SFFB-FKFB Meeting Minutes
Dear Naturist friends and activists:
The attached meeting notes from the trip Richard Mason, Albert Pantaleon and I made to Key West for meetings with Key West elected officials, government agents and business leaders regarding establishing a clothing optional beach. We were there two days last Wednesday and Thursday, May 6 & 7th.
After seeing the first naturist group implode, Ted Mozino was the original person who proded Richard and I to help establish a “true” naturist group in the Florida Keys that would create a c/o beach in the Haulover image and standards. Norma Mitchell, Adrienne Burich and I went on a scouting expedition in the lower Keys and Key West for this purpose in April 2008 where we pressured Tom to get more involved. Tom’s subsequent trips to Haulover Beach and staying with Richard and I, helped to motivate him.
To give you a time-line perspective, the first planning meeting is included as the first item in the attachment. It was held at the Mason’s home in November 2008 when Herman DeBoer, naturist resident of Key West, came to stay with us for the express purpose of learning what to do to get a c/o beach in the lower Keys. Prior to that November meeting, we had been speaking to Tom Chittenden for over a year about helping to forming a naturist club for this purpose. He was not ready until he joined with Herman and found some serious people who would be active, share the responsibilities and be incharge.
Tom found Tracy, Allan and a few others when initial meetings were called and in April this committee of South Florida Free Beach renamed itself Florida Keys Free Beaches Committee and elected Tracy and Alan to be co-chairs. In early March, Richard Mason was invited by the group to meet and share SFFB information and Haulover’s history as well as to attend a public charrett sponsored by County Commissioner Heather Carrouthers regarding improving Higgs Beach. This is where he introduced the clothing optional beach idea to those in attendance. He also met Key West Commissioner Terry Johnston at that time as well. This idea sparked a lively discussion where the press picked up on it. Articles and e-mails abound.
In meantime, SFFB legal/PR packets were given to Tracy, Allan, Dean and others. Approximately 30 packets were mailed to officials and other key leaders in the community. FKFB Cmte. continued to meet with key businesses about the idea and Commissioner Carrouthers reported her findings from the charrett to the Monroe County Commissioners and the c/o beach idea gained traction with Commissioners. Similar discussions took place with City of Key West Commission. To our surprise, we learned that a majority of both commissions found the idea favorable. The County Commission instructed the County Attorney to research the legality and potential county sites where nude sunbathing could occur.
I personally contacted the County Attorney and offered my knowledge, insight and facts about Haulover, and the criteria I used to select the site, etc. She was grateful for the offer and had Christina Limbert-Barrow, Ass’t County Attorney, who was given the assignment, phone me to discuss their concerns, questions and hear my recommendations. Ms. Limbert had learned most of what she knew about c/o beaches by reading SFFB’s and B.E.A.C.H.E.S. web sites and was personally in favor of c/o beaches for the Keys. She also agrees that Smather’s Beach is the best site.
I can’t say enough positive things about the activists with the FKFB Cmte. They are excited and motivated with great follow-through. Three of them traveled to Haulover to get Beach Ambassador training and meet with Haulover Park management and head lifeguard manager. When this beach comes to fruition, we can look to the local naturists for the credit.
Let’s get behind them and make this new venture work for all to enjoy.
Shirley Mason, Founder and “Mother of Haulover Beach”
Executive Director, B.E.A.C.H.E.S. Foundation Institute
Meeting Agenda Topics
Date: Friday – November 7, 2008 Location: Mason’s Home Time: 7PM
Meeting was called to primarily discuss how to achieve a clothing optional beach in the lower Florida Keys and forming a naturist group in that area. The secondary purpose is to discuss and to formulate a better and more efficient working relationship between SFFB and B.E.A.C.H.E.S. Foundation to utilize its resources and grow both organizations. Third, to discuss if it is time to try and overturn the state park anti-nudity rule on a location-by-location basis so naturists can re-establish their traditional clothing optional beaches — Honeymoon Island, Bahia Honda, Mac Arthur Beach and Navarre Beach.
Herman De Boer (Key West naturist (FKN);
Ted Mozino (Ft. Lauderdale SFFB Bd. Mbr); Willow-Christina (Ted’s Assistant);
Bruce Frendahl (SFFB & B.E.A.C.H.E.S. assistant); Norma Mitchell (SFFB VP);
Albert Pantaleon (SFFB Tres. & B.E.A.C.H.E.S. Bd. Mbr.); Richard Mason (SFFB Pres.);
Clyde Lott (SFFB Bd. Mbr.); Shirley Mason (B.E.A.C.H.E.S. Exec. Director)
1.Report from Herman w/ articles and thoughts on sites for a clothing optional beach
2.Report from Ted re: ideas about thoughts on reforming Florida Keys Naturists and clothing optional beach
3.Report from Norma and Shirley re: our April trip to Florida Keys and thoughts on formation of beach sites and nudist facilities in lower keys
4.To form a Keys club (at this time) or not to form a Keys club? * To work with existing FKN members or start fresh with new name and new people? * Beach first or club first?
5.Timeline for action: Herman will try to set a meeting with Xmas Tree Island Bernstein Family by Dec. 1st.
Ted and Willow will go with Herman for the meeting.
6.Gaining Members for SFFB
° “For Members Only”
° coordinating special events
Lobbying Meetings of
South Florida Free Beaches, Florida Keys Free Beaches Cmte.,
and B.E.A.C.H.E.S. Foundation
Date: Wednesday – May 6, 2009 Location: Key West City Commission Time: 11 AM
Meeting was called to primarily educate and discuss how to achieve a clothing optional beach in Key West with Commissioner Teri Johnston, specifically at the east end of Smathers Beach. Richard Mason called for the meeting as a follow-up to his meeting her on March 2, 09 and giving her a SFFB naturist legal-PR package featuring Haulover Beach.
Commissioner Teri Johnston (City of Key West); Richard Mason (SFFB Pres.);
Shirley Mason (B.E.A.C.H.E.S. Exec. Director); Herman De Boer (FKFB);
Tracy and Alan Leigh (FKFB); Dean Townsend (FKFB); Tom Chittenden (FKFB)
IMPRESSIONS & OBSERVATIONS: Commissioner Johnston is personally in favor of creating a c/o beach and stated that she will vote YES for its existence. She had not read the package of information we sent her and seemed to want to pass on being its champion until she felt sure the back-up facts and figures were shared to substantiate the financial and quality of life impact it would have on the Key West community.
KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FROM Commissioner Teri Johnston feels we need to write a report showing the positive and negative aspects to the community; begin a mass educational PR campaign to influence the public and mitigate the opposition. In other words, she is looking to have all the facts and figures to back-up her vote to her constituents. Note: Most of the facts and figures she wanted was in the package that she had not read. She stressed that Key West was looking to attract European tourists.
She also recommended we get with the Tourist Development Council (Harold Wheeler, Pres.) to use their information for projections of the tourism impact and where tourists are from, etc.
1201 White Street ° 305-296-1552 Meeting was set for 3 pm, 5/7 with TDC Jessica Bennett. Harold has previous appointment out of the office that day.
We expressed our preference for a c/o site was the east end of Smathers Beach. Her recommendation was that we should get with Commissioner Danny Kolich and get him to champion and carry water for this issue with the Commission.
Note: Kolich is not seeking re-election and he has three candidates running for his seat. Tom Lavender (naturists) is running for the seat. The other person is Billy Wardlow – unknown to us. We must get 4 votes.
Date: Wednesday – May 6, 2009 Location: Monroe County Commission Time: 3:00 PM
Meeting was called to primarily educate and discuss how to achieve a clothing optional beach in Key West with Monroe County Commissioner Heather Carrouthers, specifically at the east end of Smathers Beach with is a city-owned beach. Richard Mason called for the meeting after sending her a SFFB legal-PR package about Haulover Beach.
ATTENDING: Commissioner Heather Carrouthers (County Commission, District Key West); Richard Mason (SFFB Pres.); Shirley Mason (B.E.A.C.H.E.S. Exec. Director); Herman De Boer (FKFB); Tracy and Alan Leigh (FKFB); Dean Townsend (FKFB) with Doug Mayberry Reality; Tom Chittenden (FKFB)
IMPRESSIONS & OBSERVATIONS: Commissioner Carrouthers is personally in favor of creating a c/o beach and stated that she will vote YES for its existence. She championed the issue before the Commission, but had not read the package of information we sent her. She is highly motivated for Key West to have a c/o beach and seems to be willing to help us see this come to fruition.
KEY RECOMMENDATIONS: Commissioner Carrouthers feels we should do a formal educational campaign for both commissions and show it at a commission meeting during public input. It should be a Power Point presentation that includes testimonials, financial facts and figures, projections for Key West, pictures, etc. This will go a long way to selling the commission and the public – giving them the rationale to accept the beach and vote YES. We should also get letters of support from the various business associations, ie. Chamber of Commerce (305-294-2587) and the lodging association(s). Recommend that we get facts and figures from Harold Wheeler, Director of the Tourist Development Council. We must get 4 votes on the Key West Commission (for Smather’s Beach).
Note: I called for an appointment, 305-296-1552. Meeting with Jessica Bennett, Thurs. 5/7 at 3pm. 1201 White St. Carrouthers stated that the Monroe Co. Commission is waiting for report from County Attorney regarding the legality and potential future sites to make c/o. She mentioned that Monroe did not have many beaches to chose from and said that the closest one to Key West is Harry Harris Park in Boca Chica but did not comment on its suitability.
Note: The members of Florida Keys Free Beach Committee, SFFB and B.E.A.C.H.E.S. went to Herman’s home to discuss, strategize and assign tasks to be reported on via e-mail by Wednesday, May 13th. Since we selected Smather’s Beach, the City of Key West anti-nudity ordinance must be modified first to avoid arrest before establishing the beach. Our tentative target dates to christen the beach is either the weekend day beginning National Nude Recreation Week (July 5, 09) or the weekend after Haulover’s 18th Year Celebration (July 18 or 19, 09). Even though we do not feel the City Commission will have moved that fast with an affirmative decision, we may be able to at least got them to change the ordinance (42.9) quietly as a “housekeeping matter” through the City Attorney. That would allow us to take the issue into the hands of the naturists and decide when to establish the beach. This would also give the commissioners cover not have a formal vote, but to have it be defacto nude.
Dean Townsend knows and will speak to the State Attorney about the ordinance and suggest he speak to the City Attorney about changing the ordinance to put it in compliance with the Florida statute 800.03 with its Supreme Court interpretation of the law.
Allen Leigh meet with Commissioner Rossi about introducing the change in the anti-nudity ordinance. Can use the possible exemption to the ordinance for a “safe zone” like for Fantasy Fest.
Tracy Leigh meet with and get letters of support from Chamber of Commerce and all the various business associations and continue meeting with the Commissioners on an individual basis. (Call the Mason’s as needed during these meetings to get second party verification on Haulover issues.)
Tom Chittenden will do the Power Point presentation. Work with the web designer and Tracy
Albert Pantaleon convert “Nude Recreation is Good Business” video featuring the two interviews with Miami Beach Assis’t City Manager and Executive Director of Sunny Isles Resort Association to DVD with multiple copies.
Herman Du Boer is to arrange live interviews and to show our presentation on the Comcast community television station – channel 5.
Richard Mason has to write press releases, articles and resolution for the City Commission and get the endorsement and advise of Representative Ron Saunders.
Shirley Mason contact Shirley Freeman (305-294-2725 – SVFKW@bellsouth.net) and get her help, endorsement and advice. She was good friend of Tom & Barbara Silcox. Review stats from TDC and an Haulover and give to Tom C. Look into planning a junket to Haulover for commissioners, officials and business leaders so they can meet and interact with the same here as well as beachgoers.
Date: Thursday – May 7, 2009 Location: La-Tee-Da Restaurant Time: Noon
Meeting was called to primarily strategize on how to achieve a clothing optional beach in Key West with John Giuliano, Executive Director Key West Business Guild (GLBT & Allied Chamber of Commerce). Dean Townsend called for the luncheon meeting after sending him a SFFB legal-PR package about Haulover Beach.
John Giuliano, Executive Director Key West Business Guild; Dean Townsend; Richard Mason (SFFB Pres.);
Shirley Mason (B.E.A.C.H.E.S. Exec. Director); Albert Pantaleon (SFFB Treasurer and B.E.A.C.H.E.S. Bd. Mbr.)
IMPRESSIONS & OBSERVATIONS: John Giuliano stated that his organization’s members are 100% in favor of creating a c/o beach and they will provide a letter of support as well as notify their members to do the same for their individual businesses. He had read the package of information and would be pro-active and speak up with the Key West business community, etc. He’s quite familiar with and been to Haulover and knows it would be very good for KW.
KEY RECOMMENDATIONS: John Giuliano feels the change of the City of Key West’s anti-nudity ordinance would be the best strategy for moving the issue forward.
Date: Thursday – May 7, 2009 Location: Monroe County Tourist Development Council Time: 3:00 PM
Monroe County Tourist Development Council, Jessica Bennett, Director of Marketing Research and Harold Wheeler, Executive Director. 800-648-5510 or 305-296-1552 or 305-294-1936. 1201 White Street, Key West 33040-3328
Meeting was requested to get statistical tourism information in order to make accurate projections of financial impact of a clothing optional beach in Key West. This information will be essential combined with Haulover stats for the PowerPoint presentation. The second purpose was to explain who we were and give information about Haulover and gain their support, recommendations and professional help getting a nude beach question on their visitor survey.
Jessica Bennett, TDC Director of Marketing Research and Harold Wheeler, TDC Executive Director;
Richard Mason (SFFB Pres.); Shirley Mason (B.E.A.C.H.E.S. Exec. Director); Herman De Boer (FKFB);
Dean Townsend (FKFB) with Doug Mayberry Reality; Albert Pantaleon (SFFB Treasurer and B.E.A.C.H.E.S. Bd.)
IMPRESSIONS & OBSERVATIONS: Ms. Bennett was very knowledgeable and explained stats and how they collected visitor information. She felt that a c/o beach would be very helpful in attracting tourists. She was not familiar with the large numbers and financial impact of Haulover Beach and wasn’t aware that Miami Beach was top-free for women. After we explained Haulover, she went to get Mr. Wheeler to meet us and further discuss how to best help the effort. Mr. Wheeler stated that they would add the nude beach question on the web site Visitor Survey. NOTE: When this occurs, we need to notify the Naturist Network to get them to respond to the question. They will report the findings to all the cities and commissioners. This will become factual information that can be used in our State Parks project as well as help other clothing optional beach efforts around the country.
Mr. Wheeler was quite supportive of having c/o beaches in the Keys and stated how much it would improve business and an increase in tourists, especially European visitors. NOTE: The average Keys visitor spent $360 a day and the average stay was 6 nights but has decreased the second half of 2008 to 4 nights.
She provided the names, phone numbers and account executives of the TDC’s marketing, PR and advertising firms, encouraging us to contact them to move the process forward.
Date: Thursday – May 7, 2009 Location: Office of Monroe County Attorney Time: 4:45 PM
After speaking with County Attorney, Suzanne Hutton and with Christine Limbert-Barrow, Assistant County Attorney assigned to this project, sharing information on Haulover and Monroe County’s prospect of establishing the first official c/o beach in the county, I was asked to meet with Catherine when I came to town.
305-292-3470 * Fax 305-292-3516.
1. Discuss the legal obstacles with the City’s anti-nudity ordinance and how to modify it for compliance with State law; 2. Discuss and give the Miami-Dade Program Partnership Agreement and how it works for B.E.A.C.H.E.S. at Haulover Beach; 3. Ascertain the progress on this project and solicit their support with the City Commissioners.
Christine Limbert-Barrow, Assistant County Attorney assigned to this project; Shirley Mason (B.E.A.C.H.E.S. Exec. Director)
IMPRESSIONS & OBSERVATIONS: Ms. Limbert-Barrow was enthused about the prospect of a c/o beach in the City of Key West and the County. She agreed that the law was poorly written and agreed that putting in compliance with the Florida Statute would be the best. I pointed out how selective enforcement was common. She asked me to keep in touch and would let me know when her research was completed. I will get a copy. She made a copy of the Program Partnership updated document. We briefly discussed the top-free issue and how Miami Beach dealt with it.
She was impressed with what our naturist organizations accomplished with Haulover and would like to see ethe same here.
If our team does our part in an expedited fashion and communicates via teleconferences weekly, we can have this beach completed in the next 60 to 90 days. Then the real work will begin – naturists taking charge of, obtaining the beach concession rights and managing the beach.
Since Tracy and Allen are co-chairs of this Committee, I suggest they take the lead in coordinating these teleconference meeting and managing
Tourism stats will be shared in a separate e-mail. In the meantime, check out the TDA website. Good information there. www.fla-keys.com