The new board was organized in September 2020 following the murder of 22-year old Johnny Jackson at the Lani Kai, which took place in July. Monday’s meeting was organizational with town attorney John Herin explaining the rules board members must follow.
The Nuisance Abatement Board members must follow the public records law, the Florida sunshine law and the voting ethics statute. They must also file a financial disclosure form to the Supervisor of Elections. Unlike other town council committees that are advisory in nature, the Nuisance Abatement Board has the power to make decisions.
There are specific crimes that must be committed in order to come before the board. They are drug sales, prostitution, gang activity, gambling, illegal sale or consumption of alcohol and lewd and lascivious behavior. Town attorney John Herin decides which cases will be brought before the board and he will act as the prosecutor on any cases presented to the board.
Anyone can file a complaint with the Nuisance Abatement Board against a Fort Myers Beach business or homeowner who has twice violated any of the crimes listed above. The board can impose daily fines that can escalate to a max of $15,000 if it determines a business or homeowner is a public nuisance. If the crime(s) continue the board can take further action to close the business down or have a property forfeited.
Monica Schmucker, who’s an attorney, was appointed chair of the NAB by the town council. The other members of the board are Anita Cereceda, Jan Fleming, Tre Gillette, Dawn Thomas and Charles Meadows. The board is one member short. Each town council member was responsible to appoint one member. Mayor Ray Murphy has not appointed his choice. Murphy and Vice Mayor Hosafros voted against the ordinance back in September.
Read the ordinance the town adopted HERE.