Town Attorney Relieved of His Duties

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John Herin is no longer the Fort Myers Beach Town Attorney. While he did make a pitch to try to keep his job at a special Town Council meeting Monday it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that he would be replaced.

With support from only Town Councilman Bill Veach (who wasn’t at the meeting Monday), Herin had no chance to retain the position he’s held for the past 7 years. Mayor Dan Allers has wanted a change in that position since Herin’s contract came up for renewal under the previous council and council members Karen Woodson and John King have wanted Herin replaced since they were candidates for office.

At the meeting Monday, Mayor Allers said since Hurricane Ian there seems to be animosity between the town staff and Herin. “That’s not good for progress. It’s not a good working environment.”

Vice Mayor Jim Atterholt said, “Post Hurricane Ian the town needs an attorney with a sense of urgency to get people back in their homes and that’s why I support change.”

Woodson said there’s a “lack of planning and a lack of communication. I wholeheartedly support change.”

King said he did not see any improvements from Herin which is why he supported making the change.

Town Manager Andy Hyatt said the town was probably moving in the right direction. “We need to make sure we don’t have an anchor.” Hyatt said the new law firm will bring energy to the job.

And that new law firm is the Vose Law Firm which has offices in Naples and Winter Park. Gretchen Vose, the founder of the law firm, will be the attorney working closely with the town once the change is made. She’s a 1973 graduate of the University of Florida College of Law. While a law student she was the Senior Class President and on the editorial board of the University of Florida Law Review. Vose was an Assistant City Attorney for Orlando. She’s been the City Attorney for Deltona, Winter Garden, Edgewood, Longwood, Windermer, Oakland, Eagle Lake and St. Cloud. She has over 41 years of law practice.

The contract with Herin’s law firm calls for a 30-day transition period. Both Vose and Herin are expected to be at the LPA meeting Tuesday. At that LPA meeting a discussion about how the town should calculate Floor Area Ration (FAR) is on the agenda.

Vose and Herin’s firm were the only two firms that applied for the position.

 

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