It's about life - not "lifestyle"
On February 15, 2002, the Associated Press ran a small article titled "Visitors to Greenwich, Conn., Must Now Pay To Use Beaches".

Paying to use beaches on the East Coast of the United States is nothing new, and my heart goes out to those who have to endure this. It is probably a good thing for residents, as any viewing of a night photo of North America from space will show where the population density is. It is so foreign to people from the other two coasts, however, and since the concept of "user fees" gained so much popularity during the Clinton administration, it would be worth having a quick examination of this particular situation simply as a warning lesson.

The newly adopted town ordinace forces "out-of-towners" to now pay $408 in permits to visit Greenwich beaches. It requires a non-resident to purchase a seasonal pass for $308, and fork out another $100 to park a vehicle. The seasonal pass holders could bring a guest for an additional $6 each, but is limited to only 30 guest passes (for the day or the season was not mentioned).

The fact that this ordinance was passed at all was due to a lawsuit filed by an attorney named Brenden Leydon, who was refused access to a beach there while jogging. Prior to Mr. Leydon winning his lawsuit,
the town beaches were resident only - no visiitors at all under any circumstance!

Getting to be financially raped by a snobby township was an improvement over the way it was before! Yikes!

So keep this in mind the next time someone talks of the benefits of User Fees to access something you've already paid taxes on or have been using all your life. Be ever vigilant, as they say. Watch for parking meters...

Copyright (C) 2002. All rights reserved.