Fernandina Residents Rally Behind Felix Jones

Many of Fernandina Beach’s residents are rallying support for Felix Jones, an icon of Amelia Island. Many are saying that the city is trying to shut him down. Our city officials are trying to figure out how to keep him operating legally! They have met with the Business Association and with Felix’s mother and many great ideas are being exchanged.

Felix Jones and his vending operation will be discussed during the City Commissioner Meeting Tuesday night at 6:00 PM. Many of Fernandina Beach’s residents, including our team at SearchAmelia.com, are rallying support for this icon of Amelia Island. Many are saying that the city is trying to shut him down. Our city officials are trying to figure out how to keep him operating legally! They have met with the Business Association and with Felix’s mother and many great ideas are being exchanged.

There are many facets to the issue such as the proper handling, labeling and packaging of the food he sells, whether he has a business license, does he pay taxes on his earnings? Does he ride his tricycle on the sidewalk? Is he selling from the right of ways where his safety becomes an issue? The City is working diligently to find the quickest way to bring him into compliance, not to shut him down!

I have heard “If this were the Florida Keys, there would be no issue”. But, this is not the Keys, nor is it St. Augustine, Florida, another community that has endured long discussions regarding street musicians and vendors.

In 2003, after local businesses had complained about competition from street performers in St. Augustine, District Judge Henry Lee Adams Jr. issued an injunction barring the city from enforcing a recent ordinance banning street performances on St. George Street. “Street performances are a form of expression protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution.” Merchants got the city to ban the performers for alleged safety issues, but after public outcry, and a lawsuit, St. Augustine acceded and as of March 2003 the performers were back in business.

Can Felix be “Grandfathered” in? Who knows… that is what lawyers are for!

6 Comments

  1. tommylee

    Here is a suggestion for the City Council. In stead of trying to find ways to make him compliant, they should assist him in his effort by a mentoring program. Isn't that something that normally falls within the competence of the Chamber of Commerce? Well it is at least in our “under developed area”. Or maybe there is something like a small business association. Hey there is an Idea for Jamie. small fee assistance to help new start-ups succeed.

    However back to Felix. If the city commissioners go strictly by the book and overcome all above mentioned issues about safety, labeling, etc. ect. there is still the old ordinance of 1955 that hangs in the air (not to allow street or door-to-door vendind within the city limits so technically, even after complying to all other hurdles, they can still enforce the antiquated law?

    Be on your guard tonight since the city council still has to scrap the ordinance from the books!!!

  2. dreamsfloatjoe

    I suspect more people would miss Felix than any member of FB City Council. I know I will!

    I dare you to name one person in downtown Fernandina Beach on a daily basis that attempts to bring a smile, entertain, is well mannered and more polite than Felix? Go ahead, I dare you!

    Seems to me some folks just don't play well with others!

    Good luck tonight Felix!

    Love and hugs,

  3. John Wheelwright

    After 20 years selling his wares and playing his music, Felix Jones is an automatic grandfathered institution, if only by sheer default of the city NOT having enforced a 1955 Ordinance. Ordinances and Laws are not written to not be enforced from day one of the acceptance. I would in a counter action start a law suit against the City for not enforcing the laws and thereby allowing the impression that it is okay to break the law until somebody sees political advantage (as might be the case here) in bringing this to the forefront. So here are the city's 2 options: Grandfather Felix Jones' into the downtown community as a peddler and street musician or remove him from the scenery, in which case the city may expect a law suit for non-enforcement and non compliance with city ordinances.

  4. tommylee

    No see, there is where the fault comes in. Nowhere is it stated that he is already a 20 year old veteran on the vending arena, so I'm thinking he's like 2-3 months vending…..

    sure there is no way out for the city fathers… they'll have to grandfather him in. Statutes of “crime” are even shorter in “expiration”.

  5. rhiannon

    felix has a write to be here and i am very happy that the city said yes and i would like to thank kieth for setting this up!!

  6. someone i am

    FELIX ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!! I WOULD BE SAD IF HE COULDN'T STAY TO SELL COOKIES AND PEANUTS AND EVERTHING ELSE , ONE BECAUSE THER SOOO GOOD AND TWO BECAUSE ALL THE MONEY GOES TO CHAIRITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I AM SOOOO HAPPY HES HERE TO STAY!!!!!!!!!! : ) <3

Leave a Comment