Beaches Watch Celebrates 10 Years of Community Service

2014 School Board District 2 Election Information

2014 Jacksonville Beach Candidates Information

2014 Neptune Beach Candidates Information

2014 Candidate Training Presentation

2014-2015 Beaches Budget Information

2014 Beaches Watch Member Social Appreciation

St. Johns River: Proposed Dredging Information

Florida Planning Information

What is the Interlocal Agreement?

Florida's Sunshine Law & Open Government

Beaches Watch Celebrates 10 Years of Community Service

Founded in 2004 by beaches residents, Beaches Watch has been providing 10 years of service to the beaches communities.  On Saturday, September 27, the Beaches Watch 10 Year Anniversary Celebration was held at the Cobalt Moon Water Studio to celebrate this wonderful milestone.

During the 10 Year Anniversary Celebration, Beaches Watch recognized Neptune Beach Mayor Harriet Pruette for her years of service to the beaches communities by presenting her the Beaches Watch 10 Year Anniversary Cultivator Award!

Watch the video honoring Neptune Beach Mayor Harriet Pruette:  CLICK HERE

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS!

CULTIVATOR $500:

Anonymous
Atlantic Video Production
Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Z. Duke
First Coast Consumer Law
Tom & Donnalea Goeltz - Cobalt Moon Center
Green Room Brewing
Lynch's Irish Pub
Jim & Kathi Overby
The Kurtis Group

PEARL $250:

Conch Systems LLC
Gene & Cindy Funkhouser
The Galarneau Family
Geometric Marine Services
Sharon Scholl

FRIEND $100:

Anonymous
Angie's Subs
Sybil Ansbacher
Richard & Edie Arthur
Gerald & Valerie Britt
Chris & Kerry Chin
Floriade Florist
Jim & Sandy Golding
Art Graham
Mary & Richard Keene
Steve & Beth Kilgore
Judith & Denny Leroux
Lillie's Coffee Bar
Public Trust Environmental Legal Institute
Ed Raube
Darrell & Brenda Shields
Dr. Richard & Sylvia Simmons
Van & Toni Van Orman
Jane Wytzka & Rex Brand

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2014 School Board District 2 Election Information

Congratulations to Scott Shine who was elected to the Duval County School Board District 2 position on November 4, 2014.

Beaches Watch is a member of a coalition of non-partisan nonprofits whose goal is to promote increased participation in this year's school board elections and educate citizens about the choices before them.

Coalition activities include forums, a questionnaire, a special website and other outreach.

The coalition hosted a forum for the District 2 School Board race on Thursday, August 7 at the Fletcher High School Auditorium.  You can hear the recorded audio of the forum by visiting the website:  www.schoolboard2014.org.

Candidate responses to a questionnaire issued by the coalition have been posted to:  www.schoolboard2014.org.

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2014 Jacksonville Beach Elections Information

Congratulations to the following candidates who have been elected to the Jacksonville Beach City Council on November 4, 2014:

Seat 4, District 1:  Bruce Thomason

Seat 6, District 3:  Lee "Beach" Buck

To determine the district you live in, check out the Jax Beach Council District Map.

GENERAL ELECTION CANDIDATE FORUM VIDEO:

On Wednesday, October 15, 2014 Beaches Watch and the Jacksonville Beach Elementary School PTA co-sponsored a candidate forum for the Jax Beach candidates on the general election ballot at the Jacksonville Beach Elementary School cafetorium.  The Jacksonville Beach candidate forum gave voters the opportunity to meet the candidates and learn about their platforms and positions on Jacksonville Beach issues prior to the general election on November 4.

If you were unable to attend the forum, you can watch the video of the 2014 Jax Beach General Election Candidate Forum.

AUGUST 14 CANDIDATE FORUM VIDEO:

On Thursday, August 14, 2014, Beaches Watch sponsored a candidate forum for Jacksonville Beach Seat 6, District 3 candidates at Beaches Museum Chapel, 505 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville Beach, FL.  This forum gave voters an opportunity to meet the Jacksonville Beach candidates and learn more about their positions on Jacksonville Beach issues prior to the primary on Tuesday, August 26.  If you were unable to attend the candidate forum, you can watch the video of the Jax Beach Seat 6, District 3 Candidate Forum.

JACKSONVILLE BEACH CANDIDATE INFO AND QUESTIONNAIRES:

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

City Council Seat 4, District 1

City Council Seat 6, District 3

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2014 Neptune Beach Elections Information

Congratulations to Richard Arthur who was elected by a historical "game of chance" after votes were tied for he and his opponent, Rory Diamond.

GENERAL ELECTION CANDIDATE FORUM:

On Thursday, October 16, 2014 Beaches Watch sponsored a candidate forum for the Neptune Beach candidates on the general election ballot at the Neptune Beach City Hall Council Chambers.  The Neptune Beach Candidate forum gave voters the opportunity to meet the candidates and learn about their platforms and positions on Neptune Beach issues prior to the general election on November 4.

If you were unable to attend the forum, you can watch the video of the 2014 Neptune Beach General Election Candidate Forum.

NEPTUNE BEACH CANDIDATE INFO AND QUESTIONNAIRES:

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

City Council Seat 4

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2014 Candidate Training Presentation

On June 25, 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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2014-2015 Beaches Budget Info

At the July 2014 Beaches Watch meeting, three beaches representatives provide a Beaches Budgets 101 presentation about the budgets and budget process for Atlantic Beach, Jacksonville Beach and Neptune Beach.

To see the video of the Beaches Budgets 101 meeting, CLICK HERE.

You can also see the budget presentations presented at the meeting:

2015 Atlantic Beach Budget Presentation

2015 Jacksonville Beach Budget Presentation

ATLANTIC BEACH:

COMING SOON:  Atlantic Beach Proposed 2014-2015 Budget

Budget Workshop dates:

Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 5pm, Commission Chambers
Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 5pm, Commission Chambers

JACKSONVILLE BEACH:

COMING SOON:  Jacksonville Beach Proposed 2014-2015 Budget

Budget Tour of the City:
Friday, August 1, 2014 - 1:30-5pm
Council Budget Workshop dates:

Monday, August 4, 2013 at 4pm, City Council Chambers
Budget topics:  Executive & Legislative, Planning & Development, Finance and Human Resources

Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at 6pm, City Council Chambers
Budget topics:  Public Works

Monday, August 11, 2014 at 6pm, City Council Chambers
Budget topics:  Police and Fire

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 6pm, City Council Chambers
Budget topics:  Beaches Energy

NEPTUNE BEACH:

Budget Meetings:

COMING SOON

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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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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.