Fort Lauderdale mayor suggests his beach planSeptember 19, 2007 No Comments
This letter to the editor was made today by the Mayor of Fort Lauderdale, Fl:
Rosalie Schwartz’s letter (Sept. 14) about alcohol-free beaches made some good points about the issue of alcohol on the public beaches. However, I need to respond to her statement that “Our beach areas are inundated with out-of-towners who see San Diego as a West Coast Fort Lauderdale.”
As mayor of Fort Lauderdale, I am very familiar with alcohol issues and how they impact tourism and the quality of life in beach communities. When I was first elected in 1985, we had about 3 million visitors, including 400,000 students. Open containers were allowed on beaches and in many public areas, which strained our law enforcement and had a negative impact on tourism. To address those problems, we adopted a policy for alcohol-free beaches and public areas.
Fast-forward to 2006, when Fort Lauderdale had about 10 million visitors, including 10,000 students. Our tourism industry is booming, and the quality of life has improved for people who live here.
We did many things to get where we are today, but certainly the open container ordinance played a major role.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.