Coletta Wants Drug Paraphernalia Not Present

Coletta Wants Drug Paraphernalia Not Present
Posted by CN Staff on May 09, 2002 at 10:17:22 PT
By Mireidy Fernandez
Source: Naples Daily News 
The next time Collier County Parks and Recreation throws a party for the community, one county leader wants to be certain vendors aren't selling anything inappropriate  like drug paraphernalia. Commission Chairman Jim Coletta has asked County Manager Tom Olliff to review the language in county contracts for arts and crafts vendors and to add wording that would prohibit the sale of drug paraphernalia and tobacco products. 
Coletta made his request after he received a complaint about ceramic pipes, believed to be used to smoke marijuana, being sold at the Country Jam 2002 on April 12-13. An Ochopee resident who attended the county-sponsored party at Vineyards Community Park called Coletta on April 13 to complain. "My reaction when he called was, 'No way,'" Coletta said. "His description was quite graphic." Coletta then headed out to the park to see the pipes for himself. "There were these pipes smaller than what you would regularly use to smoke tobacco," Coletta said. "There was also a picture of a Jamaican artist who was smoking a very large pipe with a cover over the top." Coletta informed John Veit, county parks superintendent, about the matter. Veit took action. "I went over to the vendor and asked the vendors to remove it," Veit said. "The pipes were decorative pipes but didn't look like normal pipes. There could have been a perception that it's not a normal thing." Veit said county staff wanted to ensure concertgoers were comfortable. He wanted also to defuse any notion the county was advocating drug use. James Fitzek, operations manager for county parks, said arts and crafts vendors for countywide functions are contracted on a first-come, first-served basis. Vendors rent space from the county and submit a list of the items they'll be selling. "We do strict monitoring of our vendors," Fitzek said. "If someone doesn't follow the rules we set out, we don't invite them back." Although he didn't think the pipes sold at Country Jam were illegal, Fitzek said the vendor who was selling them didn't alert county staff the pipes would be for sale. "We've had people who come and set up and start doing palm readings," he said. "We tell them it's not appropriate. That's not part of our agreement." For Country Jam 2002, all 18 vendors selling arts and crafts each paid $100 for every 10-foot-by-10-foot spot. Coletta said in future county-sponsored events, children and families shouldn't be exposed to anything that even remotely looks like drug paraphernalia or tobacco. "Tobacco products are something I would rather not see at these functions," Coletta said. "I definitely know drugs are totally unacceptable." Complete Title: Coletta Wants To Make Sure Drug Paraphernalia Not Present at Future County-Sponsored Events Source: Naples Daily News (FL)Author: Mireidy FernandezPublished: Thursday, May 9, 2002Copyright: 2002 Naples Daily NewsContact: letters naplesnews.comWebsite: Articles - Paraphernalia
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