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    • Stay Vigilant

      And now, a different point of view from Charmaine Smith Ladd, our Florida Keys correspondent.

      March 27, 2009

      Don’t Snow Me…SHOW Me!
      HB 1423 – Florida Anchoring Rights Proposed Legislative Changes – STAY ON YOUR GUARD
      by Charmaine Smith Ladd
      Salty Southeast Cruisers Net joins with SSCA and Boat U.S. to support House Bill 1423 (with certain changes). My take on this? In a nutshell:
      I highly suggest no one change their stance on killing House Bill 1423 until we know it has changed and changed in our favor with no strings attached or dangling daggers waiting to stab us in our unwary backs! If I’m cynical it is because I have good right to be so. I’ve seen the snow fall before…and it sure wasn’t dandruff!
      If we don’t keep up our guard, somehow this will turn around and all our positive feedback and grand momentum toward what is right will be lost. Then it is easy pickings as we are disarmed and run over with absolutely no recourse because it will then be too late to act.
      We don’t need the Pilot Programs…period! The Pilot Programs were never a part of the original proposed legislation and were never offered up for public debate. They were added after the fact, after all was said and done as a way to appease (as the FWC put it): “due to pressures caused by homeowners and some others.” So why is the Pilot Program suddenly a viable and necessary part of what needs to be done when it never was before when it was added quite underhandedly at the 13th hour?
      The derelict boat issue is addressed with the proposed law that will require ALL boats over 14 ft. to register with the State of Florida. To date, any boat without a motor, regardless of size, does NOT and never has had to register with the State of Florida. No wonder we have the derelict (abandoned) boat problem in Florida…our State created it and perpetuated it by not acting far sooner than now!
      With the abandoned boat issue RESOLVED…what is the need of Pilot Programs that will effectively interfere with one’s rights to anchor? We don’t need it and never did. We have proven we don’t need it to curtail the problem of abandoned boats and their burden on Florida’s taxpayers. So get rid of the Pilot Program!
      Remove the Pilot Program from House Bill 1423 and we’re in business! Otherwise, we’re right back where we started. The inclusion of this backdoor bogus “Pilot” program is only there for those who wish to manipulate it for gains with their own agendas (i.e., keep the majority of boaters from anchoring in their waters).

      Remember, the Pilot Programs are EXEMPT from established law. E-X-E-M-P-T. That’s how the Pilot Program was barely noticed to begin with. Who cared…our rights to anchor were intact…what we didn’t know was that the Pilot Program would be exempt from adhering to the laws that protect our right to anchor. Fool me once, shame on you! Fool me twice, shame on me! It is imperative the Pilot Program be removed altogether and I (and others) won’t be looking under every rock as if someone is trying to sneak something in and through while we’re busy celebrating our so-called victories.
      Even though I’m not from Missouri, you still have to SHOW-ME if you want me to go along with something.
      So…go ahead, SHOW ME!

      Charmaine Smith Ladd, SSECN’s Regional Correspondent of the Florida Keys, bringing you “The Low Down from Down Low.”

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