SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Shane Wilson was caught in the crosshairs after his petition to “Save the Island” began garnering signatures and attention last week.
After six days, the petition has 446 signatures on the Internet and Wilson said he has more than 200 hard copy signatures to back them up.
His petition calls for city leaders to tame Spring Break by imposing stricter regulations on businesses and promoters to ensure the safety of visitors and residents and protect the image of the Island.
And he intends to turn them over to the City Council today for consideration at the council’s next workshop to re-evaluate the existing ordinances and special event permits.
“It was not Property Owners Who Care that sponsored the petition. It was Property Owners Who Care that sponsored the Spring Break solutions meeting held at the Convention Center last week,” he said.
Wilson has been an Island resident for more than 20 years.
And he is the leader of the Property Owners Who Care homeowners association, representing homeowners on the Island. The group is calling for the City Council to enact new regulations and rules for mass gatherings on the Island.
“I introduced the petition because I was the composer of it,” Wilson said. “There are a lot of people who agree with it and there are a lot of people who don’t.”
He said since the City Council had moved its Spring Break solutions meeting to June, the committee wanted to meet to come up with solutions to share with the city while Spring Break was still fresh on their mind.
“The solutions will give them (City Council) ideas that are outside the box and from their constituents,” Wilson said. “We have a great City Council and they all have a vision to improve the Island and make it a little better.
“We’re trying to save Spring Break but we’re also trying to make folks more responsible,” Wilson said. “Spring Break is for all of us.”
To dodge the traffic, loud music and large crowds, Wilson, like many residents, stays off the Island during Spring Break’s peak times.
Wilson said one problem was the UME festival at Clayton’s Beach Bar and Grill with the constant thumping of music.
“It’s too much for us to handle the noise and the traffic and it’s hard to go to sleep,” Wilson said.
He said if there are no serious changes and planning for these large events, it is going to be too dangerous for college kids.
“There ought to be a little stronger guidelines in order to control it so it doesn’t get too dangerous,” Wilson said.
6 – Number of accidents involving injury/death
16 – Simple assaults
7 – Disorderly conduct by fighting
9 – Driving while intoxicated
Solutions to tame Spring Break:
* Costs and expenses should be borne by the venue owner and the promoters
* Venue owner and the promoter — not the city — should be responsible for the management, control and conduct
* City would impose additional requirements on the venue owners
* Enforce all local ordinances pertaining to traffic, parking, alcohol consumption