The Longboat Key Code Enforcement Board met Monday, June 10, even though it had no cases on the agenda to review.
Code board members Beverly Shapiro and Joel Mangel continued a debate the board had at its May 8 meeting.
Mangel said in May there’s been a “dramatic change” in the code board’s use, noting that the last eight meetings in a row have been canceled.
Planning, Zoning and Building Director Robin Meyer told the board he takes full responsibility for the canceled meetings, explaining that Code Officer Amanda Nemoytin has worked well with people to resolve complaints before they have to come before the board.
The debate continued this week, with Shapiro questioning the use of Nemoytin’s time and how she handles cases that Shapiro feels might be better served if the board reviewed them.
“If some cases had come before us, maybe they could have been nipped in the bud sooner,” Shapiro said.
But Meyer and Nemoytin disagreed.
“You’re not getting reports to review, because they are being resolved and don’t require board action,” Meyer said. “I simply don’t have staff resources to give you reports that are taken care of.”
Shapiro also questioned a process in which Nemoytin makes either verbal or written contact with a property owner in violation of the town code, working out a time for the property owner to come into compliance.
Attorney Kelley Fernandez confirmed the process that Nemoytin uses, which includes a first-time verbal warning, is both proper and legal.
Code board member Jack Brill suggested the debate stop.
“The town has another budget deficit to deal with, and we don’t need reports with papers stating that cases have been resolved,” Brill said. “It was good we went through this exercise, but it’s been debated twice and it’s time to let it go.”
Both Shapiro and Mangel stated the matter wasn’t solved in their minds and they still disagree with the manner in which code cases are being brought into compliance.
Commissioner Phill Younger, who was in attendance at the meeting Monday and is a past code board member, called the meeting “perplexing.”
“Historically, it has not been uncommon for code board meetings to be canceled, sometimes for months, when no cases that have reached that stage where a meeting is required,” Younger said. “That being the case, it’s perplexing why the code board has requested two meetings because they are not getting cases. If the procedure works correctly, code board meetings are simply not required, especially when otherwise avoidable presence by the town attorney is required.”