Rauf Bolden: Call for purchasing a public beach in Orange Beach

Buying beachfront property for the greater good of Orange Beach residents is not in sync with local government’s views of spending money without a verifiable return-on-investment. A gated beach with ample parking and bathroom facilities for the residents is obviously frivolous compared to Council’s aggressive investment criteria, but it does meet the criteria of local voters, caring very much to have a place in the sun for their families to enjoy.

It is as if elected officials are undervaluing their electoral alliances. They are not seeing the happiness they could generate with the local voters through this simple act of community good, giving residents something constituent families can actually touch besides a bridge.

The problem of providing public access to beaches baffles policy experts across the country.

“An increase in the population of coastal counties and popularity of coastal beaches as tourism destinations create difficulties for management agencies responsible for providing public beach access,” according to a report in Science Direct.

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