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County Commission Chair Lober Goes on Personal Tirade Against Beachside Business Group Seeking Help

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Cocoa Beach Director Marketing & Economic Development, Melissa Byron sent an email to Brevard County Commission Chair Bryan Lober on behalf of The Beachside Recovery Task Force. The group is made up of 8 Cocoa Beach/Cape Canaveral small businesses that have been devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Melissa Byron, Cocoa Beach Director Marketing & Economic Development/PHOTO Facebook

The purpose of this email was to ask that the Commission please consider providing relief through the CARES Act (Brevard received $105 million) to the businesses in Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach who suffered business interruption caused by required closures due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Mrs. Byron’s email was thorough and professional however, Commissioner Lober seemed to have some resentment towards her from a comment he believes her to have made in the past. Lober has a well documented history of lashing out and attacking his constituents (he is the Commissioner for Cocoa Beach) and this email response is the latest of a disturbing trend.

Here it is in its entirety.

Mrs. Byron:

I cannot adequately convey, in words, the jubilation I derive from having received your below message in which you request that I take certain action; I could not wait to reply!

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It is puzzling that you would ask someone who was said to have joined “John Tobia on the wing-nut side of the Brevard County Commission” to take the measures you have requested. 

Put bluntly, your involvement makes it less likely that I will support any position for which you advocate. I have my own plan regarding providing CARES Act funds to businesses. Please note, though, that this has been in the works for some time and is being done in spite of, not due to, your request. If you would like more information on this, please feel free to submit a public records request to publicrecordsrequest@brevardfl.gov.

Your “task force” would do well to replace you with someone who is well distanced and does not cohabitate with those who have baselessly and unprovokedly maligned me (and never so much as attempted to bury the hatchet) if it wishes to have any goodwill whatsoever on the part of my office. This includes Tom Williamson, whom I have copied on this message. 

This is precisely why it is bad to invent supposed facts and unnecessarily burn bridges. Look at the bright side. At least you know where I stand. 🙂 


cc: All the folks on whose behalf you purported to sign.

Bryan A. Lober, Esq.
District 2 Commissioner, Chair, and Supposed “Wing-Nut”
Brevard County Commission
Merritt Island Service Complex
2575 North Courtenay Parkway, Suite 200
Merritt Island, Florida 32953
Ph:   (321) 454-6601
Fax:  (321) 454-6602
E-Mail: D2.Commissioner@BrevardFL.gov The above signature information is informational and should not be construed to suggest that this email was sent in any particular capacity. If in doubt, please inquire for clarification.

Mrs. Byron’s initial email is as follows.

Brevard County Board of County Commissioners

2725 Judge Fran Jamieson WayViera, Florida 32940                                                            June 18, 2020

Dear Chairman Lober,

The purpose of this email is to ask that the Commission please consider providing relief to the businesses in Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach who suffered business interruption caused by required closures due to COVID-19 pandemic. Many Florida Counties are providing relief to their small businesses. Small businesses are the backbone of Brevard County.  We are members of a Beachside Business Recovery Task Force. We represent a wide variety of businesses but our common factor is that we all were required to close for COVID-19. The survey initiated by the City of Cocoa Beach shows that 63.08% of the businesses in the 32931 zip code applied for assistance from county/state/federal recovery programs but as of today most of our businesses have not received any financial aid from any programs.

We understand that Brevard County qualified for $105,034,237 from the CARES Act and that these funds could be allocated to assist local businesses, i.e. reimbursement for the costs of business interruption caused by required closures. The closure came at a time that the small businesses make approximately 30-50% of their operating budget during the time lost  ̶ Spring Break.  Additionally, the Beachside business communities serve the hospitality industry almost entirely, and are still being impacted by the restrictions in place due to COVID-19. 

Not all of the businesses that are part of this task force will be seeking this assistance but all members do agree that assistance is needed for many of the local small businesses.  We do realize that all of the beachside businesses are going through the same storm but we are not all in the same boat and it is very important to the task force that we get through this together as a community.

We request at this time the County designate monies from the CARES Act to assist small businesses. Please let us know if we can be of assistance in the creation or implementation of this program. Thank you for your attention to this issue and we hope you find that this is in the best interest of the County to assist small businesses in Brevard County. We are at your service to assist in developing a fair process to address the needs of the Brevard business community.

Best regards,

The Beachside Recovery Task Force.

Kenne Wells, Cocoa Beach Main Street

Darby Miller, Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce, CVB

Sarah Hobbs, Lash-ology 

 Tom Williamson, Ocean Partners Hospitality

James Webb, Florida Beer Company 

Mosh Gal, Beachwave  

Kelly Lieneke, The Tiny Turtle   

Jacquie Youngs, Ron Jon Surf Shop

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