Debate Rages over Sitting Ban

By Paul Mueller, Reporter, Bay News 9 -- The Clearwater City Council saw a very heated debate Thursday night over a proposal to ban sitting or lying down on sidewalks and other public rights of way. The proposed ban would cover the downtown area, Clearwater Beach and the East Gateway neighborhood. City Council members said the ban would address a public safety issue and affects not only the city's image as a premiere tourist destination, but also the economy. Opponents are shocked this ban is even up for debate. "They've got no heart for the people, the homeless people," said Paul Almeida referring to the city council.  "They've got no heart." Almeida has lived in Clearwater since the mid 1980's and lives on a fixed income. … [Read more...]