Loading...
07-23-90 Public Nuisance Control Board Agenda CITY OF ATLANTIC BEACH PUBLIC NUISANCE CONTROL BOARD MONDAY, JULY 23, 1990 3:00 PM AGENDA Call to order 1. Designation of temporary Chairman and Vice - Chairman of the Public Nuisance Control Board to be recommended for appointment by the City Commission 2. Approval of minutes of the meeting of January 15, 1990 3. Presentation of evidence regarding a complaint against the Voo Swar Restaurant and Lounge, 51 Robert Street, Atlantic Beach 4. Any other business Pte` Adjournment 2233 Seminole Road - No. 8 Atlantic Beach, FL 32233 August 13, 1990 TO: THE MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC NUISANCE CONTROL BOARD: The recording of the closing minutes of the final hearing on the Voo -Swar complaint shows that, besides the 2 -1 vote against finding the Voo -Swar to be a public nuisance, there was unanimous agreement on a motion that the Board discuss ways to help Mr. Davis eliminate any illegal drug or other problems "in the interest of our total community." As chairman, I asked for specific recommendations. Several of those present voiced ideas. For instance, Mr. Miley suggested that Mr. Davis be given a greater role in any group formed to eliminate drug problems in the area surrounding the Voo -Swar. Chief Thompson and Mr. Jacobson appeared to agree that some recommendations should be made to the City Commission through Mayor Gulliford. Mr. Jensen stated it would be appropriate for the Board to render a report to the Mayor and City Commission and to make recommendations. There was further general elk discussion of a meeting to be held, with Mr. Davis and Chief Thompson to be present or represented, to formulate recommendations to be made to the Mayor. There was no formal motion on this suggestion. In the absence of objection, however, and in view of the general discussion, we may be justified in reaching a consensus that recommendations indeed should be made to the Mayor, possibly concerning a task force or ad hoc committee. On the other hand, in retrospect, and notwithstanding the discussion at the conclusion of the hearing, if the Board now considers that it performed its basic function in its finding of fact concerning the nuisance and needs to play no further role in the matter, we can make that decision at a meeting, modify our report to the Mayor accordingly, and the remainder of this letter can pretty well be ignored. That might be a viable alternative. If not, as a starting point for discussion, I am attaching a rough draft of a letter we might consider to be sent to the Mayor. It might be appropriate if we should meet at a mutually convenient hour to consider any changes you may wish to make in this draft. Under the Sunshine Law, I do not believe we should discuss it privately, either face -to -face or on the telephone. Also, if there is any objection to proceeding in the manner outlined above, such can be voiced at the meeting. I cannot imagine that all the parties involved would agree that the draft in toto is acceptable, but if anyone feels that way, please notify Ms. Maureen King, the City Clerk. Page Two August 13, 1990 Assuming a meeting is desired, please contact Ms. King as to the times you will be available so that she can arrange a meeting at City Hall, preferably within the next two weeks, the earlier the better. I believe Mr. Jensen, Chief Thompson and Mr. Davis (and his attorney if Mr. Davis wishes) should be invited to be present if they so desire. As I state in the draft, I don't believe we should presume to tell the City Commission how the task force or committee should be constituted, but we could make suggestions if solicited. If we are called upon for suggestions, we could consider recommending, for instance, in addition to a member of the Commission, the Chief of Police or his designee; a member of the Public Nuisance Control Board; a member of the clergy, preferably from the black community; possibly two lay citizens to be designated by the Commission, and possibly Mr. Jacobson, in view of his familiarity with and expertise in the problem under discussion. That would be a seven - member group; any larger group might be unwieldy. Thank you for your prompt attention to these matters. Z Sincerely yours, J. C. Green, Int rim Chairman Public Nuisance Control Board JCG /jg cc: Alan C. Jensen, Esq. Chief David Thompson Mr. Earnest Davis Samuel Jacobson, Esq. Ms. Maureen King DRAFT 2233 Seminole Road - No. 8 Atlantic Beach, FL 32233 Date Hon. William I. Gulliford, Mayor City of Atlantic Beach P. O. Box 25 Atlantic Beach, FL 32233 Dear Mayor Gulliford: At the conclusion of its recent hearing on a complaint by Police Chief David Thompson that the Voo -Swar Restaurant and Lounge, 51 Robert Street, is a public nuisance under the provisions of Sections 2.161-2.170 of the City Code, the Public Nuisance Control Board voted 2 -1 not to declare this establishment a public nuisance. The majority felt that the preponderance of the evidence "" failed to conclusively show that the Voo -Swar premises had been used on more than two occasions as the site of unlawful sale or delivery of controlled substances, as set forth in the ordinance. In addition to that issue, Chief Thompson's firm position was that the Voo -Swar is a magnet for drug dealers and neighborhood violence, at least in the vicinity of the establishment, and that Mr. Earnest Davis, as proprietor, should assume greater responsibility for whatever occurs in the immediate vicinity of the Voo -Swar. On the other hand, the Board notes the contention of Mr. Davis (with which the majority of the Board basically agrees) that he has taken substantial measures, including the expense of hiring security guards, to keep drug deals and other forms of crime from taking place on his premises, and that it is the basic responsibility of the Police Department to deal with any type of illegal activity that occurs in the vicinity of the Voo -Swar. In addition to the finding that the Voo -Swar does not constitute a public nuisance, and in view of the various issues and conflicting views produced at the hearing, the Public Nuisance Control Board agreed in principle (and it appears that Chief Thompson and Sam Jacobson, attorney for Mr. Davis, also agree) that recommendations should be made to the City Commission leading to cooperative efforts to deal with illegal drugs in the community in which the Voo -Swar is located. (In the Commission's discretion, that effort could be extended throughout the city.) Page Two Date The foregoing considered, the Public Nuisance Control Board hereby recommends that the City Commission of Atlantic Beach consider the appointment of a task force or ad hoc committee to study the drug problem under discussion here and to report its finding and recommendations, if any, to the Commission. The Board feels that the study should include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following subjects: . Comparative responsibilities of the Police Department on the one hand, and Mr. Davis and other owners of business establishments on the other hand, for taking preventive measures against illegal drug dealings and other misdeed's in the immediate vicinity of the establishments. . What is the proper role, if any, of lay community groups (crime watch, religious organizations, etc.) in assisting the Police Department, owners of business establishments, and any other involved agencies in fighting the drug trade. ▪ The need, if any, of additional resources being made available to the Atlantic Beach Police Department for the fight against illegal drugs, and possibly other forms of crime. • The need and /or desirability, if any, of other law enforcement agencies cooperating with the Atlantic Beach Police Department in the war on illegal drugs within Atlantic Beach. This would include the possibility of increased participation by the Sheriff's Office of the City of Jacksonville, particularly in view of the substantial tax revenues made available to the City of Jacksonville by residents of Atlantic Beach for general purposes, above and beyond the contributions of those citizens to the City of Atlantic Beach. . What, if anything, can be done to increase representation of minorities on the City of Atlantic Beach police force, assuming that is desirable. The Public Nuisance Control Board is concerned, as we are sure the City Commission is concerned, with all ramifications of the illegal drug problem. Extensive testimony and argument in the Voo- Swar case indicates that there are complexities in this situation having to do with sociological issues and race relations. Accordingly, we feel that the black community needs to have significant representation on any group you may decide to designate to deal with the problem. The Board will not attempt to dictate the makeup of the task force to the City Commission. We feel, however, that if the Commission desires, to give the task force e more weight, and provide the Commission with more input into the process as well as feedback opportunity, the Commission might l ow Page Three Date consider designating one of its own members as a member of the task force. The Board does have some ideas concerning the makeup of an effective task force, and we will be happy to share our thoughts with the Commission if that is desired. Should you or any other member of the City Commission have any questions concerning this report, please do not hesitate to call on us. Sincerely, J. C. Green Interim Chairman Public Nuisance Control Board JCG/ j g Ow