Many of Fernandina Beach‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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 ‚ÄúIf this were the Florida Keys, there would be no issue‚Äù. 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 ‚ÄúGrandfathered‚Äù in? Who knows‚Ä¶ that is what lawyers are for!