Mediation Scheduled to Determine If County Children’s Services Council of Brevard Will Disband
After the county voted to disband the Children’s Services Council of Brevard, the council’s board of directors has moved ahead with legal action to prevent the disbanding.
In January, the board unanimously voted in favor of repealing the 1990 ordinance that established the Children’s Services Council as an “independent school district.” The vote came because the commissioners were afraid the council would want a new county property tax that would support their work.
According to the Children’s Services Council, they cannot be abolished unless there is a voter referendum.
In an email sent in early February, an attorney representing the Children’s Services Council told Assistant County Attorney Christine Schvarak that the council “disputes the effectiveness” of the ordinance that the commission had approved the previous month.
According to the Brevard County Attorney’s Office, the County Commission is permitted to disband the commission by ordinance without any input from voters. A memo was sent in January to county commissions, as well Schverak and another attorney stating that the council does not have the authority to levy property taxes. It also stated that because the council had been formed by an ordinance, it could be dissolved by one, too. This was the same conclusion drawn in 2000 by then-County Attorney Scott Knox and his assistant county attorney.
Had the council received the money it request in July, that money would have been used for:
- Services for young children from birth to age 3
- Local child care services for county families
- Delinquency prevention programs for children under the age of 14
- Services for children with physical, intellectual, or emotional challenges
Mediation is scheduled to begin soon.