The community can appreciate the slow down requested by Commissioner Sammy Tostensen on the passage of a new ordinance that is packed with new rules governing Glynn County’s parks and beaches. While changing times often necessitate a new look at old ideas, it is seldom wise to gallop through the process at breakneck speed.
If nothing else, a more gradual approach will give residents and businesses a chance to absorb what is being considered and an opportunity to express their opinions.
Take new regulations aimed at the beach, for instance. Banning glass from the sandy ocean edge should have been a consideration long ago. Glass is prohibited on the beach along the shoreline of Jekyll Island, and for good reason. Broken pieces covered in sand can easily rip open the barefoot of a child or an adult.
Plastic cups, on the other hand, are not the serious deliverers of injury some might make them out to be. Besides, answer this: what is the difference between leaving a hard plastic cup on the beach and a plastic toy, especially a broken one? Going to tell Little Billie and Little Susie to leave the plastic pail and shovel in the vehicle?
Commissioner Tostensen also pointed out the potential problem of declaring it unlawful to remove sand from the beach. He reminded the commission that it is a source of the material needed when filling sandbags to protect homes and businesses from flooding when the Golden Isles is in the path of a major storm.
Rules protecting marine life are right on target as long as they are well posted along with the consequences awaiting anyone who is caught. It should also be remembered that not everyone visiting the shore from inland states knows what a sand dollar is or where hermit crabs inhabit.
As for rules that give young lifeguards at the beach and county swimming pools command authority, please tread carefully here. Children are not police. Take every precaution to prevent a simple command to an intoxicated or defiant individual from turning quickly into a game of push and shove or worse.
Communities require rules for peaceful existence. Just let people know beforehand what changes are in the wind.