Satellite Beach: Letter On Ground Water.

The City of Satellite Beach sent out a letter to residents (and apparently some neighboring non-residents) concerning testing of water in the area after health concerns were raised by residents.

The City has had several missteps on this issue including a clear violation of the Sunshine Laws concerning meetings.

We have tried to stay out of this whole thing because there are people out there who are concerned with promoting other agendas including fear rather than taking a reasonable, science based approach to finding out what was going on.

However, we feel the City’s letter is a good one, addressing the science and making reports and conclusions open to the public for inspections.

Commissioner Bryan Lober: Due Diligence Fail.

In our post yesterday concerning the loathsome comments made by Brevard County Commissioner Bryan Lober, there were several things that struck a chord with us.

Lober claimed he had done his “due diligence” when it came to checking the activities of Maureen Rupe, saying:

Apologies, after the fact, will not be sufficient as my due diligence has revealed that you may have a history of making unreasonable public records requests and you may have a history of complaining about not receiving what you have no lawful right to inspect. (emphasis ours)

(We won’t get into how childish appears to us that a public official would accept an apology (if warranted) from a citizen of Brevard County. That’s a post for another day.)

Later in his email to Rupe, Lober wrote:

I am putting you on notice that I vigorously pursue all lawful remedies against those who publicly defame me and I have no qualms making public examples of those who are imprudent enough to do so. While you are welcome to say what you’d like, I strongly advise you to fact check any disparaging comments you may otherwise consider publishing. (emphasis ours)

Yesterday afternoon, Lober went on FaceBook and accused a person of writing the post:

Who’s Right? (Or Who Is Less Wrong?)

There is very little we can say about the need to address issues concerning the Indian River Lagoon that has not be said before. Citizens in Brevard County took those issues seriously and in 2016 voted to pass a 1/2 sales tax increase to fund the cleanup. The ten year tax was estimated to raise $34 million dollars a year but instead has been raising more than expected:

Nearly $44 million was collected from the sales tax during 2017, compared with the initial estimate that $34 million would be raised. In all, the latest estimates project that the special lagoon sales tax will raise $486 million over a 10-year period.

On December 28, 2018 Representative Randy Fine announced that he was proposing a bill that would increase funding for the lagoon and also address the release of raw sewage into the lagoon.

Florida Rep. Randy Fine on Friday filed a bill for the upcoming state legislative session that provides $50 million in annual state matching funds for Indian River Lagoon rehabilitation projects.

Fine’s measure also calls for “dramatic increases” in the fines for illegal raw sewage spills, which, if passed, could impact municipalities and force them to upgrade sewer and drainage infrastructure or suffer a big financial hit.


Rangal And Mick Are Firing Shots Without Ammunition.

Florida Today contributors Isadora S Rangel and Bill Mick both have opinion pieces in the newspaper attacking John Tobia for his actions concerning Curt Smith during Brevard County commission meetings.

It’s a good thing that both are opinion pieces because they lack facts and certainly lack any depth of understanding.

Mick writes:

When the Brevard County Commission can’t have a unanimous vote without controversy being stirred, there is a problem. I believe I have identified that problem.

The problem’s name is John Tobia and the biggest part of the problem is he can’t stop himself from campaigning against Curt Smith from the dais.

No, they don’t run against each other, but Tobia has had it out for Smith since Tobia entered the commission with both figurative middle fingers extended to the room in the attitude he has exhibited since the start.

You see, the unanimous vote was for Tourism Development Council funding for lagoon projects. Unanimous means they all voted yes, right? Then why did Tobia have to talk about Curt “flip-flopping” his position? I suppose because it’s out of character for him to recognize the win in a gracious manner.

Brevard deserves better.

Mick has a time line problem. The question about whether Smith had flip flopped on the issue was made by Tobia during the discussion of the issue – not after the vote. Frankly, it’s a valid question. Smith had been against the measure last November and has flip flopped in an election year.

As we wrote last week:

Smith vs. Tobia – Same At It Ever Was.

Stop us if you have heard this one before:

At the Brevard County Commission meeting, Commissioners Smith and Tobia went at each other.

It’s a recurring theme with these two.

Brevard County commissioners gave preliminary support Tuesday to using up to $1 million a year in hotel tax money for projects to benefit the Indian River Lagoon.

But the unanimous vote came after a confrontation between Commissioners Curt Smith and John Tobia that resulted in County Commission Chair Rita Pritchett calling a five-minute timeout, mid-debate.

Smith, who sponsored the measure related to the tourist tax use, is up for re-election this year, and is facing fellow Republican Trudie Infantini, a former county commissioner, in an Aug. 28 Republican primary for his District 4 seat. Tobia is backing Infantini.

Tobia implied during the debate that Smith has flip-flopped on his stance about using money from the 5 percent Tourist Development Tax on hotel rooms and other short-term rentals for lagoon projects. Tobia read a section of a Nov. 9 FLORIDA TODAY article about that issue, related to Smith’s concerns at the time to state legislation sponsored by Florida Rep. Randy Fine to broaden the use of the tourist tax for lagoon projects. Tobia said Smith now is “changing his opinion 180 degrees” from his previous statement.

Smith said he didn’t take his earlier remarks back, but told Tobia that he was tired of what he felt were “personal attacks that I continue to get” from Tobia.

Asking why Smith had changed his mind is a “personal attack?”

Smith has changed his opinion on the issue of the use of tourism money on the lagoon.

“Haters Are Going To Hate.”

This past Tuesday, Palm Bay resident David Kearns decided to stop in at the Brevard County Commission and say a few words.

During the public comment period at Tuesday’s County Commission meeting, Kearns quoted from a letter that was a subject of a July 3 FLORIDA TODAY story that was partly related to David Isnardi.

More: Anderson named Palm Bay acting deputy city manager, as Isnardi seeks his job back

More: Palm Bay’s deputy city manager David Isnardi resigns

David Isnardi resigned from his position as Palm Bay deputy city manager last September in the midst of an ongoing federal and state probe of the city.

The June 28 letter — from David Isnardi’s attorney, John Murphy, to Palm Bay City Manager Gregg Lynk and Palm Bay Mayor William Capote — said that Isnardi “is interested in being reinstated to his former position” as deputy city manager.

When he announced his resignation, Isnardi said he wanted to move on, and remove any taint from an FBI and Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation into activities at Palm Bay that could jeopardize his wife’s political career. Kristine Isnardi was elected as a Brevard County commissioner in 2016.

Lynk has named Andy Anderson, Palm Bay’s economic development and external affairs director, as acting deputy city manager.

But Murphy’s letter says giving David Isnardi back his former position is “an ideal way to resolve this situation without litigation.”

That didn’t sit well with Kearns, and he made his views known to county commissioners.

We have covered the Isnardi letter previously, and we don’t see any benefit from discussing it again at this time.

What we do want to discuss is Kearns’ actions and the response from the County Commission.

Frankly, we cannot fathom what Kearns was thinking when he went to the County Commission to discuss a City of Palm Bay issue.

Ellis, Loans, County Commission And Blue Origin.

Yesterday, the County Commission took up an interesting topic of whether it could borrow $8 million dollars to give to Blue Origin as an incentive to establish a facility here in Brevard County.

Via Wikipedia:

Blue Origin is an American privately funded aerospace manufacturer and spaceflight services company set up by founder Jeff Bezos with its headquarters in Kent, Washington. The company is developing technologies to enable private human access to space with the goal to dramatically lower costs and increase reliability. Blue Origin is employing an incremental approach from suborbital to orbital flight, with each developmental step building on its prior work. The company motto is “Gradatim Ferociter”, Latin for “Step by Step, Ferociously”. Blue Origin is developing a variety of technologies, with a focus on rocket-powered Vertical Takeoff and Vertical Landing (VTVL) vehicles for access to suborbital and orbital space. The company’s name refers to the blue planet, Earth, as the point of origin.

(Bezos himself is the richest man or second richest man on the face of the earth (depending on the value of stock he holds). In December, his net worth passed the $100 billion mark but has since dropped to just below the $100 billion level.)

When Blue Origin was looking for places to establish a facility, the North Brevard Economic Development Zone (NBEDZ) hopped up and said “pick us.” To make the move, Blue Origin wanted $8 million dollars.

There were several problems. First, the NBEDZ didn’t have $8 million laying around. They would have had to borrow the money to pay Blue Origin. Problem 1A was that no financial institution would loan the NBEDZ the money. The NBEDZ came to the County Commission and basically said “Got $8 million to pay to Blue Origin?”

Dear Commissioners.

As we said yesterday, we sent an email detailing the issues we had with Commissioner Curt Smith’s “Censure Ordinance” that was to be voted upon for advertising funding on December 5, but was pulled from  the agenda.

This is a copy of that email.

Dear Commissioner,

As of 10:53 AM on December 4, 2017, the item we discuss below has been pulled from the December 5 agenda.  We do not know why it has been pulled only that it has been pulled. 

However, we believe that the ordinance never should have been proposed or written in the form you were presented during the Novermber 21, 2017 meeting. 

Therefore, because of our concerns with this proposed ordinance, we are sending the email below which we had prepared to send to you today on the ordinance.  We wanted to explain and give citations as to why the ordinance is flawed and unConstitutional as well as offering other means for dealing with certain conduct that is within Robert’s Rules of Order while not infringing on the protected speech of the public.

Thank you in advance for reading this.


A. Afterwit.

Dear Commissioner,

On December 5, 2017, you will discussing and voting upon Agenda Item VI(F)(2) which is under “New Business,” “Miscellaneous.”

The item is described as “Request for Advertising of a Public Hearing, Re: Censure Ordinance Governing Board of County Commissioners Meetings (District 4)”

This funding request should be voted down as the proposed ordinance is both superfluous and unConstitutional.

The proposed ordinance has basically two sections.  The first deals with the conduct of members of the County Commission and the second part deals with the speech of citizens.


It should be noted that the Agenda item before the funding request is to discuss: (more…)

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