MELBOURNE, Fla. - Brevard County beaches attract people from all over Florida and the world. When Commissioner Bryan Lober wanted to shut them down over coronavirus concerns, the other four county commissioners voted to keep them open.
Soon after, eight mayors implemented their own beach rules to keep people away. Commissioner John Tobia says that was the better solution, rather than a countywide order.
"There are some state officials that have certainly advocated strongly for closing the beaches, and if the state had made that decision, we certainly would have abided by that," Tobia said. "However, the county, I believe, has made the correct decision [and] kept the beaches open."
Then Commissioner Lober introduced another measure. His proposal dealt with stores, how close people could be standing, and citing businesses if they were being too loose.
From the beginning, Lober says he has understood social distancing is key and feels like the rest of the commission hasn’t gotten that message.
"Apparently, my view of the situation and the need to take appropriate measures is not shared by my fellow commissioners," he said.
So much so, the other four commissioners did not even allow the motion about the stores to get further discussion.
"If more people were congregating in a certain area of the store, we would then cite a business owner of the store for the actions of the people that were inside," Tobia said. "Well, not only is it a nightmare for businesses, it’s a nightmare for law enforcement, and it’s all together an absolutely horrible idea."
Commissioner Lober serves on the policy group for the county. That’s a separate entity from the commission. Lober says he will see what the other members of the policy group think about his proposal.