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Ormond Beach Observer Monday, Jun. 28, 2021 2 months ago

3 letters: Organization is disappointed with how County Council voted regarding dog-friendly beaches

Also, reader has bad experience with water sports company and Common Ground's founder promotes synergy.
by: Guest Writer

Unsafe activities at Ormond Beach

Dear Editor:

I had a very unpleasant experience with a water sports company which Volusia County granted a permit to conduct a kayak competition in Ormond Beach. Their activity, in my view, was dangerous and infringed upon the rights of beach patrons. While taking my morning walk, I heard a woman yelling at me to get out of the way. She was obviously angry, and was making faces and waving at me in a very hostile manner. I then noticed some people running out of the water with kayaks who I had to dodge to avoid being knocked to the sand.

The lady in charge of the event continued to yell at me and told me that I was rude. The owner of the LLC later denied that she said those things, or that one of his other controllers had jabbed his finger in to my chest several times later telling me that I was lucky he wasn't out there or he would have handled it differently. I am a senior citizen and an army veteran of 41 years service to my country and am not accustomed to being bullied or having my right of access to the beached obstructed. Mostly, however, I am disappointed in Volusia County granting permits for these kinds of activities in high-density areas during peak hours to companies that exhibit this kind of behavior.

Charles Michael Sitero

Ormond Beach

Volusia ignored our proposal

Dear Editor:

The 800 members of Daytona Dog Beach, Inc. are disappointed and angry with the Volusia County Council's June 22nd vote, based on an inaccurate/incomplete report by their staff, which ignored the voices of residents and taxpayers asking for compromise to allow expansion of leashed dog friendly beach options.

For longtime resident members, it confirmed their long-held cynicism that their county leaders don't value their voices. Instead, they listen to those who pull their strings and take away the simple pleasures and freedoms residents once enjoyed growing up along the beaches.

Daytona Dog Beach, Inc. — a nonprofit whose purpose is to work with community partners to promote, support and educate the public in furtherance of safe, environmentally sound, and courteous dog-friendly beaches in the greater Daytona Beach area of Volusia County — attempted to engage with staff and council since April, with limited acknowledgement, cooperation, or success.

Despite not being given access provided other nonprofits, we advanced our mission to:

  • promote dog beaches within Volusia County where well-behaved canine citizens can exercise in a clean, safe environment without endangering or annoying people, property, or wildlife.
  • maintain beautiful, clean, dog-friendly beach areas within Volusia County, open to dog lovers and friends who are willing to uphold the dog beaches’ rules and regulations.
  • view dog beaches as a community project in partnership with key players throughout the community, including the county, designed to satisfy the needs of dog owners and non-dog owners alike.
  • promote education, training and recreational activities that facilitate responsible dog ownership and better-behaved dogs using volunteers and professionals in the animal welfare industry.

Mission in mind, we listened respectfully to all expressed concerns regarding dog friendly beach options, researched those concerns and developed mutually acceptable options based on fact. We shared our 25-page proposal to council and staff in advance of the meeting for their review and consideration. We expressed our desire for a compromise solution, fair to those on both sides of the issue. We offered financial support, volunteers to provide beach oversight and clean up, and highlighted benefits to residents, tourists, and business.

It is our feeling that council either did not read our proposal or willfully ignored it. We are not deterred, we've learned lessons, and invite the community to join and support our efforts to expand leashed dog friendly beach options. Join us at and Daytona Dog Beach, Inc. on Facebook.

Nanette McKeel Petrella

president of Daytona Dog Beach, Inc.

I finally get it

I asked myself as I awakened this morning: Why are so few people interested in finding common ground?

On my morning beach walk, I asked a businessman I know if he was coming to the Common Ground meeting, and his immediate response was an emphatic “no”— That Civil Discourse/Common Ground had taken sides on the demolition of the church. I have also had a three-hour conversation with an environmentalist, who feels Civil Discourse failed them. A friend told me that some were saying I had gone over to the dark side.

I do still have strong personal opinions, and I don’t mind saying them in public. Common Ground's mission is to bring out opposing viewpoints and facts. When I walked into the Union Church building a few days before the fence was put up, I could not hide from others what appeared to the untrained eye, to be a beautiful building, of course, neglected and in need of repair. I am the moderator of Common Ground. Common Ground is not a game of who can get their opinions out there. Linda Williams and Bill Denny are not Common Ground. We want all to be included in decisions regarding civic issues, "from the tiniest of creatures to the biggest developers."

Common Ground provides the forum for civic topics. In this case, “Should the decision by the commissioners to demolish Union Church at 56 N. Beach St. be delayed to receive citizen input and explore all options for the best use of the property?” No one knows the outcome if a delay is granted because all viewpoints and possibilities are brought to the table. As a synergist, I can guarantee you there will be a win-win for all, including downtown parking for businesses, and those who want a beautiful strong building, or, something else. The synergy of the ideas, along with the facts, is the creative process itself.

Common Ground’s second meeting on the above topic is Thursday, July 1 at 5:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Ormond Beach Regional Library. We may have a week after that on this topic, as rodent abatement will be complete and the city can request the demolition permit following that. Common Ground welcomes all. Yes, those who want to get rid of this building, as well as those who want to save it. Come to this meeting and be a part of the dynamics.

Linda Williams

Ormond Beach


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