Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Freedom Wins Out Over Government Tyranny In Clearwater

Here at the Notepad, I have previously posted on the unfortunate saga of Clearwater, Fla. business owner Herb Quintera here and here, who ran afoul of his municipal government for first having murals painted on the exterior of his business, then got in even deeper doo-doo for erecting a large copy of the 1st Amendment on his commercial property.

I am happy to report that the city of Clearwater has backed down and agreed to a settlement:
Herb Quintero, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, sued on the basis of the First Amendment. A fish mural painted on the side of his bait and tackle shop, "The Complete Angler" was at the center of the controversy.

The city said the mural was an advertisement and violated city code. Clearwater ordered Quintero to remove the mural and assessed fines. After a long legal battle, Clearwater is backing down.

Monday, City Council approved a $55,000 settlement that allows Quintero to keep the mural and even add to it. The settlement pays Quintero's fines and legal fees. He says the victory is bittersweet.

"We won the battle, but we definitely didn't win the war," Quintero said. "It's a shallow victory for us."

You can read the entire MyFoxTampaBay story here.

Shallow victory perhaps, but a victory nonetheless. Its just too bad the citizens of that town had to take a $55,000 hit in the ass due to the mindless rigidity of their over-zealous elected officials.

Well, elections do have their consequences, do they not?

It further appears the powers-that-be in that Florida town just don't get it when it comes to issues of freedom and liberty.

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When liberty is taken away by force it can be restored by force. When it is relinquished voluntarily by default it can never be recovered. -Dorothy Thompson