WATCH LIVE: City of Cocoa Mayor, Council Candidates to Square Off in Forum Live on Space Coast Daily TV
By Space Coast Daily // September 10, 2020
WATCH LIVE SEPTEMBER 10 AT 6 P.M.
WATCH LIVE: Candidates for the City of Cocoa Council and Mayor participate in a forum regarding their candidacy live from the Space Coast Daily TV Studios. The forum is being produced in cooperation between the Cocoa Village Neighborhood Coalition and Space Coast Daily.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Candidates for the City of Cocoa Council and Mayor will participate in a forum regarding their candidacy live from the Space Coast Daily TV Studios beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 10. The forum is being produced in cooperation between the Cocoa Village Neighborhood Coalition and Space Coast Daily.
The forum may be viewed by logging on to Facebook and proceeding to this page: https://www.facebook.com/SpaceCoastDaily/
If you do not have access to a computer then you may use the computers at the Cocoa Library at 308 Forrest Avenue, Cocoa, Fl 32922 or at any county library. The libraries close at 8 pm today.
■ City of Cocoa Council District 2 and 3 Candidate Forum
• 6 pm: Opening remarks – Ed Green from the Cocoa Village Neighborhood Coalition (CVNC) and Giles Malone – Space Coast Daily
• Introductions and 1-minute opening statements from the candidates.
• Each candidate will be asked the same question in each round and each candidate will have 1 minute to respond.
Two rounds of questions from the candidates:
• Each candidate may ask a question of their choice to one other candidate of their choice in each round.
• Candidates 1-minute closing statements.
City of Cocoa Mayoral Forum:
• Introductions and 1-minute opening statements from the candidates.
Each candidate will be asked the same question in each round and will have 1 minute to respond.
Two rounds of questions from the candidates:
Each candidate may ask a question of their choice to one other candidate of their choice in each round.
Candidates 1-minute closing statements.
■ Lavander Hearn: Candidate for City of Cocoa Council District 2
Raised in the the heart of Cocoa, Lavander Hearn is the father of two beautiful children and serves as a mentor many children throughout Cocoa. As a teen, Lavander found himself facing many obstacles including incidents involving the law. Thankfully through mentorship and youth outreach programs, Lavander was able to guide himself back on track towards a positive path. Lavander is a Cocoa High school alumni where he played sports.
Eventually, Lavander attended Eastern Florida State College (EFSC) completing Firefighter/EMT training and obtaining his Associate of Arts degree in Fire Science. Mr. Hearn is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Public Safety Management. Currently, Lavander is employed with Brevard County Fire Rescue as a Firefighter/EMT serving Brevardians in need as well a substitute teacher and community organizer.
As Cocoa’s district 2 city council, my initiatives will consist of:
Social and economic equality for all, including affordable housing.
Improved relations between citizens and the Cocoa police department
Combating crime and senseless gun violence
Smart and environmental friendly growth and development
Storm water management and Emergency preparation
The Beautification of Cocoa
Transparency and citizen involvement
“It is an honor and a privilege to be a candidate for the City of Cocoa City Council District 2 seat.”
Stephanie Moretto: Candidate for City of Cocoa Council District 2
My name is Stephanie Moretto, and I am running for Seat 2 for City Council. I have spent almost the last 15 years living in Cocoa,Florida. A city I truly have fallen in love with from the moment my husband and I moved into our home in 2006.
My husband, Nic and I have been married for 15 years, and always had big dreams for our family.I am ready to bring positive leadership into the heart of my district.We come from a background of business owners and I know with collaboration, we can do better together.
Over the years of living in our community we have participated in numerous events throughout the county.I have been directly involved with different Boards within the City and countless organizations.The goal has always been the same-to make Cocoa Better!
The city of Cocoa has the ability to be remarkable.We need to all Love Cocoa,and Dream Big,
Rip Dyal: Candidate for City of Cocoa District 3
Jennifer Kenny, Candidate for City of Cocoa Council District 3
Jennifer Kenny moved to the Central Florida area in her early twenties and fell in love with the area. As a single mother, she successfully completed an electrical apprenticeship program. After a long and interesting career in the Electrical industry, Jennifer decided for a change where she could help others and served in the capacity of Community Service Liaison to Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW).
Jennifer left HFUW to work for Alliance for Retired Americans advocating for senior citizens. This position required that she travel constantly throughout the state of Florida as well as all six New England states. When an opportunity for work became available in Central Florida, she decided to relocate to be closer to her family.
Jennifer currently lives in Cocoa, where she can be found attending local council meetings, engaging with the community and enjoying her family.
Mike Blake: Candidate for City of Cocoa Mayor
Allen Cowart: Candidate for City of Cocoa Mayor
Allen Cowart is a native of Cocoa, Florida and many generations of his family have called Cocoa home. He’s a local businessman; a former deputy sheriff and a current reserve deputy sheriff. He was also a paid and volunteer fireman and has given tirelessly to local charities and the children of our community.
Like all of us, he’s deeply concerned about our crime and issues surrounding homelessness. However, he feels we should seek solutions by working on the causes, not just the symptoms.
Economic and educational challenges are the source of most of our problems and it’s his goal to effect changes by addressing them. Increasing the economic opportunities in our local community will create more jobs and raise the standard of living for our citizens. At the same time, we must also uplift the educational experiences our
community’s children are experiencing.
We need to develop the 524 corridor in advance of the new Highspeed Rail Station we’ve been promised and consider creating new tax districts that attract new businesses and jobs. Allen also see a great need for an increased focus on the area bounded by 520, Fiske, Clearlake, Dixon, & Michigan in regard to crime control and improved living conditions.
All of our local public schools need more resources and, more importantly, more parental involvement to lift them up from their current Grade C Status to again being the pride of our community as Grade A Status schools.
He’ll also work to engage other local stakeholders such as the Brevard Economic Development Commission, Career Source Brevard, and the Brevard County School Board as part of his job and education initiatives.
Allen Cowart will work hard for our city and strive to help it return it to the safe, happy place he was privileged to enjoy as a child.
Colonel Bob Harvey: Candidate for City of Cocoa Mayor
Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Bob Harvey is an airline pilot, author, businessman and current Port Canaveral commissioner serving the City of Cocoa.
He is a combat-proven leader and decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star and five Air Medals, including one for successfully landing a crippled F-16 after its engine failed.
Col. Harvey commanded an F-16 fighter squadron and an Air Operations Group. He is a National Defense Fellow and a graduate of the USAF Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun). He served as an analyst on the Joint Staff at the Pentagon and was a senior Air Advisor to the overall Army commander during the Iraq war. In 1993, he received the Air Force’s award for the most outstanding achievement in aviation safety.
Col. Harvey received his MBA from Excelsior College and a Master of Aeronautical Science and an undergraduate degree from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.
Since moving to Brevard County in 2011, he has served on the board of directors for the Melbourne Regional Chamber, PREVENT! of Brevard, Central Brevard Humane Society and the Air Force Space and Missile Museum Foundation. He currently serves on the board of a non- profit community restoration project.
Harvey was elected as Commissioner of the Canaveral Port Authority for a four-year term beginning in November 2016. In 2018, Bob and his wife Connie were honored with a Space Coast Inspiration Award that emphasized inspiration as the way to make things happen in a community.
He has authored two books, including “Cocoa, Florida, A History.” He is a business partner in The Villas of Cocoa Village, building 75 townhomes in the City of Cocoa. After a career that took him around the globe, Bob and Connie chose Cocoa as their forever home.
Henry U. Parrish III, Candidate for City of Cocoa Mayor
Henry Parrish was born and raised in the Cocoa–Rockledge area, an graduated from Rockledge High School in 1982. A member of one of Florida’s Pioneer Families dating back 197 years and help settle the area.
• Owner of Parrish Properties and Investments from 1990-2000.
• Has been involved in the City of Cocoa politics for over 25 years to invoke positive change in the entire City.
• Served as Governor’s Appointee to the Technological Research Development Authority TRDA Board from 2003-2008.
• Purchased The Shephard House and relocated it by barge from Rockledge to Cocoa in 2004 and saved this historic home from destruction.
• Redeveloped and preserved this, now famous, Queen Anne style home built in 1890 and opened it in 2009 as a Bed and Breakfast. It is well known worldwide and sought after for its history and charm. It is currently the only lodging available in the Historic District putting Cocoa on the map by bringing more tourism and encouraging economic development in the City’s Historic Cocoa Village.
• Moved the Parrish House, built in 1885, to where it now resides next door to the Parrish Grove Inn and these two homes are the most historic homes in the area.
• Developed Riverside Landing Condominiums which attracted and brought new people to the City of Cocoa.
• Served as Mayor of Cocoa, from 2012-2016, ran for a second term and won due to the successful first term.
• Re-established Parrish Redevelopment in 2017 and renovated rental properties I own.
• Worked with the Housing for Homeless Coalition from 2018 to current to place homeless families and veterans into homes that are currently displaced.
• Currently serving on the Brevard Historical Commission since 2018.
Jake Williams Jr., Candidate for City of Cocoa Mayor
Jake Williams has earned degrees in Business Administration and Criminal Justice Management and retired from Kennedy Space Center after 27 years as a Propellant Pneumatic Tech. He is a disabled Air Force Veteran where he was an Air Crew Life Support Specialist.
“I’m running for office to continue what we started after being elected in 2018.”
a. Eliminating Blight throughout our city.
b. Reducing street-level crime.
c. Addressing the growing homelessness issues in our community.
d. Addressing a shortage Of affordable housing and workforce housing.
e. Addressing the inequalities of services within our city.
He served on the Cocoa City Council from 2004 through 2012 and served two terms as deputy mayor doing that time ande is the current mayor of Cocoa.