Baseball may be fading from popularity, but opening day parallels, roughly, the spring equinox and the first pitch always heralds spring’s arrival. Complain about plodding games, but mankind has never come closer to perfection than 90 feet between the bases. Nothing on earth sounds quite like a ball hitting leather either.

“In the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” Even in the "Me, Too" environment, Tennyson's words retain their grandeur. If they bother you, go gender nonspecific. He also wrote “The Charge of the Light Brigade” so don’t get your bustle in a hedgerow. On the Emerald Coast, pollen tsunamis usher spring in along with crowded bistros and beaches. But it’s never indeed spring until the Walton County Sheriff Department sets up in Seaside. If you act the fool on vacation, then you might leave on probation. If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.

It doesn’t take a genius to realize the economic benefits tourism brings nor does it take one to see how local taxpayers subsidize tourism. The Walton Sheriff doesn’t have a transporter like Captain Kirk to beam their mobile substation to Seaside. It costs money to move and operate it. Having a Sheriff’s Office on wheels is a great idea, but Walton County taxpayers are on the hook. Let’s flip the script and use some of the millions in the Tourist Development Council’s coffers instead.

Imagine the overtime expenses and additional work spring break causes. Sure tourism generates revenue, but outside of the beach lifeguard program, local taxpayers pay all first responder expenses. At best tourism dollars trickle down to the Sheriff’s Department. We should take Bay County’s lead. Last year, the Bay County Tourist Development Council sent $775,000 to the Bay County Sheriff's Office, the Panama City Beach Police Department, and the lifeguard programs at the public beach parks.

We endured another Atlanta spring break. Atlanta would not be an economic colossus and home to the most obnoxious tourists in Creation except for a twist of fate, specifically, the South losing the Civil War. In the summer of 1864, Abraham Lincoln’s re-election was doubtful. Anti-war fervor swept the North, and a peace candidate, George McClellan, stood an excellent chance to defeat Lincoln. Outside Atlanta, Sherman was thwarted by his crafty foe and good friend, Joe Johnson. Jefferson Davis foolishly replaced Johnson with the impertinent and rash John Bell Hood who went on the offensive and promptly lost sealing the Confederacy’s fate. We are the world’s economic superpower because we are the United States of America not a polyglot of nations like South America. For decades the U.S dollar has been the world’s reserve currency giving the United States an unquestioned financial tailwind. Instead of excessive advertising, we should blame Jefferson Davis.

You can’t always get what you want but Buz Livingston, CFP can help you figure out what you need. For specific advice, visit or drop by 2050 West County Highway 30A, M1 Suite 230.