My anonymous letter writing stalker is at it again! Last edition’s article entitled, “Goodland Remarks,” discussed both positive and negative comments I receive regarding my views of Goodland. It was really an effort to praise our community, especially the kids, but one reader clearly misinterpreted the heart of the article. I clearly made a huge mistake when I jokingly told the story of a “naysayer” who sent me an anonymous letter about an article I wrote about a year ago regarding Goodland’s golf carts.
Well, it seems the golf carts are still a hot button topic for my anonymous critic. Within three days of the last edition hitting the news stands, I received yet another typed letter with no signature or return address. They were clearly enraged because not only were they were the butt of the joke of the article, but I also called them a coward for not having signed their name.
It was surprising to see how quickly the offended responded. I must have really hit a nerve. But that’s ok. After all, as they say in the industry, any kind of feedback is positive feedback. I have had many people call, email and write me regarding their dislike of an article or pointing out a blatant error. This refers to ALL my articles, not just Goodland Life; these people always tell me their names. Always. And I always do my best to apologize or make it up to the reader in some way for the mistake.
So to that person who is still too scared to tell me their name, I won’t apologize for calling you a coward because nothing has changed, but I will print your most recent letter to me as well as the Goodland golf cart Ordinance in your honor. I hope this appeases you, and I look forward to your anonymous “letter of praise.”
Indeed, READER, indeed. Being referred to as a “little girl chastised” and “thin skinned” will definitely be of more value to my career than any “letter of praise.” (Thank you for assuming I receive “letters of praise.”) But, as A READER, you seem to desperately want me to discuss the Goodland golf cart Ordinance, and I would never want to upset my readers.
For your viewing pleasure, the Goodland golf cart Ordinance.
WHEREAS, Section 316.212(1), Florida Statutes, permits counties to allow golf carts to be operated on county roads provided the county first determines that they may safely travel on or cross such public roads or streets upon considering the speed, volume, and character of motor vehicle traffic using those roads or streets; and
WHEREAS, Section 316.212(4), FloridaStatutes, states that golf carts may only operate on such public roads or streets during the hours between sunrise and sunset, unless the governmental agency specifically determines that such golf carts may also safely operate during the hours between sunset and sunrise and the golf carts possess headlights, brake lights, turn signals and windshields.
WHEREAS, Section 316. 2127, Florida Statutes, allows counties to enact restrictions and regulations regarding golf cart operations that are more restrictive than those contained in the state statutes as long as appropriate signs are posted or the residents are otherwise informed that the regulation of golf cart operation in the designated area will be in accordance with a stricter local ordinance; and
WHEREAS, as of the effective date of this Ordinance, the Collier County Transportation Division’s Traffic Operations Department has conducted a study to determine whether golf carts may safely travel on or cross public roads or streets located in Goodland, Florida, considering the following factors: speed, volume, and the character of motor vehicle traffic using the relevant roads or streets; and
WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners has determined that golf carts may safely be operated in a limited manner on all county roads and streets in Goodland, Florida that are located at least 125 feet west of Sunset Drive; and
WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners desires to provide additional regulations for the operation of golf carts on designated roads and streets in Goodland located in Collier County, Florida; and
WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners believes that regulations proposed in this Ordinance promote and enhance the health, safety and welfare of its citizens.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF COLLIER COUNTY, FLORIDA that:
SECTION ONE: THE CODE OF LAWS AND ORDINANCES OF COLLIER COUNTY, CHAPTER 130, TRAFFIC OPERATIONS, IS AMENDED TO INCLUDE A NEW SECTION 130-4, TO READ AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 130-4: Use of golf carts upon designated public roads and streets in Goodland, Collier County, Florida.
1. The term “golf cart” is defined as stated in Florida Statutes, subsection 320.01, as a motor vehicle that is designed and manufactured for operation on a golf course for sporting or recreational purposes and that is not capable of exceeding speeds of twenty (20) miles per hour.
2. Golf carts may be operated on those county roads and streets in Goodland, Florida located at least 125 feet west of Sunset Drive.This designation is in accordance with Florida Statute, Section 316.212.
3. In addition to the requirements of Florida Statute Section 316.212, which are applicable to the operation of golf carts on the aforementioned designated roads and streets, the following restrictions shall also apply:
a) All persons operating golf carts subject to this ordinance must be a minimum of sixteen (16) years of age, hold a valid driver’s license issued within the United States, and must be in possession of a valid identification card showing proof of age at all times while operating a golf cart on the designated public roads.
b) The number of occupants in any golf cart operated on the designated public streets and roads shall be restricted to the number of seats on the golf cart. No occupants of a golf cart shall stand at any time while the golf cart is in motion.
c) All golf carts operated under this ordinance shall be restricted to a maximum attainable speed of twenty (20) miles per hour.
d) All golf carts operating subject to this ordinance must be equipped with efficient brakes, reliable steering, safe tires, a rear view mirror, and red reflectorized warning devices in both the front and rear at all times while operated on the designated roads and streets in Goodland, Florida.
e) With the exception of the Goodland residents’ Christmas Holiday and Mardi Gras golf cart parades, golf carts may only be operated on the designated roads and streets during the hours between sunrise and sunset. Golf carts operating at night on those special occasions shall possess headlights, brake lights, turn signals and windshields.
f) Before golf carts may be operated under this section, the owners thereof
must purchase and maintain liability insurance insuring against personal injury and damage to property of any nature relative to the operation of golf carts on the designated public roads and streets.
4) Violations of this section shall constitute a non-criminal infraction enforceable pursuant to the provisions of Florida Statutes, Section 316.212(8).
5) The Collier County Transportation Division shall post signs along the designated roads and streets where golf cart operation is allowed advising motorists of the possible presence of golf cart traffic and alerting the public that the operation of such golf carts is subject to the various requirements of this ordinance.
SECTION TWO: INCLUSION IN THE CODE OF LA WS AND ORDINANCES.
The provisions of this Ordinance shall become and be made a part of the Code of Laws and Ordinances of Collier County, Florida.The sections of the Ordinance may be renumbered or re-lettered to accomplish such, and the word “ordinance” may be changed to “section,” or any other appropriate word.
SECTION THREE: CONFLICT AND SEVERABILITY.
In the event this Ordinance conflicts with any other Ordinance of Collier County or other applicable law, the more restrictive shall apply. If any phrase or portion of the Ordinance is held invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed a separate, distinct and independent provision and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portion
SECTION FOUR: EFFECTIVE DATE.
This Ordinance shall take effect upon filing with the Florida Department of State
PASSED AND DULY ADOPTED by the Board of County Commissioners of Collier County, Florida this 28th day of November, 2006.
Signed by Dwight E. Brock, Clerk and BCC Frank Halas, Chairman.
P.S. These two men weren’t afraid to sign their names to this document, and that’s why we have golf carts in our village. I’ve never been afraid to sign my name when it comes to anything I’ve written, and I stand firmly behind every word I wrote in this article. (To clarify, I did not write the Ordinance so I can’t really stand behind that.)
September 20, 2013
Coastal Breeze News
1857 San Marco Road, Unit 216
Marco Island, FL 34145
I read your article in the latest paper. With reference to your reaction to the “cowardly” letter you received, I could not help but think that yours was the petulant reaction of a little girl chastised.
My letter, including a copy of the golf cart ordinance, pointed out that non-conformance with the ordinance subjected those who were ignorant of, or that ignored the law intentionally, were totally liable in the event of an accident, in addition to a citation for violating the ordinance. Most specifically I would refer to those under 18 years of age and/or anyone operating the golf cart after sunset.
Although I will not sign this letter either, I want you to know that my earlier letter was not intended to denigrate you or your article.
P.S. Try not to be so “thin skinned” in questionable responses to your writing. Indeed, these opinions can be more valuable than your letters of praise