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Tim Howard
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THE OWNERS OF SEVERAL ENGLEWOOD BEACH BUSINESSES WERE AT THE WHITE ELEPHANT PUB MONDAY AFTERNOON TO SHOW THEIR SUPPORT FOR A SATURDAY PROTEST RALLY AGAINST A POSSIBLE TRAILER BEING PUT IN THE PARKING LOT OF THE BEACH.  WHITE ELEPHANT OWNER PAT O’CONNOR TOLD WFLN NEWS THAT HE PUT TOGETHER THE 11AM PROTEST RALLY FOR SATURDAY BECAUSE THE LOCAL BUSINESSES ON THE BEACH ARE UPSET THAT CHARLOTTE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS PUT BIDS OUT TO HAVE A TRAILER ON THE BEACH PARKING LOT, WHICH WOULD TAKE AWAY PRECIOUS PARKING SPACES AND GIVE THE OWNERS OF THE TRAILER, SHARKY’S ON THE PIER IN VENICE, AN UNFAIR ADVANTAGE, NOT TO MENTION IT WOULD BE A BLIGHT TO THE SCENERY AT THE BEACH.  CHARLOTTE COUNTY COMMISSIONER ROBERT SKIDMORE APPEARS TO BE IN THE CROSSHAIRS OF THE BUSINESS OWNERS’ CONSTURNATION, BUT HE TOLD THE ENGLEWOOD EDGE THAT THE BID PROCESS WAS A “VERY PUBLIC PROCESS.”  A PRE-SUBMITTAL MEETING WAS HELD IN MAY FOR BUSINESSES INTERESTED IN BIDDING ON THE MOBILE CONCESSION SERVICES AT THE BEACH, AND SEVEN RESTAURANTS SHOWED UP.  FOUR BIDS WERE REPORTEDLY SUBMITTED, WITH THE SHARKY’S BID OF $12,000 A YEAR BASE RENT PLUS 10% OF ALL BEER AND WINE SALES AND 5% OF GROSS SALES OF OVER $240,000 DOLLARS ACCEPTED.  THE FACT THAT BEER AND WINE WOULD BE SOLD ON THE BEACH HAS OTHER BUSINESS OWNERS UP IN ARMS, PLUS THEY WOULD BE ALLOWED TO SELL SUNDRY AND SOUVENIR ITEMS AS WELL, WHICH THE OWNER OF THE BAREFOOT TRADER, TOBY DELBRIDGE SAYS WILL KILL HIS BUSINESS OF OVER 20 YEARS.