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Paging Commissioner Isnardi. Paging Commissioner Isnardi…..

After we finished our post last week on Brevard County Commissioner Kristine Isnardi and her attack on the content of speech, we decided to write her personally.

We sent her an email expressing our concerns. As always, we not only expressed concerns but offered that if she and other Commissioners wanted to stop all comments that were made at inappropriate times during a meeting, we would be supportive of her actions. What we would not support is her desire to hold people “accountable” for things that were said of which she disapproves.

We got an automated response from her office:

Thank you for taking the time to contact me by email. Each day I review my emails and I use this automated response to verify and acknowledge receipt of your correspondence.

My staff and/or I will respond to each and every email as it pertains to my District or specific questions directed towards me. In order to better serve you and your concerns, it is important to include your name, complete address and phone number.

Should you require additional information or assistance, feel free to call my office and a staff member will promptly discuss your concerns with you.

My office address is
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Blind Squirrel Commissioner John Tobia Finds Nuts – Lots Of ‘Em.

A FloridaToday column written by “Governmental Editor Dave Berman” describes a part of the October 10, 2017 Brevard Board of Commissioners meeting this way:

Political Spin column: Questioning by County Commissioner Tobia like ‘Perry Mason’ show

Brevard County Commissioner John Tobia isn’t an attorney.

He just plays one on the County Commission.

At least that was the impression of some people who attended at the commission’s meeting Tuesday night, when the discussion came to

designating $14.4 million from the county’s 5 percent Tourist Development Tax for five tourism-focused capital projects within the county. The tax is charged to those who rent hotel rooms or other short-term rentals.

Within a span of 20 minutes, Tobia let loose with 34 questions directed at three county department heads about the projects, the application process, the tourism economic impacts of the projects and other potential funding sources. In many cases, Tobia launched into a new question before the county officials finished answering the previous question.

At issue was agenda item VI (B)(1) described as “Approval, Re: Tourism Community Development Plan Capital Projects.” The supporting agenda packet for this meeting can be found here, and the information on this particular agenda item begins on page 1123.

In short, the County is looking to spend almost $14.4 million dollars on five areas around the county using Tourism Development Tax Dollars. Those projects are:

Oars & Paddles Park & Pier ($199,495)
Palm Bay Nature Center & Campground ($1,700,000)
Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage Museum ($500,000)
Viera Regiona l Sports Complex ($5,000,000)
Titusville Multi-Use Sports Arena ($7,000,000)

With the background set, we now want to turn to what exactly happened that October 10th night.

You can watch this part of the meeting yourself starting at roughly 3:10:00 of the video available on the Brevard County site.

Space Coast Office of Tourism Executive Director Eric Garvey starts off the item reading the agenda packet description. That is followed by members of the public speaking in favor of the tax dollars being spent.

At approximately 3:55:00 Commissioner Pritchett makes a glowing comment on the spending (after all, $7,000,000 is going back into her district) and then makes a motion to approve the plan. That motion is seconded by Commissioner Barfield.

The fun and games with Commissioner Tobia 3:55:40.
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Brevard County Commissioner Kristine Isnardi And That Pesky First Amendment.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: We tried not to use terms that most people consider curse words in this post. We just couldn’t figure out a way to get that done without losing the flavor of the story. We apologize for the language.)

Brevard County Commissioner Kristine Isnardi became upset during a Commission meeting because she heard what she felt was “highly offensive” speech in the form of curse words from the audience. To set the stage, according to the Florida Today:

Much of the audience was [at the October 5 County Commission Meeting] to express opposition to a proposed zoning change to allow development of a new 40-home subdivision on a 26.11-acre parcel north of Smith Road and east of North Courtenay Parkway on north Merritt Island.

Nineteen people spoke in opposition to the project during the nearly two-hour hearing on the proposal. They were worried about the project’s potential for adding to the flooding, drainage and traffic issues in the area, among other concerns.

Only developer Noel Droor spoke in favor of the plan.

The county also received 48 letters objecting to the zoning change, as well as a petition containing 490 signatures in opposition. It received three letters of support for the project.

After hearing from the speakers, commissioners started their debate. From the commissioners’ comments, members of the crowd began to realize that a majority of commissioners would be voting in favor of the zoning change — overriding the recommendations of two county advisory boards to deny the request.

The assembled crowd then started to mutter and make comments about the Commission and Commissioners. Isnardi claims that she heard the term “bitches” being used.
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Get Outta Here New Tax! Just SCAT!

scat-brevard-commission-roh

Sara Ann Conkling is a passionate person concerning public transportation, specifically expanding the Space Coast Area Transit System (SCAT.)

This past Tuesday, Conkling appeared before the Brevard County Commission to ask that they vote to move forward with a proposal to increase the gas tax by 1 cent which would go to expanding SCAT.

Commissioner Andy Anderson reminded the Commission and made sure the assembled people in the audience knew that no matter what the Commission did that day – discuss the issue or whatever – the Commission was not going to vote on a tax increase as legal requirements such as legal notices, resolutions and a referendum could not be met that day. No matter what, there was not going to be a new sales tax within Brevard as a result of that meeting.

Conkling’s idea is this:

The penny-a-gallon tax would generate about $2.5 million a year for SCAT. Conkling said that would allow for the transit service to:

• Offer weekday service every half-hour on most of its routes.

• Offer more Sunday service on eight routes.

• Add a new route in the Port St. John/south Titusville area, which Conkling calls a ”transit desert” because of its lack of bus service.

• Significantly increase paratransit services for people who are elderly or disabled, and cannot use SCAT’s fixed-route service.

As for the numbers:

Conkling said the plan would cost $3.42 million a year, with about $2.5 million coming from the gas tax, $500,000 from new grants and $250,000 from increased fare revenue.

Conkling told the commissioners that she waited to bring the proposal forward until after the election as she felt an additional tax referendum on the ballot would be rejected as voters were already voting on the Indian River Lagoon tax this past election.

She may very well be right. There are always going to be people with knee-jerk reactions to any tax increase. At the same time, there is something disingenuous about bringing a tax proposal and implying that the voters will reject supporting a worthwhile idea.

Conkling also invoked Jesus Christ, saying:
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Netterstrom Writes To Florida Today. Results Are Probably Not What He Expected.

(image courtesy of Florida Today)

(image courtesy of Florida Today)

Former Cocoa Beach Mayor Dave Netterstrom is running for the office of the Clerk of the Courts for Brevard County.

On Sunday, Netterstrom took to writing the Florida Today newspaper:

Clerk’s budget ‘is a critical issue’

Upon research and preparation for the upcoming candidate forum sponsored by the league of Women Voters, The League of Cities, FLORIDA TODAY and Eastern Florida State College, it has become clear that the clerk of court budget is a critical issue. My deepest sympathy

goes out to the employees who will soon be affected by the pending layoffs and furloughs, especially since they have been working without a pay raise for seven years. Additionally, customer service will also be negatively affected.

It’s really a shame since all of this could have been 100 percent avoided with sharper focus, pro-active management and less political side projects from the clerk’s office.

As a candidate in this November’s election, my unique combination of corporate, entrepreneurial, mayoral and government experience contrasts well against the alternatives’ qualifications. Focusing less on politics and more on service will make the Brevard clerk’s organization “Best in State.”

Dave Netterstrom, Cocoa Beach

As of this writing, there are three comments directly aimed at Netterstrom and his letter. The first is from current Clerk of the Court and candidate Scott Ellis:
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Muck U.

Unless you have been living under a rock or outside of this area, you know that muck in the Indian River Lagoon is a real issue with lasting impacts.

But how much do you know about muck, its causes and solutions?

Stepping up to the plate is Dr. John Trefry.

Dr. John Trefry is a chemical oceanographer and professor at Florida Institute of Technology. He was a co-discoverer of deep-sea hydrothermal vents in the Atlantic Ocean in 1985 and has sampled super-heated (400°C, 750°F) vent fluid from many locations including the East Pacific Rise and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Dr. Trefry also has been carrying out biogeochemical studies in the Arctic for the past 18 years with the challenge of identifying impacts from global climate change versus regional human activities. Dr. Trefry was the medalist of the Florida Academy of Sciences in 2002, served for eight years on the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Outer Continental Shelf Scientific Committee, and has been a long-term associate editor of the journal Marine Chemistry. He has presently stepped up his long-term research efforts to address the plight of the Indian River Lagoon.

On May 11, 2016 Dr.Trefry gave a lecture he called “Running Amuck: Our Six-Decade Legacy to the Indian River Lagoon.”

We have a different name for it: “Muck U.”

The video is 34 minutes long and gives an overview of muck (“black mayonnaise”), its composition, some solutions and what you can do.

It’s well worth your time.




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Brevard County Responds To Samuelson Op-Ed.

A few weeks ago, we covered an op-ed piece written by Florida Today Editorial Advisory Board member Ayn Samuelson. The piece covered a lack of a plan, alternatives and other issues concerning the Indian River Lagoon.

Brevard County Director of Natural Resources Management Virginia Barker has responded to the op-ed.

image courtesy florida Today

image courtesy florida Today

Yes, there IS a plan for the Indian River Lagoon

In a recent FLORIDA TODAY, guest column entitled “Is the Indian River DOA?” it was stated that “no coordinated, legitimate plan for recovery has been crafted yet.”

This statement is unfounded and insulting to the many dedicated and talented community members who, after more than 150 public meetings, developed the Indian River Lagoon Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan.

The plan was adopted by the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program, the Governor of Florida, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. It outlines 68 actions agreed to by more than 100 agencies and local governments with management responsibility for the Lagoon. The plan was updated in 2008 with additional public engagement and intergovernmental coordination.

In 2009, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection completed another important document for the lagoon: The Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Report – Nutrient and Dissolved Oxygen TMDLs for the Indian River Lagoon and Banana River Lagoon.

Action plans for complying with recommended nutrient load limits were adopted in 2013 after numerous public meetings.

The guest column also alleged that dredging will “stir up solids and toxins into the waterways, impacting both wildlife and humans.” Current and prior muck dredging in the lagoon has required technology and safety measures to successfully prevent such impacts.
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Play By Their Rules.

Silence-Lego-Figs-Brevard-County---ROH Yesterday we posted about the Brevard County Resolution put forth by Commissioner Fisher that effectively eliminated the rights of people to seek redress from the government. It also effectively told people to sit down and shut up.

The resolution was supported by Commissioners Anderson and Barfield.

At the end of our post, we said that we would put forth ideas to fight this nonsense which is what this post is about.

First, tell your friends. There is a tendency to only get involved when there are issues that affect someone or with they agree or disagree, but this issue cuts across all ideological, political, racial, and economic lines. Whether you agree with Fisher on funding issues or with Infantini, it doesn’t matter.

This resolution took a shot not just at Infantini, but every citizen in Brevard County. Fisher, Barfield, and Anderson have said your voice will only heard on certain issues and be silenced on others.

That cannot be allowed to stand.

If these three men can silence people on one issue, they can silence people on all issues.

That is why this is important.

So, what to do about it?
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