The stand against Puerto Rico statehood crashes for Brevard commissioner


A controversial resolution asking the US Government to deny Puerto Rico statehood ended with silence from Brevard County Commissioners and applause from their crowd.

On Tuesday evening the resolution from Commission John Tobia failed to get a second from his fellow commissioners and ended.

Tobia’s resolution cited Puerto Rico’s current debt situation and the burden it would put on the rest of the United States as reasons for the request.

Following the resolutions failure a cheer erupted in the county chambers from the crowd, many of whom came to speak against the resolution. Since it was added to the agenda it’s been met by criticism from many, and drew about a dozen residents and people from surrounding communities to speak out Tuesday.

Several people questioned why Tobia felt the county should get involved in the federal-level issue at all. Others came with ties to Puerto Rico and spoke on behalf of the people there and the wide voter margin in favor of statehood.

Still, some in the crowd questioned the first-year commissioner’s motives in proposing the resolution.

"Referring to me as somewhat racist was very disappointing,” said Tobia following the decision.

Tobia, a former State Representative, said that the motivation was purely financial and that he’d support Puerto Rican statehood if they had their fiscal situation in order. He also said that the situation effects all citizens and with state legislators not meeting soon, it falls on counties like Brevard to speak up.

"Clearly my fellow commissioners don't care about the national debt,” he said.

Though his push failed to get a resolution, he said he’s glad people are talking about the situation now.

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