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Currently Browsing: Brevard County

Brevard County: Sheriff Ivey, Dorian, Budgets And Transparency (With A Side Dish Of Florida Today.)

We’re really not sure where to begin this story, but we know where it will end.

One of our ninjas sent us a link to an article from SpaceCoastDaily.com concerning The Brevard Board of Commissioners and Sheriff Wayne Ivey:

Brevard Commissioners Approve Resolution Recognizing Sheriff’s Office for Superb Service During Hurricane Season

BREVARD COUNTY • VIERA, FLORIDA – Brevard County commissioners unanimously approved a resolution offering special tribute and recognition to the Brevard County Sherriff’s Department for the agency’s service during Dorian and the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season.

The resolution, introduced by District 4 Commissioner Curt Smith during a meeting Tuesday morning in Viera, and unanimously approved, said “the people of Brevard County owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the Brevard County Sherriff’s Department under the direction of Sherriff Wayne Ivey for their commitment to Brevard County residents.”

Resolutions were also unanimously approved honoring Brevard County Fire Rescue and Brevard County Emergency Management for their work during Hurrican Dorian.

Generally speaking, we don’t like this type of public pat on the back type thing as it seems strange to us that after spending literally millions and millions of dollars on facilities, equipment, and training, we praise people for doing the job the taxpayers pay them to do. We know that sounds odd, but we look at the hundreds if not thousands of workers in places like WalMart, Publix, Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware, etc., that moved literally tons and tons of supplies not only into the area, but stocked, restocked, continually restocked and sent merchandise out of stores so people could be prepared for Dorian if and when it hit. Those people got a pat on the back from management, some cold pizza (if they were lucky) some overtime, and sheer exhaustion for their effort.

No one asked any of them to come before the County Commission for a resolution to thank them for actually helping people prepare for Dorian. Their thanks were mostly private within their stores and not a part of some public relations effort.

But we digress.

What is odd to us about this resolution is that the Florida Today has an article on how Sheriff Ivey had sent mixed messages, and that coordination between the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, local officials and the Brevard County Emergency Services was “off” and lacking.
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Ivey, Lober, Fine Press Conference. Wave “Hi!” For The Cameras Robert Burns! Part II.

Yesterday we wrote about a press conference held by Brevard County Sheriff Ivey, Representative Rndy Fine and Commissioner Randy Bryan Lober.

During the press conference it was disclosed that Robert Burns had made Facebook pages that disparaged both Fine, Lober and women in vile, indefensible posts. This came to light as Burns had made one post appear it was written by Lober himself which brought into play an “identity theft” investigation by Sheriff Ivey.

We concentrated in our post on giving the background, some comments, the revelation that the Facebook pages where by the same guy allegedly wanting “more civility” in politics, all the while working on campaigns for candidates.

What we didn’t get into was some of the things that bothered us about the press conference itself.

First, both Fine and Lober claimed Burns’ actions were anti-Semitic as both of them are Jewish.

This is not the first time Lober and especially Fine has brought out this charge and in some ways, it rings hollow in this case.

The reason we say this is in part from Fine himself. In discussing Burns and his history, Fine said:
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Ivey, Lober, Fine Press Conference. Wave “Hi!” For The Cameras Robert Burns!

This is from a capture made by the folks at Space Coast Daily. The actual “meat” of the press conference begins at roughly 7:00.

We don’t know where to begin because there is a lot of things to bring up.

First, a person had made two Facebook pages on Representative Randy Fine and Commissioner Bryan Lober. The pages were highly negative in tone and content. Some of the things that were said crossed what we would consider and ethical and moral line, but they did not cross a legal line. The pages, as vile as we think they are, are still protected by the First Amendment.

There was, however, a huge problem. One of the pages purported to be from Bryan Lober himself.

The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office launched an investigation into what they thought was a violation of “identity theft” which looking up the Florida statutes is in part:
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Coming Our Way?

A beauty salon owner in Sacramento has become somewhat of a viral sensation after her rant on the homeless sleeping on the streets, attacking her, her customers, forcing her to clean up human waste, used syringes, dealing with break-ins, the destruction of her property and the police not arresting people for crimes because of the direction of California Governor Gavin Newsom.

She’s had enough and is moving out.

First her original rant:

CBS Sacramento covered the Novak’s story as well:
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Brevard County: Leadership By Hypocrisy.

We are not shocked. Not in the least.

Yesterday, the Brevard County Board of Commissioners had on the agenda Item H-7 which is described in the agenda as:

H 7 Adoption of a Resolution Establishing User Fees for FY 2019-2020 for the Melbourne-Tillman Water Control District.

The issue deals with an increase in fees to people within the district. The amount of fee increase is rather small, but that is not why we are bringing this up.

Commissioner Tobia voted against the proposal which due to procedural reasons, killed the item.

This incensed Commissioner and Chairperson Christine Isnardi who repeatedly said the Melbourne-Tillman Water District had “slogged along for years” without an increase in fees.

She asked Tobia his reasoning for voting against it.
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Brevard County: They’re At It Again.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We are breaking with our tradition of posting information on meetings the day of that meeting because in this case, the Brevard County Board of Commissioners is meeting tomorrow, Tuesday August 20, 2019 at 9:00 AM. So while many people are returning for dropping kids off to schools, shopping in the morning, or settling in at work, by the time they would read this post, the meeting would have started and any chance to comment would be lost.

On the agenda is item J-2 which is described as:

Policy on Board Operating Procedures And AO-23.

This item seeks to “update” the Board’s Procedures on how meetings are run.

In light of all of the recent controversy over comments made by people and Commissioners, as well as the stated intent of some Commissioners to limit or restrict ideas and speech, we were not surprised that this was back.
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We Get Mail. From John Tobia?

We have mentioned Brevard County Commissioner John Tobia several times on this site previously. Most recently, we wrote about his misguided attempt to limit free speech from citizens, a position which he later pulled back from.

The Brevard County Commission decided not to take up Tobia’s proposal – even the scaled back version.

However, we did get an email blast from Tobia and we think it need to be seen and read by others who aren’t on the Tobia mailing list:

County Commissioners Bust Tax Cap While Spending Frivolously

On July 23rd, the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners voted to bust the voter-approved spending cap by a 4-1 vote. I was the lone dissenter. This cap was imposed by an overwhelming majority of voters (73%) in 2008 to reign in out-of-control government spending.

The Board did this by declaring a “critical need.” This need was said to be increasing funding for public safety. Yet, it did this while still spending money on things that are, without question, not critical needs. For example, the County gives away thousands of your tax dollars to an organization, the Brevard Cultural Alliance, for “arts in public places.” Making things worse, this organization has been accused by a variety of citizens and groups, including arts organizations, of gross mismanagement of funds. I have been, and will continue to, work towards putting a stop to this frivolous spending.
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Can The Brevard County Commission “Censure” A Commissioner?

When we first started writing about Commissioner Lober’s behavior, we were one of the ones who called for action. The post is called “Commissioner Bryan Lober Should A) Apologize B) Be Censured C) Resign. Pick Two.” While most of the controversy surrounding Lober deals with his Constitutionally protected speech outside of being a Commissioner, our post dealt with his speech and activity while acting as a Commissioner.

Unfortunately, Lober has not followed our advice and neither has the Commission in censuring him.

Prior to a Commission meeting, County Attorney Eden Bentley was asked whether the Commission could, under it’s rules, “censure” a sitting member.

Bentley said they could not.

It is not surprising that Commissioners have latched onto Bentley’s opinion. Her opinion basically makes it seem that they cannot do anything when it comes to the activities of Commissioners both in the chambers or outside of the chambers. It is a “get out of jail” card for the Commission. If you claim you can’t do something, you don’t have to do what you don’t want to do. Given that Bentley works for the Commission and they apparently don’t want to censure one of their own, it makes sense that she says they cannot “censure” a member.

Is that opinion accurate?

The answer is a definite “yes.” Followed by a definite “no.”
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Brevard County: Tobia Pulls Back On Speech Restrictions.

This is welcome news.

Brevard County Commissioner John Tobia has beefed up his proposed civility ordinance aimed at keeping commissioners in check during their meetings.

Critically:

His latest proposal also eliminates references to potential sanctions aimed at members of the public for incivility. (emphasis ours)

It almost seems like someone reminded Tobia of the Constitution and the idea behind the First Amendment.
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Brevard County: Called It! We Saw This Coming From Miles Away.

After last week’s Brevard County Commission meeting, there was a sense that people wanted the Commission to “do something,” in the case of Bryan Lober and his reprehensible remarks he has made to people. People are rightly upset with some of the things that Lober has said and at the meeting, some called for a censure or Lober. Some people called for his removal from the Vice Chair position. Some called for his resignation.

And then there were those who called for “more civility” and “rules to support more civility.”

We suspected then that there would be those who would want to restrict the rights of people and their speech.

We were right.

Commissioner John Tobia has led off with a proposal that, according to the FloridaToday:

The current version of Tobia’s proposed policy has these provisions for conduct during County Commission meetings for members of the commission, county staff and the public:

• No speaker may attack the personal character of any individual, including, but not limited to, calling into question their integrity.

• No speaker may label another individual pejoratively, including, but not limited to, applying labels such as “racist,” “bigot,” “misogynist,” “sexist,” “criminal” or “evil.” Tobia said this provision should not be interpreted as preventing a speaker from labeling a policy or general idea that way.

There are constitutional issues – major constitutional issues – with these proposals.
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