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.You can read the entire MyFoxTampaBay story here.
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."
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.