MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. - "We now have the teeth to clean up our city," said incoming Madeira Beach City Commissioner Elaine Poe.
The teeth,according to Poe, is in Madeira Beach nuisance ordinance 2012-09.
The ordinance allows the city to hold landlords liable for nuisance activities that their tenants may engage in.
"With this ordinance we will wake up the property owners. And they will say, 'Hey, they're right. We're destroying our own neighborhoods'," said Poe.
Just last month, the city demolished two properties that had been condemned and considered a nuisance.
"We had old dirty sofas out here. We had drugs being dealt right here on Gulf Blvd. and over on the corner. We had prostitution coming out of here. We had non-stop drunken brawls in the streets," explained Poe as she pointed areas around the vacant lot at 141 Ave. and Gulf Blvd.
Wednesday morning, the city will hold a seminar to help landlords understand the scope of the ordinance.
Mayor Travis Palladeno said the new ordinance is not meant to be heavy-handed.
"The idea is it not to be a police state. The idea is to work together with landlords. City and government and property owners working together to make it a better community for everybody," said Palladeno.
Residents like Hugh Gersch, who has lived here for years, support the ordinance.
"I think it's a wonderful idea. If they can do anything to help this matter out, I think it'd be a real plus for Madeira Beach," said Gersch.
Other beach communities in Pinellas have contacted the city regarding the ordinance. Redington Shores officials will hear from Madeira Beach city leaders at an upcoming commission meeting.
"Our goal is to make sure that T. I. (Treasure Island) adopts it, Redington adopts it and it just keeps moving down the beach. Otherwise, our people will move left, they're move right or they'll move across town. So the whole idea is to get everybody on board with the same ordinance," said Poe.
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