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Pamella Settlegoode pays half of hog dog vendor's fine



ST. PETERSBURG -- Hot dog vendor Joy McGhee hasn't received much help from City Hall since police issued her a fine her last month for serving hot dogs past 9 p.m. in violation of the city's vendor policy.

Lucky for her there is an election going on.

District 4 candidate Pamella Settlegoode offered to give McGhee and her husband, Michael, $100 toward the $200 fine last week.

Here is the news release:

ST. PETERSBURG – Pamella Settlegoode, candidate for District 4 City Council, today announced her intention to contribute half the $200 fine leveled against downtown hot dog vendors Michael and Joy McGhee. 
“It’s just ridiculous that a hardworking, honest St. Pete resident has been so badly treated by the authorities and by the City Council,” Settlegoode said.  “City development director Julie Weston yesterday asked the Council to throw the book at the McGhees, who had less than a minute at the end of a special committee meeting to state their case.”
“Leslie Curran says she wants to ‘review the matter’ in a ‘workshop,’” Settlegoode continued.  “My sense of public duty tells me that I should do more, so I’ve decided to match the $100 the McGhees have raised to pay the fine out of my own pocket.
“The middle of a recession is the wrong time to be enforcing foolish, outdated ordinances on productive and locally-cherished small businesses.  How the City Council fails to see that is just beyond me.”
The $200 fine was levied under a decades-old city code designed to keep ice cream trucks from disturbing neighborhoods late at night. The ordinance was not designed or intended to apply to hot dog or other pushcart vendors but does not exclude them from its provisions.
Vendor Joy McGhee commented, “I’ve done everything the city asked me to. I got my permits and my license, I pay my taxes – what more do they want?  They don’t tell any other business what hours they can operate. What gives them the right to tell me when I can operate?”
Dr. Pamella Settlegoode is a teacher and professor of education. As a special education teacher she blew the whistle against the school’s systematic neglect of her children, resulting in a landmark legal victory.  She is a homeowner and resident of Allendale Terrace. District 4 encompasses north central St. Petersburg, including Historic Uptown, Historic Old Northeast, Crescent Lake and Greater Woodlawn. The primary election in District 4 is on Tuesday.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:06pm]


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