Guidelines

I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.








Friday, March 10, 2017

Jelly Doughnut Discipline, Redux: Open Containers of Alcohol on Quietwater Beach Boardwalk

Punishing the innocent many for the actions of the guilty one or few = Jelly Doughnut Discipline

Eight years ago I dealt with Jelly Doughnut Discipline serving as a School Board Member.  What is Jelly Doughnut Discipline?  It is a political maneuver, typically for convenience, expediency, or to appease a certain constituency characterized by the punishing of many for the sins of the few or the one.  Myself and some others have coined this term from a scene in the 1987 war movie "Full Metal Jacket."  In that scene, Private Pyle brings a Jelly Doughnut from the Mess Hall into the Barracks in violation of the rules.  Instead of punishing the transgressor, Private Pyle,  Sgt. Hartman allows Pyle to eat the doughnut while the rest of the squad "pays the price" by doing push ups.  Instead of punishing the one, Hartman punishes the many.  Jelly Doughnut Discipline.

Now in my new life as a County Commissioner here in Escambia County, I see the concept of Jelly Doughnut Discipline reappearing.  Specifically, the ordinance limiting open container consumption of alcohol on the County's Pensacola Beach Boardwalk which was supposed to sunset in June is being considered for renewal.  We are told that because of some rambunctious often criminal behavior by some folks that utilize this facility---everyone will be punished by not being able to enjoy an adult beverage here anymore.  My understanding:  the ordinance enacted last year was to be temporary.  Data would be analyzed before making the measure permanent.  Up until the meeting yesterday--I still hadn't received data--only anecdotal presentations from the hoteliers representatives and law enforcement.

A couple of facts:  The Quietwater Beach Boardwalk is a specialty center owned by Escambia

 County that under the Florida Beverage Law- carries a designation allowing the local governing body the ability to regulate open containers of alcohol on the property.  This is the only such specialty center in Escambia County.  Destin figured this out and showed us the way ahead a year ago: instead of punishing everybody by eliminating open containers at their specialty center, they rigorously enforce the boundaries of their boardwalk, the South Harbor Festive Marketplace. They allow open containers but they enforce violation and punish transgressors and the few who violate the rules, not the many who follow the rules.   How come we are not willing to step up like Destin and concentrate on enforcement rather than punishing everyone?  Are Destin Citizens and visitors better than Escambia Citizens and visitors?  Or is it just easier to accept anecdotal evidence and hearsay that says "It's better now than before?"

For my part, I want to see compelling evidence that unambiguously points to the limitation of open containers of alcohol on the boardwalk as the only reason for lowered numbers of fights and affrays--before I will vote to further curtail responsible citizens' freedoms.  I doubt there is any such evidence in existence anywhere, but I will pour over the data when It is sent to me.

2 comments:

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Jeff Bergosh said...

Anonymous: I strongly believe it is all about enforcement. The people who violate our laws and ordinances at the beach know full-well that what they're doing is wrong--they simply don't care; the fix is enhanced security/police presence and strict enforcement of existing rules.