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**UPDATE**LAWSUIT filed on behalf of billboard boat in our Veteran's Boat Parade

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**UPDATE**LAWSUIT filed on behalf of billboard boat in our Veteran's Boat Parade

Old 11-05-2019, 05:55 PM
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Default **UPDATE**LAWSUIT filed on behalf of billboard boat in our Veteran's Boat Parade


Many of you may know that I am involved in the production and operation of The American Legion Post 273 Veteran's Boat Parade in Madeira Beach. The boat parade was started by 4 local residents of Madeira Beach and neighboring Treasure Island 23 years ago. This Saturday, Nov. 9th (Veterans' Day) we are setting sail once again to cruise the waterways of our two towns in patriotically dressed boats to honor our military Vets.

Two months ago we discussed having our local Electronic Billboard Boat ride along in the parade and post up thank you's and Veteran homecoming videos while participating in the parade.

Now the controversy! City Ordinance in both Madeira Beach and Treasure Island forbid advertising of any kind along the locally controlled waterways. They do have the authority to enforce their regulations. I know..it's the Army Corp of Engineers waterway or the local Sheriffs duty right? Well no, the city's have had these ordinances drawn up by lawyers and put in place and are enforcing them.

We went to the City Manager of Madeira Beach once we heard of the issue and got an exemption for 3 days to run the Billboard Boat along the parade route. Two weekends prior to the event to advertise the event only and then on the actual day of the parade to post up his messages and videos pertaining to thanking our Vets.

Treasure Island said no from the get go! They then said they would put it to a vote in the City Meeting which was tonight, Nov. 5. We sent information regarding the parade history to the City Manager last week and explained that the last living member of the original 4 planners of the parade lived in Treasure Island and that the American Legion and VFW posts were sponsors of the event and would she ask the city council to grant a one day exemption and allow the Billboard Boat to participate in the parade. She said she did not see that as an unreasonable request and thought it would be doable.

Well fast forward to tonight. The City council not only voted against allowing the billboard boat with the ''Veteran Thank You'' messages into their waters, the City attorney read the ordinance and it states that NO boat is allowed to have a message or advertising on it while in the waterways controlled by Treasure Island.

We have over 50 boats signed up to participate in the parade. These boats will be chock full of decorations, messages thanking vets and loved ones that have served as well as insignias and accolades for the various branches of the military. The whole parade takes about 2 1/2 hours to run.

We have access to the local media and they have been notified. The National media is also getting press releases on this parade and the brewing controversy.

I will keep you posted on developments.

As of now we have made the decision to run the parade route as we have the past 23 years and see what comes of it. The Electronic Billboard Boat owner has been requested to do as he feels is in his right. He posted this up on his Facebook page a few weeks ago when it reared it's head originally and the response was overwhelming. 90% in favor.

The few local and vocal residents have a valid point about the Billboard cruising the beach flashing it's advertising. I get it, it's not for everybody. It is popular among the local businesses as he is doing very well.

He is a very nice guy and wants to do what is right and not upset the masses but he is also a strong supporter of the military and our Vets and feels, as do I, that he should be able to participate in our annual parade.

Here is his facebook link
https://www.facebook.com/pg/floridab...=page_internal

Here are our parade links as well as the links to THT threads on the parade. P.S. we have several THT members in the parade or working as volunteers for the parade. All money we raise goes to local Veterans Charities!

https://www.facebook.com/AnnualVeteransBoatParade/

https://veteransboatparade.org/

THT Threads with photos
https://www.thehulltruth.com/florida...h-nov-9-a.html

Need help with a flyover for Veteran's Day...Madeira Beach, Fl.
te

Last edited by signmansez; 01-08-2020 at 11:19 AM. Reason: upda
Old 11-05-2019, 05:59 PM
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Do your thing...I'd love to see them "arrest" 50+ boats/boaters!
Old 11-05-2019, 06:13 PM
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Good luck and hope goes well, do what’s right for our vets and can’t wait to hear how this goes, but my vote is to go for it.....
Old 11-05-2019, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by signmansez View Post
...Two months ago we discussed having our local Electronic Billboard Boat ride along in the parade and post up thank you's and Veteran homecoming videos while participating in the parade.
Well, this certainly isn't advertising. And I believe an argument could be made that this "message" is equivalent to boaters who have "Merry Christmas" proudly displayed on their boats every year.

Just my opinion.....

Good luck!
Old 11-05-2019, 06:22 PM
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Everyone who voted no should be shipped to Syria for a 4 year tour.
Old 11-05-2019, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisW21 View Post
Well, this certainly isn't advertising. And I believe an argument could be made that this "message" is equivalent to boaters who have "Merry Christmas" proudly displayed on their boats every year.

Just my opinion.....

Good luck!
I'll add another thought......

Are boats with wraps banned? Like, fishing teams with all the sponsor names? How about charters with wraps? Those are advertising.

Just wondering.....
Old 11-05-2019, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisW21 View Post
I'll add another thought......

Are boats with wraps banned? Like, fishing teams with all the sponsor names? How about charters with wraps? Those are advertising.

Just wondering.....
The gray area is as big as our ocean on this one! My Co-Chairwoman was at the Treasure Island City meeting tonight and couldn't believe what she was hearing.

As of now the parade will proceed as planned. We have a huge Veteran population as well as many families of Vets and active duty service personnel in Treasure Island. The TI American Legion and VFW Posts are also sponsors of our parade. It would not be fair to them to not see this huge flotilla in their backyards and be able to honor our Vets!
Old 11-05-2019, 06:35 PM
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Controlling waterways and silencing free speech are vastly different things. I would sue them in federal court in an effort for the feds to smack them around a bit.
Old 11-05-2019, 06:42 PM
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I’m a bit confused I guess. If the EBB isn’t being used for advertising and solely for vet stuff, what exactly is the issue? The advertising on the hull?
Old 11-05-2019, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by WeeKilt View Post
I’m a bit confused I guess. If the EBB isn’t being used for advertising and solely for vet stuff, what exactly is the issue? The advertising on the hull?
They have ticketed him once before in violation of the code. He paid the ticket and obeys the ordinance. He will doing the exact same thing as the rest of the 50 or so boats in the parade are doing. Displaying a Thank You message or a message of gratitude towards to those that have served or are still serving.

Our two Grand Marshals are WWII Vets. Both were in Normandy on D-Day. One was on a Destroyer, the other jumped, he has 33 years in the military!! He was in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and fought in the Faukland Island Conflict among others! Can you imagine how he will react when he hears of this?
Old 11-05-2019, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by WeeKilt View Post
I’m a bit confused I guess. If the EBB isn’t being used for advertising and solely for vet stuff, what exactly is the issue? The advertising on the hull?
", the City attorney read the ordinance and it states that NO boat is allowed to have a message or advertising on it while in the waterways controlled by Treasure Island."
Old 11-05-2019, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary999 View Post
", the City attorney read the ordinance and it states that NO boat is allowed to have a message or advertising on it while in the waterways controlled by Treasure Island."
Seems pretty black and white to this Marine.
Old 11-05-2019, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by WeeKilt View Post

Seems pretty black and white to this Marine.
II agree the ordinance is black and white but I also know that ordinances are struck down as being unconstitutional on a regular basis.

If we were not out of town I would certainly run my boat up there to join you guys and then join an act of civil disobedience. Sometimes speaking out and speaking up is simply the right thing to do.

Good luck to you all! If there are any fines assessed please start a go fund me and I will be one of the first ones to contribute.

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Old 11-05-2019, 07:08 PM
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When we start allowing people to flaunt a law under the auspices of “good intentions” we need to accept that those whose intensions don’t align with ours get to use it too.

I like black and white... on a voting slip. Don’t like the rules, change em.
Old 11-05-2019, 07:10 PM
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The ordinance itself could probably be successfully challenged on the basis of free speech. That said, lawyers are expensive so you'd need a sponsor. If only there were an organization dedicated to protecting people's rights. You know something like an ACLU that actually fulfilled its charter.
Old 11-05-2019, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by WeeKilt View Post
When we start allowing people to flaunt a law under the auspices of “good intentions” we need to accept that those whose intensions don’t align with ours get to use it too.

I like black and white... on a voting slip. Don’t like the rules, change em.
It's it's good to know you never speed
Old 11-05-2019, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by WeeKilt View Post
When we start allowing people to flaunt a law under the auspices of “good intentions” we need to accept that those whose intensions don’t align with ours get to use it too.

I like black and white... on a voting slip. Don’t like the rules, change em.
I'll bet ol' King George said the same thing.
Old 11-05-2019, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary999 View Post
", the City attorney read the ordinance and it states that NO boat is allowed to have a message or advertising on it while in the waterways controlled by Treasure Island."
don’t have any words = no message, just do pictures/video of American flags , trees with yellow ribbons, hugging and sharing with obvious vets or vets in wheel chairs, Purple Heart medal ceremonies, POW/MIA flag, flag ceremonies etc.... on a rotating loop video could put a moving touching video with no “words or message”. Just an idea but a shame that this world has come to that, would figurevin a boat parade , could have names of local business on boat as sponsors etc, would be accepted. But just goes to prove that it’s time to vote out the dingbat dimwit city council that voted against this.
Old 11-05-2019, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by RIDE2GETHER View Post
It's it's good to know you never speed
I take the beating when I get caught, pay my fine, move on. I’m a fan of equality, irregardless of how it chaps others. I figure I helped in a small part to preserve our right to create laws, decide they suck, and change them.
Old 11-05-2019, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by WeeKilt View Post
When we start allowing people to flaunt a law under the auspices of “good intentions” we need to accept that those whose intensions don’t align with ours get to use it too.

I like black and white... on a voting slip. Don’t like the rules, change em.
Before I react or comment on the actual ordinance I need to see it and see what it actually says.

The gray area would seem to be.. are parade boats with messages included, are wrapped boats with advertising included, are SEA TOW boats with their names plastered along the hull included, are dock installers included, real estate boats, etc. The list goes on and on.

As mentioned the parade has been plying the waterways without an issue for 22 years. Treasure Island was actually a paying sponsor up until a few years ago when they opted out but they still supported and encouraged our event in their waters. Now what do you with the numerous Christmas Boat Parades that run our waters come December??

They all have flashing lights, messages and music!!

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