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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:
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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.
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“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.
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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 Amazon.com 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?”
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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.

Respectfully,

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.

CONDUCT OF COMMISSIONERS.

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

Commissioner’s Smith Request For Advertising Of “Censure Ordinance” Pulled From Agenda.

This past Saturday, we wrote a post on Commissioner Curt Smith’s request for funding for the advertising of a public hearing concerning his proposed “Censure Ordinance.”

The request popped up on the agenda that was revised at 9:39 AM on December 1, 2017.

This is a screen shot of that version of the agenda.

Yesterday, we got a notice from one of our ninjas that the item had been pulled from the agenda. Initially we could not find that to be true by going through the Brevard County Meeting Portal site, but the Clerk of the Courts site had an updated version of the agenda that was changed at 10:52 AM on December 4, 2017. A screen shot of the updated agenda is below.
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If You Loved It As A “Civility Ordinance,” You’re Gonna Love It As A “Censure Ordinance.”

Commissioner Curt Smith (left) and Brevard County Attorney Scott Knox (right.)

We wrote about the ordinance being proposed by Brevard County Commissioner Curt Smith the other day. Initially, on November 21, 2017 in response to another spat with Commissioner Tobia, Smith announced that he was going to propose a “Civility Ordinance” which would deal with the speech and behavior of not only Commission members, but of the general public.

As Robert’s Rules of Order give the Chair of any meeting lots of leeway in dealing with the behavior of people, for citizens that part of the ordinance is superfluous. As for the speech of citizens, as we detailed, that part of the ordinance is unConstitutional under the US and Florida Constitutions. (Nice to know that Smith and County Attorney Scott Knox are not devoted and against those documents, eh?)

By statute, such an ordinance would have to be advertised 10 days before a public hearing:

Florida Statute 166.041(3)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (c), a proposed ordinance may be read by title, or in full, on at least 2 separate days and shall, at least 10 days prior to adoption, be noticed once in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality. The notice of proposed enactment shall state the date, time, and place of the meeting; the title or titles of proposed ordinances; and the place or places within the municipality where such proposed ordinances may be inspected by the public. The notice shall also advise that interested parties may appear at the meeting and be heard with respect to the proposed ordinance.

Smith announced his intentions on Novemeber 21, and as there are 13 days beteen November 22 and December 5, which is the date of the next Commission meeting. There was time to fit the notices into the legal requirements.

Yet as we watched and searched for the “Civility Ordinance” to be put on the agenda, nothing happened.

Smith’s big cause and attempt to censor people was not happening. We were rather stunned. After all, Smith had made such a big deal about the whole thing one would thing that he wwould be interested in following through.

Yet he did not.
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Commissioner Smith’s Proposed “Civility Ordinance.”

Commissioner Curt Smith (left) and Brevard County Attorney Scott Knox (right.)

Yesterday we wrote that Brevard County Commissioner Curt Smith was looking to introduce a “Civility Ordinance” that would mandate the behavior of Commissioners, the staff, people in the audience and those who speak in front of the Commission during Commission meetings. Smith said that he had been working with County Attorney Scott Knox on the preparation of this ordinance since June.

During the November 21st meeting, Smith said that he would present the ordinance for a vote on December 5th, and handed each Commissioner a draft copy of the ordinance.

We decided that it might be a good idea to get a copy of that draft and so we made a request for the draft. That request was handled quickly and efficiently by Commissioner Smith’s staff and the County Staff. Our request was filled in less than a day, and that is more than we could hope for. We want to publicly thank those involved in the response to the request.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: We were sent the ordinance draft in a .docx (Microsoft Word) format. The software we use for this blog requires a third party plugin to embed .docx files. We don’t want to add another plugin to the site, so we converted the Word document to an Adobe .pdf file which is seen below. In converting the file, Adobe removed a watermark from the original .docx file. That watermark reads “DRAFT 6/20/17.” We don’t want it said that we are hiding anything or making changes to the wording of the ordinance draft. If you wish to download and see the original .docx file we were sent, you can get it here. Otherwise, feel free to read the document below.)

That being said, the ordinance itself is a nightmare and an assault on the rights of citizens.
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