Jekyll hires officer to enforce rules
The Brunswick News
By NIKKI Wiley
August 21, 2012 

Breaking the rules on Jekyll Island in the past might have gotten violators little more than scornful looks from a few passersby.

But now, breaking ordinances might get offenders more.

Jones Hooks, executive director of the authority, says the authority has hired a code enforcement officer to enforce the island's ordinances.

Offenders could find themselves in Brunswick Municipal Court, which will handle code citations issued on Jekyll.

Jekyll Island has hundreds of ordinances pertaining to property upkeep, beach use and pets, among others.

While ordinances carry the force of law, the authority has not had a dedicated employee to enforce the rules. The Georgia State Patrol polices the island, but the responsibilities of officers pertain to law enforcement, not carrying out Jekyll Island-specific ordinances.

"This is something the board has been concerned about for a while," Hooks said.

Phil Lyons has taken on the role of code compliance officer after retiring from a career in law enforcement. He says he wants to take a people-approach to ensure island residents and guests are aware of ordinances.

"There are certain ordinances that are unique to Jekyll Island, and what we're going to do is work with the public to make sure all of the ordinances are kept," Lyons said. "We're going to be talking with the residents, and if there's a violation, we'll give them a warning and ask them to please correct. If there are visitors who don't know what the ordinances are, we're not going to write tickets all day."

Lyons plans to educate residents and issue warnings for non-compliance before resorting to citations.
Visitors or residents cited for violating an ordinance will have to appear in municipal court and could be fined.