did anything. Have you considered finding a judge and getting a preliminary injunction so that doesn’t happen while you’re waiting for the rest of the profit to work itself out.
[01:48:36] Like, thank you for asking that. Yes, yes, I have and
[01:48:40] no one has been able to give me a constitutional theory to justify that. If you’re an attorney or an attorney, if anybody out there in the audience listening to me, if you were an attorney, are you practicing in the field of law and you have a. If you uncover or discover or figure out a way or a law that was passed to have a state issue where it would rest until a decision is made, please call me and let me know how that works. I go back to the biggest problem in this law was the effective day of July one, 2018. That’s. That’s a default date that’s used in most bills that are filed. Some of them are January one of the next year, January one in July, one or the most popular. You can make it effective upon becoming law. You can make it effective at it at a different date. This date was chosen. If this date would have been November of 2018, nobody would be here. We would wait for that process to take place. There would be no disgruntlement, um, well, there still would be curiosity listed on the beach. The Syrup would still be trying to figure
[01:49:48] out using his common sense on who’s being, who’s pushing the envelope, who needs to be arrested. All that was still exists, but if there is a way, if there is a constitutional attorney out there, they could tell me because the, the, the governor doesn’t have in his discretion to nullify a law. Once the law becomes the law of the land, you can’t say, okay, I’m going to take it off the books, but I’m asking you if somebody’s out there, there has a way, because what I wanted, if in time I didn’t want it happening right here and be alive, but I’m saying the content of this law I think have merit. The fact that they took effect July, totally destroy them. I totally understand the damage because of fifth effect. If you can tell me a way could postpone that, where this law as an opportunity to work in it go out of effect between now and that time that we can get to the end of that process, please, please let me know and I’ll ask. I will take it to the appropriate devilment. Age began the profit. The business owner who’s been hurt, I’ve already heard from one through. There are many others and that a lawyer do it.
[01:51:14] Bowman bow man. I’m like, you have a couple of questions, but first I would like to answer. I’m the man in the blue shirt. That’s both for a long time. He wanted to know why the state targeted, uh, Walton County Ordinance. And I would like to explain to all of the people here tonight is basically the ordinance that the Walton county passed in 2017, basically bake, gave the public the right fit on other people’s private property. Okay. So now then in my mind, I don’t really see that as legal that somebody could, that a county entity could help somebody on the public that they could fit in my yard. I get that, but wait, the patented titles that were issued by the land office that are actually legal patent and titles to this area, they don’t include the sand because by definition, anything. No, sorry, the word of be held. The Dune cannot be classified as real property because it moves around and is not permanently attached. Okay. So now I spent the last few days reading lots of laws, lots of legal definitions. And here where we
[01:52:46] have come to this point that we’re at is that the, the legitimate directories that they, joe and subsidiaries of St Joe created this problem and they created it on purpose because really what St Joe is trying to do is privatized the state of Florida, like cutting off access to the Gulf of Mexico for every United States citizen. So here’s what they did. They issued all of these deeds back in the fifties that said that the private property way down the M, c, c, word of the toe of the dunes, the vegetation line, there’s one law that says that, um, private property ends at the vegetation line. There’s also the coastal construction control line, which is based on the mean, mean high water line, and if you read it, it actually states that there is to be no construction if teen hundred feet land, word of the main high, uh, high, high tide water line, right?
[01:53:59] I know it’s confusing because between the mean and the low, the high end, the low me high tide is called the foreshore, um, everything nor any landlord of, of the horse your is the part of the loose sand that we’re talking about. And then you get to the toe of the dune where the vegetation starts. So the problem with what’s happened in this county as the person who drew up these deeds back in the fifties included what is called, okay, the difference between real property and private property. This person is my private property because I can pick it up and move it around the trees that grow on the land. I own our real property because they are attached to the land. They don’t move around. So there’s also in these definitions, it speaks of the high tide mark, meaning the average storm ways. So now I’ve been here during storms and here’s what happens when we have a storm, there is no sand left seaward of the toe of the dunes and the vegetation line.
[01:55:10] That is why the US government and the division of land never said that it was okay to drive a ties. Anything sound of the Vegetation Line Aka the dune line. So the real problem that we’re facing here is the fact that these beach front owners think that the sand is part of their real estate when it is actually by Florida legal definition, not part of the real estate because it moves around. It’s not going to be there. That fan that’s sitting in front of their house right now will not be there in 19 years because it will be washed down the shore to Gulf port. Just like the sand that is now sits on greatness is actually the sand that Panama City purchased to refer this therapy. So you see people are going to now start trying to say like this guy that because they bought that sand to refurbish that beach actor, they’re not real estate washed away that now they do own it because it’s their personal property that they bought that sand, but that doesn’t really work because it’s still going to move away in the sand that we have on our beaches could have been purchased by the county next door or the city next door and have it be washed down.
[01:56:38] So now there are so many issues. Okay. The point is, is that within the next six months, the president actually has to decide on this because the coastal. Do Lakes are opb opb means otherwise protected by. So the president. Yes, yes. The president of the United States, whom ever happens to be sitting in office at the time this issue arises. Okay. So that is because the coastal dune lakes are under this opb, which means otherwise protected by the panhandle of Florida, is opb otherwise protected by the president of the United States because of the unique qualities that the panhandle of Florida and it’s quartz crystals, sand offers as a treasure to our country. Give me your best finish.
[01:57:36] Oh yes. I know the guy in the blue shirt got to talk for a long time. Um, so here’s what I’m saying is Santa is not real estate. There’s not supposed to be any construction whatsoever within 1500 feet of the high tide, which means there shouldn’t be any private property at all. Uh, where it is all along. Our, our, our beaches, all of these houses, they’re like right there, 100 feet away from the water. So how did the county permit them to build something that was south of the coastal construction control line? So a, the deeds they have are false because the majority of them were issued by St Joe’s subsidiaries like Rosemary Topsoil May. So watercolor water sound. Um, they go on. There’s very little property around here that’s actually considered legal titled Property by the Federal Land Grants, the United States. The rest has been stolen a through m land conversions where St Joe basically controls the county and the entire Tri County area is actually under the control of the St Energy Company.
[01:58:46] They’re doing all kinds of illegal radioactive fracking in the woods because I believe the state of Florida class flight natural gas as a forest resource, um, and due to the Obama administration limiting are the ways we’ve always done things like burning the coal. Uh, he pushed us. Do you have to use new technology that are actually killing people in this state? And St Joe knows about it. They know that, that the machines they use to develop swamp lands, these pumps and sub pumps and those grinders that go under roads, they actually produce low frequency sound waves. They give people cancer can stop or I’ll tell you what. Would you please check on that and have more weight?
[01:59:30] Look, let’s give him the others enough of. Yeah. I was going to finish up by saying,
[01:59:39] oh, the reason that this land is opb otherwise under, under the protection of the president of the United States is because the panhandle of Florida, specifically the Eagles law upon which we sit now, which is black, you see page for that, talked about a, which is actually a part of Washington County, um, that eagle claw is in a previously binding agreement with the native Americans. So that is why the eagles claw is otherwise protected by the president of the United States is because it’s an a previously binding agreement with the native Americans. The next. You never develop that. Thank you very much.
[02:00:26] Thank you very much for coming. There’s a lot of anxiety and like make to one really quick question. When this finally goes to court isn’t going to be okay. And the second one is what does the government revenues executive order me because it sounded like a bunch of doubles. Thank you. I think what the governor, his intent was it a gay people like airbag instance, some assurance that what he was doing in his daily routine for enforcing the law, he gave the state’s attorney and the sheriff an opportunity to say this year, so what happens is an executive order, two things happened on the trip hazard warning. As I said, the law doesn’t say the difference between what’s a resident in the px springs and the beach will clearly it’s different, right? Because if I walk across her yard at 2:00 in the morning and resonance that you think five acres or less, that’s considered trespassing.
[02:01:32] The minute you step on it, that’s trespassing. What’s the owner says? Pathway and you can legally go to jail. They put handcuffs on him, take him to jail. Right? Obviously the beach is different and so what the governor’s executive order was, try and give that guidance. He couldn’t order. You can’t order us not to enforce the law. Right? You can say that clearly there’s ambiguity and state’s attorney. You should consider this prior to conduit. That’s how we are. I don’t want to say getting away because that’s not the right word. That’s how we are not arresting people. As soon as they step across a piece of property with a sign or that’s why we’re not putting handcuffs on whatever. That’s yet. That’s giving us a little breathing room because they’re saying individual, private apartments, they will share it. Wait a minute, if somebody goes, sits on Bob Jones a backyard, as soon as they get there, they’re subject to be arrested right then and taking the Walton County jail.
[02:02:20] Why are you not doing the same? And I’m saying it appears to me that the governors they could have order says that we should be treating the beach differently and not hurting people out to jail as soon as they step across with these problems, this dispute. And so if it comes down to it, if the property owner says, no, absolutely, I want them arrested, that’s what we want to do. I can’t tell them that they can’t come to a church and seek a warrant. But what I can say is that there’s not a disturbance and there’s not a, uh, some type of, you know, issue otherwise, whatever that may be. Because I can say, well, we’re not there. Put handcuffs on these people. We’re not going to take them at county jail. If you want to address this, we’ll see whether or not a judge will will have to sign a warrant. I will tell you that hasn’t happened yet and I don’t. My, my immediate feeling is that is not going to happen. And it’s certainly not going to happen before a judge loses. So the idea was to say this gives you some breathing room not to treat it the same as a residence in the neighborhood that makes any sense to you.
[02:03:21] You can read, you can read this to Jack is probably where they’re shooting. You read the words on the paper and it says, voice says, and you can interpret it any way you want to. Here’s what it said to me, and I think he said to the board of county commissioners and I hope to representative gray component. You’ve got lot of tension. I know where Walden County is, I know what’s going on in Walton County and that’s. That speaks more to me than what the words on the paper says. So when these guys go and say, Governor Scott or whoever the next governor is, we need some help in getting this resolved. They’ll understand what the issue is because they’ve heard you folks, they heard what you’ve had to say and they have responded, but I think he had. It gives representative great and hindrances and ponder and the other’s strength to go and say you’ve heard from the people we need to help them resolve these issues and by issuing that executive order, I think governor Scott said, I’ve heard and you’ve got my attention, so let’s see what we can do to move this thing along.
[02:04:30] So I think it’s a good thing that he responded regardless of what the words is, how it affects the sheriff and what he does, but they know what’s going on and when again, representative drake and ponder and others go say, look, help fix this problem. They know exactly what they’re talking about. So to me that’s what it said more than anything and I believe to the board of county commissioners, that’s what he said to them as well.
[02:05:04] Hey, just real quick, last one. Thank you all for allowing me to come. I’d asked the representative drake if it’d be okay if I came because I’m working, we’re neighbors out here and so on. They’ll hear it from you firsthand. I put quite a few pages of notes and I’m honored by your time, but I’m looking to follow a great drake’s lead on this. I know he’s done out here and met with y’all face to face but I think is outstanding not only in the south but also the north end of the county and I personally want to thank him for allowing me. I die with him several times, uh, the governor’s office as well about what we can do going forward. And so I just want to thank you all as well. Are So gracious to allow me to come this evening. Thank you so much
[02:05:44] here. Up in the final word.
[02:05:48] No, I mean at the end of the day what we’re trying to do is help you resolve your issue and we’re trying to use a little common courtesy and a little patience the way we do it. We asked it to do likewise, be patient with your deputies. They have no choice but to respond. We do not have that option to do otherwise and we’re going to do our best from be good stewards of your, your authority until this situation resolved, which I hope it’s sooner rather than later
[02:06:10] and on behalf of the board of county commissioners, we certainly concur with the sheriff for isn’t input representative who is always there when we had the answer, the phone, when we call these days, all of this needs to be bigger. They make decisions on this particular issue. We have a clear path. We’re going down that path. We hope each of you work with us. They provide the information we need to make the appropriate findings that at the appropriate time we take before judge and asked him to see things the way we feed them, but direct it
[02:06:45] or all you do for Walton County.
[02:06:55] That’ll conclude tonight a town hall meeting, but it I’ll be around afterwards if anyone would like a call from Lisa. Thank you very much for being here.