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Who Was That Masked Person?

On Tuesday, the Brevard County Commission decided not to make it a requirement that people wear masks in businesses under the guise of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Instead, the Commission passed a resolution, which is non-binding to anyone and therefore nothing but a meaningless show of “see? We are doing something!”

County Commission Chair Bryan Lober could not get the support of other commissioners for a proposal to require people to wear face masks when in businesses, as a way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Seeing no backing for his proposal, Lober did not seek to bring it to a vote.

Instead, Lober put forth a nonbinding proclamation that would “strongly encourage” businesses to post their face mask policies at the entrances to their businesses.
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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.
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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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Ellis – Tobia Opinion Piece: We’re Missing Something. We Have To Be.

Brevard County Clerk of the Court Scott Ellis and Brevard County Commissioner John Tobia have an opinion piece in the Florida Today concerning a lawsuit filed by the Ellis in his capacity as Clerk of the Court.

We’re going to boil down the piece to the relevant portions:

Brevard Commission cannot hide behind closed doors to discuss tax cap lawsuit.

The Brevard County Board of County Commissioners voted 4-1 on Jan. 7 to discuss, behind closed doors, a lawsuit filed by the Clerk of the Court against the Board.

[….]

Rather than discussing this issue in the sunshine with the Clerk’s Office, the Board has voted to have a closed-door meeting to discuss strategies to fight this lawsuit. (emphasis ours)

The State of Florida has strong laws concerning public meetings and records as it should. Citizens have the right to know what is happening within their governments and for the most part those meetings and discussion should be held in the open.

However, there is an exception to open meetings and that exception is a board meeting to discuss strategy when lawsuit has been filed.
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Brevard County: Isnardi: Criticism Of Sheriff Is “Pretty Obscene.”

Sheriff Wayne Ivey and Commissioner Kristine Isnardi (Space Coast Daily)

Last Tuesday, the Brevard County Board of Commissioners approved a $1.33 billion (that’s billion with a “b”) which included a controversial tax increase for the Sheriff’s Office.

Brevard County commissioners on Tuesday night approved a $1.33 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

But the controversy related to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office budget remains.

The county’s overall budget plan and accompanying tax rate cuts will mean lower property tax bills for most homeowners with a homestead exemption, according to County Manager Frank Abbate.

However, much of the discussion at Tuesday night’s final budget hearing focused on the one tax rate that is increasing — the rate for the Law Enforcement Municipal Service Taxing Unit, or MSTU, that goes toward the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office budget.

Even after the FloridaToday and others had asked for the line item budget under Florida Statute Chapter 119, the so called “Sunshine Law, the Sheriff’s office was still not providing the document.

The Commissioners knew this of this failure on the part of the Sheriff’s office, yet they voted to pass the budget.

What is additionally troubling to us is some of the comments which Commissioners made:
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This is Why We Fight So Hard For The First Amendment.

Allow us to introduce you to US Representative Frederica Wilson, who represents District 24 here in Florida.

Representative Wilson has some interesting ideas when it comes to speech and expression.

Democratic Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson asserted that people who mock members of Congress online should face prosecution.

“Those people who are online making fun of members of Congress are a disgrace, and there is no need for anyone to think that is unacceptable [sic],” Wilson said during comments made Tuesday outside of the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children in Homestead, Florida.

“We’re gonna shut them down and work with whoever it is to shut them down, and they should be prosecuted,” she continued. “You cannot intimidate members of Congress, frighten members of Congress. It is against the law, and it’s a shame in this United States of America.”

“Shut them down and they should be prosecuted.” (emphasis ours)
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“Fighting Words.”

Last night at the County Commission meeting there were lots of speakers and lots of people on both sides of the Lober issue making statements that made little sense to us.

There was a call for an “ethics committee” and “citizen review boards” to review the conduct of Commissioners.

All of the proposals have legal problems and we won’t address them here at this point in time.

One thing we will take on is comments by on “Robert Burns,” who is helped run Kenny Johnson’s campaign in Palm Bay and is looking to move up the political chain. He has appeared on this blog making what we considered false statements.

During public comments, Burns addressed the issue of the doctrine of “fighting words” as it applies to the First Amendment and Lober’s comments. (It would also apply to other comments, but who said what, when, is not the issue.)

After his comments, Burns received applause which would be great except for one thing: Burns was wrong on the facts of the doctrine of “fighting words.”

Burns said:
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Oh Noes! An “Electronic Petition” Against Bryan Lober!

A Facebook group called “Brevard Ethics” has started an online petition on change.org concerning Brevard County Commissioner Byran Lober.

The petition was brought to our attention because it mentions us. (More on that in a moment.)

First, let’s get the basics out of the way….

Online petitions are not worth the paper they are printed on. This petition is no exception to that rule.

Online petitions are easy to set up, don’t cost anything and don’t take any real time or effort. There is also the fact that the petitions may be signed by people who are outside of the physical location of the people the petition wants to address. By that we mean it is very easy on social media to get friends to sign a petition that deals with Brevard County even though they don’t live within the County itself. We don’t know about you, but we don’t care what someone in Nome, Alaska has to say about a local politician by the name of Bryan Lober.

The other issue is that it is possible to “sign” the same petition multiple times.

Change.org acknowledges that problem:
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