MURDOCK — Following widespread public appeal to retain “The Beach Guy” as the chair and umbrella vendor at Englewood Beach, the Charlotte County Board of Commissioners has decided to defer the decision.

In a session on Tuesday, Commissioner Joe Tiseo’s attempt to accept Mark Timchula’s bid for beach concessions encountered resistance as no other commissioners seconded his motion.

The county’s attorney informed Tiseo that they were unable to proceed as Tim Chula, also known as “The Beach Guy,” did not hold the top-ranked bid. The commissioners were limited to voting on accepting or rejecting the bid ranked highest by county staff.

Miami-based firm Bike and Roll secured the top spot with a score of 72.4 out of 100 points from county staff, while its owner, Josh Squire, did not address the meeting.

Tim Chula, a resident of Englewood, secured the second position with a bid of 67.2 points. In his proposal, Tim Chula highlighted his establishment of the concession business on Englewood Beach over 12 years ago.

During the public comment segment, Chula emphasized that his contract had been renewed in August, and he had recently invested in new equipment, including an ATV for beach operations. He expressed concern about being left with numerous chairs and umbrellas if he did not secure the contract.

Dominic Trahan, representing Manasota Valet, ranked third with 52.9 points in his proposal.

The evaluation of proposals was conducted by a team consisting of Mike Koenig, Community Services resource manager; Tina Powell, Parks & Natural Resources manager; and Cynthia DiGiacomo, Community Services coordinator. They assessed proposals based on experience, equipment rental concept, and the proposed rental fee to the county.

The new bids were presented several months after a group of approximately 25 residents urged the board to allow Chula to retain his contract for Englewood Beach concessions.

During the prior discussion, commissioners expressed their desire to exclude fishing pole rentals from the new bid proposal and set a minimum monthly charge of $1,000 payable by the vendor to the county.

Bike and Roll’s proposal offered $1,595 per month to the county, projecting an annual revenue between $100,000 and $200,000. Some speakers criticized this, arguing it would result in higher prices for beach equipment and rentals.

Resident Peggy Burton contended that passing on increased costs to retirees with fixed incomes was unjust, prompting Commissioner Chris Constance to suggest allowing the three bidders to make presentations to the board.

The board ultimately decided to postpone the vote until presentations could be heard from each bidder. Commissioner Bill Truex emphasized that Englewood Beach was not exclusive to any one vendor, and Commissioner Tiseo committed to formulating uniform questions for all bidders, notifying them of the board’s request for presentations at a future meeting.