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Heeding outcry, commission rejects no-wake ordinance

By Times correspondent

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 20, 2001

REDINGTON BEACH -- Moved by resident opposition, the Town Commission unanimously rejected a proposed ordinance that would have eliminated water skiing and other motorized water sports in more than half the town's waterways.

The no-wake zone "was a very controversial issue. You have elected us. We have listened. The residents have spoken," said Mayor Jerry Reitz. The commission listened for more than an hour as residents defended their right to use the canals for boating at more than idle speed.

"I love the water. The spectacle is terrific," said former mayor Mark Deighton. "The option of recreation is a very valuable thing for people living in town, and it is worth paying for. One instance got everybody's hackles up. There hasn't been another. The citizens of Redington Beach can discipline themselves."

Commissioners began considering a no-wake zone several months ago when residents complained that speeding boats endangered swimmers and caused damage to docked boats and seawalls.

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