The grouchiest grouch of Dunedin (uncut!)
Surely you read in yesterday's paper about Doug Wilkey, the man who's spent parts of the last two years railing away about 12-year-old T.J. Guerrero's lemonade stand. Wilkey, who didn't want to talk with the Times' Keyonna Summers -- shocker -- has sent at least four emails to city officials, and I wanted to read them, obviously. Keyonna passed them along to me. Now, after cleaning up some typos, I'll pass them along to you.
1. On May 14, 2013, here's what he wrote to Dave Eggers:
I am writing to report a business that is being operated on a daily basis that has caused considerable disruption in the neighborhood that I have resided in for 30 years. The business I am referring to is a lemonade stand which is operated by a mother & her 12 year old son.
Since the business has started I have had to endure my truck (parked in the driveway) being damaged, in addition to numerous other problems. Before I can mow my yard I must walk through it each time to pick up the trash & rocks that are thrown there by all of the kid's friends that are continually hanging around the business. The kids cuss at each other loudly on a steady basis. They continually set off fireworks, which is very disturbing to our little dog. She hides under the bed or couch & will not come out. The kid's mother curses at my girlfriend & myself every time she walks by our house if we are in the garage or front yard. A recent conversation with a Pinellas County Sheriff yielded little satisfaction. His response was that he felt it was ok to operate a business on daily basis & that I was being too "grumpy." I asked him if it were his neighborhood if it would be ok. He didn't respond. According to him, I was being too insulted by the boy's mother spewing her vulgar mouth as well. I don't agree, it is disgusting & I should not have to put up with such garbage. I was unaware that it was legal for a business to be run in a residential area. Mind you, I am not talking about a child setting up a stand once or twice a year. This is an everyday event. My quiet enjoyment at the home I have enjoyed for 30 years is being ruined. Between all the kids hanging out & cussing, littering, throwing stones, riding bicycles & skateboards & fireworks, the neighborhood is being turned into a zoo. There is nothing settling about sitting in your front yard having to listen to loud noises, rather than the nice relaxing quiet normally found in a residential neighborhood.
Please help me regain my quiet home & neighborhood.
2. On Oct. 21, 2013, here's what he wrote to Julie Scales:
The neighborhood business has reopened again. They had it set up at the corner of Patricia & San Salvadore yesterday. I thought this eliminated last May & it was for the summer, but they set up again & typically operate on a daily basis.
This is a residential neighborhood, not a business area. This business now sells lemonade, cookies & various bags of snacks. This is in direct violation of city guidelines. The value of my home, which I have built and lived in for 30 years, is certain to be negatively impacted. Furthermore, the city could possibly face repercussion in the event someone became ill from spoiled/contaminated food or drink sales. Once again the son's mother called myself & my girlfriend "assholes" & then also told us to "go f**k ourselves" as she was walking down the sidewalk yesterday. This should not be allowable. I spend hours & years maintaining my home & I am subjected to vulgar remarks yelled at us while we are simply enjoying our home.
Please help me put an end to this illegal business in a residential area. If this were a once a year event by a couple kids to earn a little money for a holiday or something, I would not have a problem with it, but it's not a once a year endeavor. My truck has been damaged while sitting in my driveway. I have to clean the front yard before I am able to mow it every time, from the trash that is thrown in my yard. And I am very worried about the value of my home, which is why I built in a residential area, not a business area.
3. On March 8, 2014, here's what he wrote to Scales:
Once again, the lemonade stand is open on the corner of Patricia & San Salvadore. I thought this was put to an end but apparently, they feel they are above city rules. And to make matters worse, it's set up right by my house, which negatively affects my property value. Not to mention, I now have traffic parking in front of my house further detracting my property value. This is against city guidelines. Please see that this is stopped.
4. On June 11, 2014, here's what he wrote to Julie Ward Bjualski:
Well the lemonade stand is operating again. When is this illegal nonsense going to stop? They quit for 6 months & immediately start up again! This is the value of the home that I have owned for 32 years getting ravaged! This is costing me thousands of dollars in home value & my taxes should be reduced accordingly! When will MY home value be protected? I am tired of losing thousands & thousands of home value by these renters that have 10 people living in a rental home 2 houses down from me & have 5-6 vehicles parked in the front of the house. If you won't stop it then lower my property value down accordingly & take a thousand off my taxes. You seem to charge more taxes but care less about the activities trashing the value of home that I built & lived in for 32 years!