BELLEAIR BEACH -- When Belleair Beach's City Council reached item 3b on its agenda Monday night, the arcane and hidden language of what was billed as the first reading of an ordinance had everyone stumped.
Even Paul Marino, the city attorney, who drafted the ordinance confessed that he did not have thorough knowledge of what it was all about and merely acted on the application of the property owners who made the request.
Those owners are Bradley and Heather Radke, he being a star pitcher with the Minnesota Twins who was paid $10,750,000 for his twirling last season.
Overlooked or unknown to the members of the council and also to Marino is the pathway that runs north and south on the bay side of Belleair Beach.
The pathway, used for walkers and the occasional bicyclist, has been there, reportedly, from the earliest days of Belleair Beach.
The Radkes bought property and plan to build a home there. What they want, though, is for their property to extend over the walkway and thereby block this path that has been there for more than half a century.
Residents Tuesday, when this information was forthcoming, raised the question of whether the city could, in effect, give away public land to a private party.
If the city did vacate, as the ordinance says, "all of its right, title and interest and all right, title and interest of the public portion of that certain walkway/access right of way" it would in effect be conferring the ownership -- "right, title and interest" -- of that portion of the walkway on the Radkes who would thereby block the pathway and subsume the land into their property.
The lack of knowledge unearthed at the council meeting on the issue Monday night brought for the suggestion that the ordinance be tabled for action at a later date.
As to the provenance, that is, who may have promoted the idea and suggested to the Radkes that the city give them public land is unknown.
Many residents say they are looking forward to discovering the answer to that question while using all their might and main to not let this "giveaway" happen.
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