Tampa Bay Times
June 5, 2020
Madeira Beach retiree Bill Gay is a prime example of how the power of public records lies with the people, not just the press or the government. He has challenged local governments on three previous occasions. In each lawsuit, he alleged that governing bodies failed to follow procedure or public records laws. Each time he has emerged the winner.
Gay’s fourth lawsuit — the outcome still undetermined — centers on the city of Dunedin’s handling of a resident’s code enforcement violation. The city sued Kristi Allen in late 2018 for $103,000 in fines and interest related to uncut grass and a dirty pool, even though the home had been signed over to a bank years earlier. The city only backed down after a USA Today investigation named Allen’s case as an example of governments gouging their residents.