Volunteer Life Saving Corps meets petition requirement for Nov. 8 voter referendum

VLSC collected enough signatures to let voters decide their access to Jacksonville Beach lifeguard tower and resources

Jacksonville Beach countersues volunteer lifeguards in ongoing spat

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – The Supervisor of Elections for Duval County said the Volunteer Life Saving Corps (VLSC) of Jacksonville Beach has officially met the minimum requirements to place a voter referendum on the November 8 ballot.

The VLSC collected signatures from 10% of registered Jacksonville Beach voters to get to placed on the ballot. The proposal calls for the city to give up any ownership of the historic lifeguard station and the property on which it sits and immediately let the corps resume its operations.

The petition was in support of letting voters decide whether to allow volunteer lifeguards to work in parallel with Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue lifeguards.

RELATED: Volunteer lifeguards now suing Jacksonville Beach in ongoing spat | Jacksonville Beach countersues volunteer lifeguards in ongoing spat | Volunteer lifeguards push to return, take fight to Jacksonville Beach City Hall | Jacksonville Beach responds to ongoing dispute with volunteer lifeguards

“We were thrilled with the overwhelming public support we received for the referendum petition”, said Jim Emery, VLSC Board of Directors President. “It is now up to the City of Jacksonville Beach to act upon the wishes of voters and follow state laws governing its own duties to complete this process and get the referendum placed on the November ballot. The city’s constituents have indicated in a decisive way, that they wish to vote on this matter.”

The VLSC and the City of Jacksonville Beach have been at odds since December 2021 following a Department of Labor investigation into wage and hours laws violations. The investigation stemming from some paid Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue (JBOR) lifeguards also serving as volunteer guards with the VLSC.

On April 5, Jacksonville Beach terminated its 10-year agreement with the VLSC for volunteer service on Sundays and holidays, while also locking the VLSC out of the ARC Volunteer Life Saving Station.

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