LETTER: Destin should not charge for parking

Staff Writer
The Destin Log
The Destin Log

Okaloosa County citizens have always been united, worked together and helped one another out until you decided to divide us. Just because you are privileged to have the beach by your town, you want to limit the access to the free, public beaches for those of us who live inland by charging us $5 to park near the beaches (for a limit of 5 hours) while giving only Destin residents a free parking pass.

Perhaps Niceville should charge non-Niceville residents $5 parking when your people want to come to an event at the Mattie Kelly Fine Arts Center, Fort Walton Beach should charge you to park when you want to come to the Billy Bowlegs festival, Crestview should charge outsiders $5 just to park anywhere on its city streets. What a slap in the face you are giving to your neighbors who have always welcomed you to our towns with open arms!

I am retired on a small pension. I come to Destin only a few times a month because of the expensive bridge tolls, but when I do, I always take time to go to the beach for 20 or 30 minutes to take a short stroll or just watch the sunset. After paying for the bridge, I don’t have an additional $5 to pay parking for 20 minutes of beach time.

Please reconsider your divisive decision. If not because you care about your Okaloosa neighbors, then do it for selfish reasons. Why should we shop at stores, go to a movie, or dine out in Destin, when we can go to Fort Walton instead, do our business, and go to the beach there for free?

Why should the county give you extra funds anymore? You also are the ones likely to be most damaged if there is a hurricane. Don’t you need us to feel neighborly towards you and want to help you out if you have a disaster?

Well, right now I’m not feeling very neighborly!

Kirsten Leach, Niceville