The Delray Beach mayoral race is in our Election Spotlight, ahead of the March 9th municipal election.
Mayor Shelly Petrolia is running for re-election and we asked her about a $10,000 fine that was levied on a bar along Atlantic Avenue. She says special accommodations were made for businesses like Pour & Famous during the pandemic.
"Bars are not allowed to have outdoor spaces. It's indoor only. We decided to loosen that rule to allow for outdoor spaces for bars."
But Petrolia says the bar violated the rules, including the outdoor curfew of 9 p.m., which was put in effect to keep noise to a minimum since the business is near homes.
"What unfortunately Pour & Famous decided to do was to just go ahead and go into the evening hours as late as they wanted to."
The owners of the standalone bar say they were keeping their customers outside in order to keep them safe from COVID-19.
The mayor's challenger says the city could do a better job making sure downtown restaurants and bars are maintaining social distancing among their patrons.
Tracy Caruso is the wife of State Representative Mike Caruso. She owns an executive office suite business.
"I'm also involved in the community. I'm the Chair of the Historic Preservation Board because I care very much about our history and preserving what we all know and love about Delray Beach."
We asked Caruso why she's running.
"I think our city hall is riddled with problems and I believe that it stems down to who we have in our mayor's office right now."
Caruso adds that she wants to change it and that many others do as well.
Petrolia says that her experience, eight years on the city commission, including the last three as mayor, makes her the right choice for voters.
The Seat 5 Mayoral race is one of three in the city of Delray Beach. They are all open to all voters residing in the city.
Photo: City of Delray Beach