Join Us to Celebrate 10 Years of Community Service

2014 Beaches Watch Member Social Appreciation

St. Johns River: Proposed Dredging Information

2013-2014 Beaches Budget Information

2013 Atlantic Beach Candidates Information

2013 Candidate Training Presentation

Florida Planning Information

What is the Interlocal Agreement?

Florida's Sunshine Law & Open Government

Join Us to Celebrate 10 Years of Community Service

Founded in 2004 by beaches residents, Beaches Watch has been providing 10 years of community service - and we want to celebrate this milestone!  Mark you calendars and join the celebration:

Beaches Watch 10 Year Anniversary Celebration
Saturday, September 27 6-9pm
Cobalt Moon Water Studio

Stay tuned for more information to come!

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2014 Beaches Watch Member Social Appreciation

On April 2, the Beaches Watch Board of Directors hosted the third annual Beaches Watch member social at the Jacksonville Beach Golf club Hero's 19th Hole Restaurant.  The turnout was great and everyone enjoyed food and fun and many won fabulous raffle prizes donated by area businesses and individuals.

We would especially like to thank the businesses and individuals who supported Beaches Watch by donating over $850 in raffle prizes!  We hope you will support these businesses with your patronage:

Ace Hardware
Al's Pizza
Angie's Subs
Beach Diner
Cindy Nails
Cruiser's Grill
Da Vinci's
Harriet Pruette
Jason's Deli
Kurtis Loftus
Lynch's Irish Pub
Marlin Moon Grille
Mellow Mushroom
Mario's
Peterbrooke Chocolatier
Ragtime
Royal Palm Village Wine and Tapas
Taco Lu
Tim's Wine Market

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St. Johns River: Proposed Dredging Information

At the February 5, 2014 Beaches Watch meeting, a distinguished panel of experts spoke about the proposed dredging of the St. Johns River. If you were unable to attend this meeting, you can watch the meeting video: February 2014 Beaches Watch Meeting Video.

The proposed dredging panelists consisted of the following:

Lisa Rinaman (St. Johns Riverkeeper); Dr. Quinton White (Executive Director Jacksonville University Marine Science Research Institute); Eric Summa (Corps of Engineers); Nancy Rubin (JAXPORT)

For more information about the proposed dredging of the St. Johns River:

Corps of Engineers dredging information:

DRAFT study under review/decision and final posting:

http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Navigation/NavigationProjects/JacksonvilleHarborChannelDeepeningStudy.aspx

JAXPORT dredging information:

http://www.jaxport.com/cargo/maritime-resources/harbor-deepening

http://www.jaxport.com/about-jaxport/newsroom/news

http://www.jaxport.com/publications

St. Johns Riverkeeper dredging information:

http://www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org/blog/get-the-facts-about-dredging-proposal-/

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2013 Atlantic Beach Elections Information

Congratulations to the candidates who won the Atlantic Beach election on August 27 to serve as Mayor and City Commissioner:

Mayor:  Carolyn Woods
Commissioner Seat 4:  Jimmy Hill
Commissioner Seat 5:  Jonathan Daugherty

AUGUST 14 ATLANTIC BEACH CANDIDATE FORUM:

On Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 7pm, Beaches Watch and the Atlantic Beach Elementary School PTA co-sponsored a candidate forum for Atlantic Beach Mayor, Commissioner Seat 4 and Commissioner Seat 5 candidates at Atlantic Beach Elementary School, 298 Sherry Dr., Atlantic Beach.  This 1.5 hour forum was well-attended by nearly 400 Atlantic Beach voters and gave voters an opportunity to meet the Atlantic Beach candidates and learn more about their positions on Atlantic Beach issues.

If you were unable to attend the forum, you can watch a video of the forum here:  FORUM VIDEO

ATLANTIC BEACH CANDIDATE INFO AND QUESTIONNAIRES:

Beaches Watch asked all the candidates to respond in writing to questions about Atlantic Beach issues. Click on the office below to see the candidate websites/biographies and candidate responses to the Beaches Watch questionnaire.

Atlantic Beach Mayor
Atlantic Beach Commissioner Seat 4
Atlantic Beach Commissioner Seat 5

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2013-2014 Beaches Budget Info

ATLANTIC BEACH:

Atlantic Beach Proposed 2013-2014 Budget

Budget Workshop dates:

Thursday, August 1, 2013 at 5pm, Commission Chambers
Monday, August 5, 2013 at 5pm, Commission Chambers
Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 5pm, Commission Chambers
Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 5pm, Commission Chambers

JACKSONVILLE BEACH:

Jacksonville Beach Proposed 2013-2014 Budget

Citizen Budget Workshop:
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 6pm, City Council Chambers

Budget Tour of the City:
Friday, August 2, 2013 - 1:30-5pm

Council Budget Workshop dates:

Monday, August 5, 2013 after the 6pm Council meeting, City Council Chambers
Budget topics:  Executive & Legislative, Planning & Development, Finance and Human Resources

Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 6pm, City Council Chambers
Budget topics:  Public Works

Monday, August 12, 2013 at 6pm, City Council Chambers
Budget topics:  Police and Fire

Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 6pm, City Council Chambers
Budget topics:  Beaches Energy

NEPTUNE BEACH:

Budget Meetings:

Tuesday, September 9, 2013 at 6pm, City Council Chambers
Tuesday, September 23, 2013 at 6pm, City Council Chambers

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2013 Candidate Training Presentation

On June 26, Jerry Holland (Duval County Supervisor of Elections) and Beth Fleet (Candidate and Records Director) presented a candidate training workshop to Atlantic Beach candidates, their campaign teams and others that are considering running for office in the future.

"An important element to a smooth election is to have informed candidates who are knowledgeable of the election laws," said Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland.

At the candidate training workshop, Mr. Holland and Mrs. Fleet provided a special candidate training session with handout materials about the Florida campaign laws.  The training session also helped candidates understand the campaign laws for non-partisan campaigns and the "do's" and "don'ts" for online campaigning.

To view the candidate training presentation, CLICK HERE.

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Florida Planning Information

The University of Florida Center for Building Better Communities has created the "Florida Planning Officials Handbook".  This handbook has a lot of great information to help citizens better understand Florida growth management and the planning process.  To see the handbook, click on the link below:

Florida Planning Officials Handbook

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What is the Interlocal Agreement?

Recently, Jacksonville has questioned whether beaches residents pay enough taxes to the county in exchange for servies provided by the county.  As a result, Jacksonville elected officials and auditors have decided to audit the interlocal agreement between Jacksonville and the beaches.

The interlocal agreement was created in 1982 after the beach cities fought with the City of Jacksonville over the ways taxes and government services were shared.  In 1996, the interlocal agreement was amended after the beaches filed a lawsuit against Jacksonville for breach of the 1982 interlocal agreement.

Where do your tax dollars go?
If you look at your property tax (TRIM) documentation, you will see that your property taxes are distributed as follows:

For Jacksonville Beach residents:
35% to Jacksonville
21% to Jacksonville Beach
41% to Schools
2% to St. Johns River Water Management District
0.2% to Florida Inland Navigation District

For Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach residents:
37% to Jacksonville
17% to Atlantic Beach/Neptune Beach
43% to Schools
2% to St. Johns River Water Management District
0.2% to Florida Inland Navigation District

According to the 1982 interlocal agreement, your tax dollars pay for Jacksonville to provide the following services:
Property Appraiser
Tax Collector
Supervisor of Elections
Courts
Hospitals
Port Authority
Transportation Authority
Libraries
Agriculture
Health (except nuisance contron and abatement)
Rescue
Animal Control
Human Resources
Sports Complex and Auditorium
Construction Trades Board
Public Housing
Jails and Prisons
Sheriff (except police operations)
County Road Construction and Maintenance
Traffic Engineering on County Roads
Recreation-Regional and County-Wide Recreational Facilities Only
Sanitary Landfill

If you wish to learn more, you can read the interlocal agreement and amendments:

1982 Interlocal Agreement

1996 Jax Beach Amendment

1996 Atlantic Beach Amendment

1996 Neptune Beach Amendment

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Florida's Sunshine Law & Open Government

Special thanks to Andy Miller, Executive Director of the Public Trust Environmental Legal Institute of Florida (www.publictrustlaw.org), for being our guest speaker at the November 3, 2010 Beaches Watch meeting.  Andy gave a presentation on Florida's Sunshine Law and what every citizen needs to expect from open government. 

Transparency in government is a constitutional right in Florida that is protected by the Sunshine Law and public records law.  It is important for citizens to understand these laws so they can ensure their constitutional right is protected.

To learn more, CLICK HERE to see the presentation. (Note: this is a large file, so it will take some time to open.)

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Archived News

Jacksonville Beach Height Referendum News:

Beaches Watch Files to Become a Political Committee

To read full press release Click Here

Beaches Watch Announces Voter Sponsored Height-Limit Referendum For Jacksonville Beach

To read the Shorelines story Click Here

Beaches Watch Launches Petition Drive in Jax Beach

To Read The Beaches Leader story CLICK HERE

Petitioners Get 500+ Petition Signers Opposing High-Rises

To Read The Beaches Leader story CLICK HERE

Beaches Watch Launches Final Signature Drive

To Read The Full Beaches Leader story CLICK HERE

Beaches Watch Turns in More than 2100 Petitions!

 

To Read the Full Shorelines Story CLICK HERE

Atlantic Beach city commissioners defer controversial land use and zoning change


To Read the whole story CLICK HERE

Building Heights: What the 2 Sides Say

READ STORY HERE


Council Shouldn't Have It's Own Referendum

READ STORY HERE


DOT Gives A1A an F

READ STORY HERE

Character of Jacksonville Beach Community at Stake

READ STORY HERE

How High is Too High? It's Still Up in the Air

READ STORY HERE


Residents Objections Stall Condo Project OK

READ STORY HERE

Height Solutions Vary for Buildings in Atlantic Beach

READ STORY HERE


JB Puts it Height Limits on Nov. Ballot

READ STORY HERE.

City gives voters say on seaside high-rises; Council votes to add its version to ballot

READ STORY HERE.

Lawsuit Challenges JB's 35-foot Ballot

READ STORY HERE.

Owners Sue to Ax Vote on Building Cap

READ STORY HERE.

Beach buildings height initiative in judge's hand

READ STORY HERE.

Height Cap Initiative on ballot; Judge keeps options for future decisions

READ STORY HERE.

Letters to the editor: Beaches Watch earns thank-you from writer

I haven't seen any letters thanking the Beaches Watch Organization for the great way they have worked for the citizens of Jax Beach. The new [35-foot building height cap] amendment gives a lot of voters hope.READ LETTER HERE.


9/28/05 - Jax Beach Citizens Win Height Amendment Appeal !

READ STORY HERE.