Q: Reader Ted Bradley sent the following message to us:
"As a curious citizen of St. Pete Beach, I have been wondering why some businesses on Corey Avenue are able to allow their patrons to drink alcoholic beverages on the sidewalks, in front of their establishments, while others are forbidden"
We asked him to clarify, and he explained that Madelina's and Jackie's served alcohol on the sidewalk while Swigwam could not. He stressed that he did not wish to complain about either establishment and had no issue with either of them serving alcohol outside, but rather questioned what he called "selective enforcement" in a letter to Mayor Steve McFarlin.
Mr. Bradley sent us a copy of that letter, adding that he did not get a response from the Mayor. We asked the city clerk about the lack of response, and she said the only e-mail she could find from Mr. Bradley, subject heading "Sidewalk Regulations" said only "Please forward this to the Mayor. Thank you Ed Bradley" with nothing attached. She says she did forward that to the mayor. Mr. Bradley sent us a copy of the e-mail he believed he sent to the mayor; here's what he wrote.
"As a curious citizen of St. Pete Beach, I have been wondering why some businesses on Cory Avenue are able to allow their patrons to drink alcoholic beverages on the sidewalks, in front of their establishments, while others are forbidden.
"I certainly hope the St. Pete Beach City Council is not undertaking selective enforcement for some unknown reason.
"I would appreciate a clarification of this situation at your earliest opportunity.
"Edmund C. Bradley"
A: We asked City Manager Mike Bonfield to help Mr. Bradley understand the situation.
"The city commission approved both Madelina's and Swigwam to have alcohol on the public sidewalk in front of their businesses. After receiving complaints concerning activity on the sidewalk in front of the Swigwam, their approval was rescinded," Mr. Bonfield says. "To my knowledge there have been no complaints raised about Madelina's."
As for Jackie's, he says, "To my knowledge they intend to apply for approval of outdoor dining, including alcohol, but haven't done so yet."