Meet the Council
The Council is outlined in the law and has 10 members. Five members are ex-officio: the school superintendent, one local school board member, the district administrator of the local Department of Children and Families, a juvenile court judge and one member of the board of county commissioners. The remaining five members are appointed by the governor to four-year terms, and, to the extent possible, represent the demographic diversity of the population of the county.
Children's Services Council of Brevard
Judge Kelly McKibben
Circuit Judge, 18th Judicial Circuit
Dr. Desmond Blackburn
Superintendent of Brevard Public Schools
Department of Children & Families, Circuit 18 Community Development Administrator
Kristine Isnardi (not pictured)
District 5 County Commissioner
District 5 Brevard County School Board Member
Marilyn “Bunny” Finney
Note: United Way of Brevard serves as the administrative entity to the Council. United Way President Rob Rains is the lead staff in supporting the Council. (Rob Rains pictured with the Council)
The legacy of potential dedicated funding sources for children in Florida counties began in 1945 in Pinellas County. That was when local attorney Leonard Cooperman decided it was time to give troubled youth a better option than going to jail. Cooperman drafted legislation to establish an independent body of citizens and community leaders that would have as its sole interest the welfare of children in Pinellas County. Recognizing that resources would continue to be a barrier to meaningful change, Cooperman had the idea to combine the independent body with the special taxing district mechanism—the first time this had ever been done in the United States.
That same year, the Florida Legislature passed a local bill allowing Pinellas County to establish a special district for children called a “juvenile welfare board”, and levy an ad valorem tax, subject to voter approval.
In 1946, Pinellas County voters approved (by an 80-20 margin) both the special district and its taxing authority, creating the Juvenile Welfare Board (JWB) of Pinellas County. Today, the JWB, now known as JWB-CSC of Pinellas County, is the oldest and longest running of the CSCs in Florida.
Today Chapter 125 of the Florida Statutes allows a CSC to be created by ordinance of the county government (board of county commissioners). County voters may, by countywide referendum, approve taxing authority for the CSC. If approved, Florida law specifies that the CSC can use local tax money only to serve the children and families within the boundaries of the CSC County. Currently, the Children’s Services Council of Brevard is unfunded.