An entrepreneurial boy’s efforts at his Florida neighborhood lemonade stand are not appreciated by one resident who has been fighting years to put him out of business.
T.J. Guerrero, 12, sells .50 cent cookies and $1 strawberry lemonade from a card table on a corner near his Dunedin home, when he’s not mowing lawns for extra cash to pay for his cell phone and dinners with his mother.
Business is good for Guerrero with many neighbors flocking to him for refreshment.
The traffic to the corner is what neighbor Doug Wilkey said is the problem in four separate e-mails he sent to the City Hall over the last two years to get Guerrero’s “illegal business” shut down, according to local news source Tampa Bay Times.
Wilkey, 61, contends the boy’s year-round business reduces his property value because of the excessive traffic, noise, trash, illegal parking it creates. Guerrero denied the exaggerated claim when he told the Times that he has never had more than five people in line at his stand.
The angry neighbor used fear tactics in his correspondence with the city in hopes to stop the street corner sales, “The city could possibly face repercussion in the event someone became ill from spoiled/contaminated food or drink sales,” Wilkey wrote in one email.
Dunedin planning and development director Greg Rice won’t shut the boy’s stand down and told Wilkey,”We are not out there trying to put lemonade stands out of business.”
Defending his stance on the offensive lemonade stand Wilkey wrote in his email, “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.”
The sheriff has been called on more than one occasion to keep the peace, but nothing has been permanently resolved.
Despite being so outspoken on the issue, Wilkey refused to talk to the Tampa Bay Times but became particularly enraged this summer when he wrote the town that the stand was back “AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!”