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Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Claims They Have To Do Whatever The County Commission(ers) Say. How Wrong Can They Be?

After our post on April 1, 2020 concerning the outrageous actions of County Commissioner Bryan Lober, Sheriff Wayne Ivey and an un-named Deputy Sheriff in removing one Robert Burns from a “press conference” / meeting, we received an emails from Burns forwarding both his complaint to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and the response from email from Brevard County Sheriff’s Office West Precinct Commander Bruce L. Barnett.

We want to make it clear that we are not fans of Burns and his tactics, but this goes beyond our mutual dislike for each other. If the Sheriff’s Office thinks they can trample on the rights of people with impunity, that affects us all.

First, the Burns’ complaint email dated March 28, 2020:

Lt Simpkins,

I’ve been trying to reach you to get more information and file a formal complaint about the incident that occurred this past Tuesday at the press conference.

According to Sgt Hammond your subordinate, he was instructed by you to have me removed from the county press conference at the request of Bryan Lober.

Brevard Board Of Commissioners: Why?

We often look at events and say “why? Why are we doing this? Why can’t people be honest and keep their promises?”

Such is the case with a proposed resolution by District 3 Brevard County Commissioner John Tobia. Tobia had the resolution on the agenda last week, but pulled it because of the absence of Commissioner Kristine Isnardi.

A resolution is non-binding, but it does raise the question: “Why do we need this resolution?”

The five commissioners on the Commission all ran on platforms that included lowering taxes or at the very least, not increasing taxes. (None of them have lived up to that promise, but we digress.)

Sorry Lober, You’re Wrong. We Don’t Owe Politicians Anything. They Owe Us.

Buckle up and grab some popcorn.

The above is a response in a Facebook thread from Bryan Lober who warms the District Two Seat on the Brevard County Commission.

How that response came to be is almost as interesting as it is wrong.

We’ll get to why the response is wrong in a moment, but let’s start with what triggered this whole mess.

A few days ago, people were receiving texts from an unknown source. Here’s the copy of the text. (We have blurred the phone number.)

The Denninghoff Memo.

There has been an ongoing conflict between the City of Palm Bay and Brevard County concerning the “exchange to nowhere” and the connecting roads.

During the last City Council meeting on February 6, Palm Bay Councilmen ripped into the County on a variety of issues.

However, a week before that, on January 29, Brevard County Assistant Manager and head of the Development and Environmental Services Group, had sent an email to the City of Palm Bay and specifically to Deputy City Manager Suzanne Sherman as to the state of the negotiations between the City and the County.

The email was referenced at last Tuesday’s County Commission meeting in a discussion concerning the negotiations with Palm Bay on the proposed inter-local agreement. (ILA)

What caught our ear was the fact that the email implies the negotiations were a “sham” when viewed from the point of view of the County.

We decided to ask for the email which is found below.

Palm Bay: We Don’t Need To Elect Officials Who Believe Laws Don’t Matter.

Janice Crisp is running for Palm Bay City Council Seat 2.

We have run across Crisp before who has some strange ideas when it comes to the press and bloggers. For example, she claims that the press must be licensed by the state.

That’s obviously not true, and so we try and stay away from people with ideas like that. To think that they are seeking public office where they can write and and vote on laws without basic understanding of legal principles is frightening to us.

On Tuesday, Crisp spoke in front of the Brevard County Commission. Normally we wouldn’t say anything, but her comments are bizarre.

We took the time to transcribe them.

I’m from Palm Bay and I’m running for City Council. What I would like to speak with you guys about is the process in which people are able to request public records. I know that there’s been an increase in what you have to pay but what I’m here to talk about is how the process and how people are identified – are we letting real people or just people who make internet requests.

Lockers For The Homeless?

This discussion comes out of a lawsuit, but we find the idea interesting.

The City of Fort. Collins, Colorado settled a lawsuit over lockers for the homeless. The lawsuit was filed the “Fort Collins Mennonite Fellowship” (FCMF) who had started a locker program which allowed the homeless to store things in lockers while they went to work, were looking for a job, were looking for a place to live, were meeting with resource coordinators, etc. The homeless were able to do more to get off the streets because they weren’t constantly worrying about their things being stolen.

The FCMF has been advocating since 2017 to have a locker program in place that would be accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week for those experiencing homelessness.

No such service currently exists for free in Fort Collins, although the Murphy Center has since expanded its own locker hours, according to the Coloradoan.

The church and locker advocates said more accessible storage options would accommodate those with jobs or those who need access to their belongings on the weekends.

FCMF ultimately began this project on its own property using community donations after the City denied the group funding for such a program in 2018. A dozen functional lockers, to be expanded to 20, now sit at the corner of Mathews Street and East Oak Street, next to Old Town Library.

There are many things we like about this program.

Brevard County Commission: Theater, Circus, Or Both?

You can’t make this up.

You really can’t. No one would believe you.

[Brevard County] Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved a ceremonial resolution, sponsored by District 5 Commissioner Kristine Isnardi, that affirms that they are committed to “uphold and adhere to the principles embodied in the Constitution of the United States of America.”

Right off the top, why is Isnardi seeking to pass a resolution, which by definition has no legal weight of the law behind it, saying “we want to protect the Constitution” when in fact upon taking the office of Commissioner, she and the other Commissioners take an oath to follow the laws of the State of Florida, the Florida Constitution and the United States Constitution?

Why the need for the resolution?

Isn’t the oath of Commissioners good enough?

We guess not and that is both sad and troubling.

Isnardi said “[not following the Constitution] would not likely happen with this commission, of course, but may occur with future commissions.”

She contends that she has “no doubt” that “if certain lawmakers had their way, they would rewrite the whole” Constitution.

Lober Seeks To Penalize People Being Involved.

Commissioner Bryan Lober is seeking to make access to public records more expensive, a move that will surely lessen public involvement in the political process.

More residents are requesting public records from Brevard County government. Our commission’s reaction to that? Make it more expensive, in some cases, to obtain that information.

One could interpret an estimated 62% increase in public records requests between 2016 and 2019 as a sign of a community that’s doing its civic duty. A majority of our commissioners, however, sees that as a burden on taxpayers.

On Jan. 7, they approved with a 3-2 vote a proposal to change how the county processes such requests. Commissioners John Tobia and Kristine Isnardi cast the dissenting votes.

The most significant changes are:

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