Mayor Chalermluk Kebsub said she had been listening to tourists and they wanted to bring their own beach chairs.
Governor Nisit Jansomwong insisted, however, that he wants his ''10 percent zone'' idea imposed at all of Phuket's popular holiday beaches, no matter what.
The beach chairs - in fact, chairs plus byo umbrellas of any kind - are banned.
But mats and umbrellas can be hired in the ''10 percent zone.''
''Please change your signs to remove the part that says the beach chairs are permitted,'' the governor told the mayor yesterday at a beach summit involving all three vice governors, the island's mayors and about 80 local authorities and police.
The mayor has also prepared her own version of the Dos and Donts signs that the governor insists must be placed at Patong, Karon, Kata, Kamala, Nai Harn, Nai Yang - all of the Thai island's best-known west coast beaches.
Phuket's Deputy Police Commander, Colonel Saman Chainarong, said that officers were already having problems because the governor's ''10 percent zones'' were not clearly defined.
Officers cannot tell whether umbrellas and mats are in an approved zone or not. Governor Nisit admitted this was still a problem, especially at Patong.
[Phuketwan has observed that it's presently impossible to know what's within the proposed zone and what's not at Patong. Our prediction: a lot more chaos before the issue is resolved. Better to allow tourists to bring beach chairs and umbrellas and sit wherever they like. Ban the jet-skis instead.]
''No kind of chair is allowed at any beach,'' the governor said yesterday.
This may come as a surprise to the jet-ski operators, masseuses and taxi drivers sitting on the sand on plastic chairs at Patong and other beaches, and to the officers who may one day have to pull them out from under.
Governor Nisit said that last week, at the ITB Berlin travel show, he encountered agents from Germany, Denmark and Scandanavia.
But he said those markets had been more affected by the economic downturn in Europe than what was happening on Phuket's beaches.
The long list of what's banned and what's not includes cigarettes.
Phuket's police have been extremely reluctant to take on the added responsibility of enforcing the governor's new beach lore.
Representatives from resorts were absent yesterday's meeting.
The governor says he has consulted everyone with a vested interest in the beaches, yet he hasn't met with the island's honorary consuls since becoming governor in October.
The consuls are regarded by most people as the representatives of the tourists and expat residents.
Governor Nisit said he expected millions more tourists from China will be coming to Phuket.
He told the meeting that he wanted only the poorest of the beach workers to be given jobs back on the beach.
All commercial activity was cleared from the sands by the Army and Navy last year but instead of keeping private profit-takers away, the governor has compromised by allowing the hire of mats and umbrellas in 10 percent of beaches.
It's difficult to know how this will work in the full-on crowd of a Phuket high season. It's also hard to understand why mats and umbrellas have been allowed to return, but the comfortable sunbeds remain banned.
Colonel Saman asked Mayor Chalermlak yesterday why well-known Patong businessman ''Prab'' Keesin was listed to have a licence as a vendor at three of the Patong region's beaches.
Mayor Chalermlak said the list of 59 authorised vendors was an old, outdated list, from the time when Khun Prab's late father Pian Keesin was mayor of Patong.
Clean Beach Zone 90%
Water & Light snack
No beach bed
No Food Vendors
Special Zone 10%
Water & Light Snacks
No Beach Bed
No Food Vendors