NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. – The mayor of Neptune Beach says her city is a ticking time bomb for liabilities unless changes are made before the next major holiday celebration.
Thousands flooded the streets on July 4 as seen in YouTube videos that show apparently drunken cyclists and possible inebriated onlookers.
Mayor Harriet Pruette called it a chaotic circus. She showed Action News pictures she snapped during the holiday afternoon earlier this month.
They show a laundry list of what she calls irresponsible and illegal activity.
"In 30 years in living on Third Street, I don't know that I’ve ever seen it worse," she said.
The mayor says something has to be done. She recently met with the police chief to get answers.
The bottom line is that Neptune Beach doesn't have enough resources to handle the thousands who descend on the coastal community for the July 4 celebrations.
According to the mayor, officers didn't start their shift until 2 p.m., which is hours after the outdoor parties began.
Many officers were busy responding to the deck collapse. No one was seriously injured, but the mayor says it was one of many reminders that Neptune Beach isn't going to tolerate Bourbon Street-style behavior.
Sidney Simmons lives next door to where the deck collapsed during a July 4 party. He says this year was out of control. "This year I could tell things were elevated a bit as far as the party level went.”
Now the city is working on a plan to generate more money to increase the police presence next year.