Lober’s proposal to have businesses to mandate masks in order to receive federal relief funds fails

This morning Brevard County Commissioner Chair Bryan Lober presented his proposal to have businesses mandate masks in order to receive Federal CARES Act money.

After a lengthy debate he failed to gain the support of at least 2 more Commissioners in order to pass the measure.

Commissioners Pritchett and Isnardi both emphasized the point that people have the freedom to shop where they like whether the businesses themselves enforce masks or not. Another point was that these are federal funds, and the federal government did not put these restrictions on the funds so neither should the county.

“We shouldn’t be in the business of telling small businesses how to run there’s” Commissioner Isnardi said. “We can’t be held accountable for the businesses own decisions.”

Commissioner Tobia seemed to be the only Commissioner that was somewhat in support of Lober’s proposal with some additional caveats.

He said he strongly supports private businesses and their rights, but in this case they are asking for public money, so that gives the County the right to put stipulations on it.

Isnardi stated again in closing that this money came with rules, and it is not our place to put additional rules on it for businesses who are trying to keep their doors open. “This money was designed to help businesses that were impacted by Covid-19.”

Given that there was a lack of support from the board, Commissioner Lober did not ask for a vote.

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