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Claiming The Need For Money, Sheriff Wayne Ivey Joins Suit Over Budget Vote……Spending More Tax Payer Dollars.

In case you have missed it, Brevard County Officials are involved in what started out as a bruhaha and has involved into a lawsuit.

The issue is the whether the County Commission’s vote to pass “critical need funding” for the Sheriff’s office in 2019 was legal.

Commissioners voted 4-1 in favor of declaring a “critical need” related the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office budget. County Commissioner John Tobia cast the no vote.

With that required “supermajority vote” of at least four commissioners, it allows the county to exceed a voter-approved cap in how much money can be raised via property taxes in the Law Enforcement Municipal Service Taxing Unit portion of the budget.

Although property tax rates for the county general fund and 18 other specialized operating tax rates would decline under County Manager Frank Abbate’s proposed budget, that would not be the case for the Law Enforcement MSTU portion of the budget.
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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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Cocoa Beach: Lori Wilson Park.

This came to us via a long circuitous route and frankly, we have no idea who they were sent to originally.

The two documents are:

1) The agenda item off of the Brevard Board of County Commissioners meeting. You can read this document offline by clicking here.

2) The proposal from Driftwood Acquisitions and Development, a development group, seeking to have the property given to the City of Cocoa Beach, putting $4 million dollars into the repair and development of the park with the addition of such things as a migratory bird pond and a 20,000 square foot restaurant which the developers will run and pay rent to the city for the use of the property. You can read this document offline by clicking here.
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Cocoa Beach: Commission Meeting Tonight – Presentation On Lori Wilson Park Takeover.

Tonight at 7:00 PM, the City Commission will meet in a regular meeting. The agenda for the meeting can be found here.

One of the interesting items is right up front:

C SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS
1. Discuss possible transfer of ownership of Lori Wilson Park from Brevard County to the City of Cocoa Beach. No action is requested at this time; the presentation is intended for public dialogue.
Representatives: Mayor Ben Malik, Brevard County District 2 Commissioner Bryan Lober, Tourist Development Council Director Peter Cranis

While the presentation is only being made for public information and no vote will be taken on anything, there is something to watch out for and that is political “trickeration.”
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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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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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