State Senator Debbie mayfield – Mayfield Minute _ Happy Thanksgiving 11/20/2022


Thanksgiving celebrations date back to the first European settlements in America. It was not until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that Thanksgiving would be a national holiday celebrated on the last Thursday of November.

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and give thanks for the many blessings bestowed upon us and to open our hearts to those less fortunate and in need of our compassion, generosity, and volunteerism.

Food donations make a holiday meal possible for many families in our community. Our local food banks are entering their busiest time of year, so if you are able to donate or volunteer, please consider visiting the Food Pantry of Indian River County or Brevard County Florida Food Pantries to locate reputable local organizations serving families in need.

As we enjoy time with our family and friends, and long standing Thanksgiving traditions, please take a moment to remember our military members serving around the world that keep us safe and free.

I wish everyone a very blessed and relaxing Thanksgiving Holiday.

I consider it a great honor to represent District 19. Please share this link with your friends and family so they too, can sign up for the Mayfield Minute. If you or someone you know needs my assistance, please do not hesitate to contact my office. My staff and I are here to serve you.  

Statewide Update


FL Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) Launches Safe Holiday Travel Campaign


Millions of Floridians and visitors are expected to travel on Florida’s roadways over the next two months. This will be the busiest long-distance travel period of the year. FLHSMV is proactively making efforts to educate Floridians and visitors to our state throughout the holiday season on all aspects of safe driving. Below are some key reminders for successful holiday travel:

  • Tires are a vehicle’s first line of defense on the road. It is critical to check your tires before taking your foot off the break and shifting into drive. In 2021, there were 2,811 tire-related crashes in Florida, resulting in 176 serious bodily injuries and 32 fatalities.
  • Prepare for more travelers, especially out of state travelers on all highways. Have patience and give yourself a little extra time to reach your destination.


  • In 2021, during the five-days of Thanksgiving travel (Wednesday to Sunday), there were 4,585 crashes on Florida roads. Most of those crashes occurred on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving Day. Sadly 49 travelers lost their lives in Thanksgiving related travel in Florida in 2021.

FLHSMV’s many helpful tips to keep all holiday travelers safe on the state’s roadway can be found here.


Senate President-Elect Kathleen Passidomo Announces Her Leadership Team


It is a real privilege that I have been asked to serve as the Chair of the Senate Rules Committee by Senate President-Elect Kathleen Passidomo for the 2022-2024 term. The Rules Committee has a number of responsibilities including the referencing of bills to appropriate committees and determining the order in which bills are scheduled for consideration for a floor vote.


As one of the larger Senate committees, Rules may consist of 20+ members. All chairmanships and committee assignments are decided by the Senate President. The oversight and jurisdiction of the Rules Committee includes:   

  • Senate and Joint Rules – Interpretation and Development
  • Internal operations of the Legislature
  • Reviser’s bills
  • Proposed constitutional amendments
  • Public records bills
  • Local bills
  • Senate resolutions
  • Veto messages
  • Regulation of members’ conduct
  • Regulation of lobbyist conduct

In addition, Senate President-Elect Passidomo asked the following Senators to serve on her leadership team:

Senator Dennis Baxley, Senate President Pro Tempore

Senator Doug Broxson, Chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations

Senator Travis Hutson, Chair of Fiscal Policy

Senator Ben Albritton, Senate Majority Leader

Senator Keith Perry


CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis Honors Florida’s Fallen Firefighters


On Friday, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis joined elected officials, members of the fire service community and their families at the Florida State Fire College in Ocala for a memorial event to pay tribute to Florida’s fallen firefighters. The names of 16 fallen firefighters will be etched on the Florida Fallen Firefighter Memorial at the Fire College.

During the ceremony CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis stated, “Please join me in honoring our fallen firefighters, the ones that answered the call but didn’t come home. The names etched on this memorial echo a costly reminder that selfless service does not come without sacrifice. Please pray for the families of these heroes who served alongside these first responders and supported them as they worked to protect us. God bless these heroes and their families. Their service and sacrifice will never be forgotten.”

Four of the 16 heroes recognized by CFO Patronis were from our district. May we always remember our fallen firefighters and and their families.

  • Dennis Sams – Satellite Beach Fire Rescue
  • Scott E. Allender – Melbourne Fire Department
  • Mitchell R. Weldon – Cocoa Fire Rescue
  • James S. Hunt – Melbourne Fire Department

For more information on Florida’s Fallen Firefighter Memorial, click here.

 Agency Highlight




Last week, Governor DeSantis announced record visitation to Florida in the third quarter of 2022. VISIT FLORIDA estimates 35.1 million people visited Florida between July and September 2022, marking a 6.9 percent increase from the third quarter 2021, and the fifth consecutive quarter of increased visitors to our State, well surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

As we enter the busiest travel season of the year, the Automobile Association of America (AAA) announced 54.6 million Americans will travel greater than 50 miles for the Thanksgiving holiday. Orlando and Fort Lauderdale ranked 3rd and 10th respectively in the nations top 10 most popular destinations for holiday travel. 

VISIT FLORIDA is a not-for-profit corporation created by the Florida Legislature in 1996. Promoting Florida as a premiere destination for intrastate, interstate, and international business and leisure travelers remains its top priority. The most recent data shows:

  • Florida’s tourism industry was responsible for welcoming 122 million visitors in 2021, representing a 54 percent increase from 2020.
  • Florida welcomed 1.9 million overseas travelers July thru September 2022, an increase of 85.5 percent from the same period in 2021.
  • Canadian visitation to Florida during July thru September 2022 accounted for 539,000 visitors, an increase of 442.2 percent from the same period in 2021.
  • 34.3 percent of visitors traveled to Florida by plane July thru September 2022 marking a return to historical travel patterns, post pandemic.
  • Hotel rooms sold grew 9.2 percent compared to the same period last year, and the overall occupancy rate grew by 6.2 percent.

Florida visitors contribute over $96.5 billion to Florida’s economy and support over 1.6 million Florida jobs.

Whether you are newly relocating, a resident traveling across a few counties, or an out-of-state visitor to Florida, VISIT FLORIDA is a valuable resource to help you navigate your stay and answer frequently asked questions.  

Constituent of the Week

Vice Mayor Dominick Montanaro


Our Constituent of the Week is the Vice Mayor of Satellite Beach, Dominick Montanaro. Vice Mayor Montanaro has served the City for over 28 years in many capacities including 17 years on the City Council. 

Dedicating nearly three decades of his life’s work to Satellite Beach, Vice Mayor Montanaro has held many positions of leadership on the City’s Code Enforcement Board, Planning and Zoning Advisory Board, Land Development Regulations Committee, A1A Corridor Improvement Committee, and the Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Committee.


He served as President, Vice President, and Treasurer of the Space Coast League of Cities (SCLOC) representing the 16 municipalities of Brevard County. Vice Mayor Montanaro was also Chair of the SCLOC Advocacy Team for the last five years working with State Legislators locally and statewide.


He is active in the Florida League of Cities (FLC) as a member of the FLC Board of Directors and the FLC Municipal Administration Policy Committee. He served as Chairman of the FLC Municipal Pension Trust Fund and the FLC Advocacy Committee, and as a member of the FLC Nominating Committee and the Resolutions Committee.  


In June of 2014, he received the FLC Home Town Hero Award for his work in Tallahassee and locally. With overwhelming support, he has received the award every year since.


Prior to his public service, Mr. Montanaro was a Florida Certified Swimming Pool Service Contractor, operated M & M Pools Inc. in Satellite Beach from 1985 -2020, and was an active member of the Florida Swimming Pool Association (FSPA). He was a member of the FSPA Board of Directors for 17 years holding leadership positions from Secretary to President. Mr. Montanaro was the FSPA Person of the Year in 2004 and 2009. In 2011, he was inducted into the FSPA Hall of Fame.


He joined the Board of Directors for Anglers for Conservation (AFC) in January 2010 and served as Secretary and Vice President on their Executive Committee for eight years. He loved the time he spent working with the Hook Kids on Fishing Program, especially assisting AFC in working with governmental agencies on programs and events sponsored by the AFC. 


He is a graduate of the State University of New York (SUNY Polytechnic) with a Bachelor’s in Marketing and Management. Mr. Montanaro and his wife Barbara reside in Satellite Beach and when asked what his retirement plans are, he said, “The golf course has been good to me.” He also plans to spend time with his parents and, “To see what happens next.”


District 19 recognizes the decades’ long accomplishments of Dominick Montanaro and we wish him and his family well in his next chapter of retirement.  

District Highlights


Indian River County Firefighters and Paramedics Reach Agreement with County Administration


Indian River County Fire Rescue Division first responders are expected to receive a four percent pay raise in January and up to five additional days off as part of a new, three-year collective bargaining agreement which runs through September 30, 2025. 

County Administrator Jason Brown said the agreement should help the county “recruit and retain” the best people to provide fire rescue services.

“This is a good agreement for everyone involved, a positive step forward for the county and its firefighters and paramedics,” Brown said. “We’ve made a big swing towards making sure we’re competitive in the job market and making this county a place where people want to work and build their careers.”

The three-year cost of the new agreement is estimated at $11.3 million.


NASA’s Artemis 1 Takes Flight


At 1:47 a.m. on Tuesday, November 15th, NASA’s Artemis 1 Orion spacecraft successfully launched from the Kennedy Space Center in a mission NASA administrators are referring to, “as a crucial first step in returning astronauts to the moon and on to Mars later this century.”

“It’s taken a lot to get here, but Orion is now on its way to the moon,” Jim Free, NASA deputy associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate. “This successful launch means NASA and our partners are on a path to explore farther in space than ever before for the benefit of humanity.”

The Artemis 1 is described as the most powerful rocket ever built and was ready for its initial launch on August 29th and again on September 4th, but launching the most powerful rocket requires perfect conditions. Eventually the Space Launch System successfully lofted the Orion capsule to an altitude of about 2,500 miles before separating and falling back to Earth. The unmanned spacecraft will travel 40,000 miles beyond the moon and then return to Earth over the next 25 days, giving NASA a chance to evaluate the performance of its systems before it transports astronauts.

Artemis 1 is already sending back to Earth breathtaking photos of its voyage around the moon and beyond which can be seen here

NASA says one of the most crucial tests will be the durability of the spacecraft’s heat shield against 5,000 degree Fahrenheit temperatures upon reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere. Human-like mannequins are also on board to attempt replication of the forces and radiation astronauts will experience. 

While questions remain whether NASA can meet its ambitious goals for a return to the moon, the launch of Artemis I is a historical milestone in space exploration and serves as an exciting catalyst for the next era of humans in space.

To follow the Artemis 1 mission, click here.


Indian River Lagoon Council Holds Board of Directors Meeting


Last week I had the opportunity to address participants of the Indian River Lagoon Council Meeting. The Indian River Lagoon is one of 28 estuaries identified by the U.S. Congress as an “estuary of national significance.” The IRLNEP is a non-regulatory program administered nationally by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) within Section 320 of the Clean Water Act.

The Indian River Lagoon was nominated as an Estuary of National Significance and joined the NEP in 1990. The IRLNEP is sponsored by the IRL Council, which was established in February 2015 as a special district of Florida. The IRL Council includes representatives of the five counties bordering the lagoon (Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, and Martin), the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD), the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

The meeting was presided over by Dr. Duane DeFreese, Executive Director of the IRL Council. Agenda items included the hiring of five new staff members, three specifically assigned to community engagement positions. Presentations were provided by the SJRWMD and the SFWMD regarding water quality. The Kennedy Space Center presented on NASA’s Master Plan Overview, and the Fort Pierce Utility Authority discussed its sewer plant relocation from Hutchinson Island, among other presentations.

For more updates from the meeting and opportunities for individuals, families, and school programs to get involved, please visit the One Lagoon, One Community, One Voice website here. To view the meeting in full on YouTube, click here.

Upcoming Events

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

Honoring 500 Brevard County lives lost due to traffic accidents over the past five years

The Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization will recognize World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, by hosting an inaugural ceremony to honor those lost on Brevard County roadways. The event will take place at the Brevard County Government Center’s Reflection Pond (2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way) at 5:30 p.m. on November 20th.

The event is designed to symbolize and memorialize loved ones lost and those left behind, due to the tragedy of preventable traffic accidents. Over 500 lives have been lost in Brevard County over the last five years. Addressing traffic related deaths is imperative.

To help spread the word, the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization is creating a social media campaign called “For the Love of …” requesting participants to share a description of a loved one impacted by a vehicle accident. If you are interested in sharing a story, please email [email protected].

The world Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR) is commemorated on the third Sunday of November each year. It is a high-profile global event to remember the many millions who have been killed and seriously injured on the world’s roads and to acknowledge the suffering of all affected victims, families, and communities– millions added each year to countless millions already suffering: a truly tremendous cumulative toll.

Local Opportunities for Children and Pets to Visit Santa Claus Begin in November


Kickoff to Christmas in Viera

Visit Santa and Mrs. Claus at The Avenue Viera, 2261 Town Center Ave., on Friday, November 25th from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. There will be stations to write letters to Santa, arts and crafts, a holiday dance party, and more. At 7:00 p.m., Santa and Mrs. Claus will help light the 34-foot Christmas tree in front of Panera Bread. Carriage rides will be available in front of AMC Theaters for $5 and with timed reservations.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the central park area of The Avenue Viera, 2261 Town Center Ave., every weekend between November 26th and December 24th. The visits will be from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sundays, and from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Bring your camera for a photo with Santa. Leashed pets are also welcome. All visits are weather dependent.

Visit for more information on both events.

Breakfast with Santa in Sebastian

LaPorte Farms, 7700 129th Street in Sebastian, will host a gourmet breakfast with Santa on Saturday, November 26th at 8:30 a.m. The menu includes biscuits and gravy, eggs, bacon, sausage, orange juice and coffee. Photos with Santa will be available. Visit

Santa Paws for the Cause in Cocoa Village

Bring your pets and kids to meet Santa at the gazebo in Myrt Tharpe Square, 12 Stone Street, Cocoa Village, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Sunday, December 4th. For a $10 donation, receive a goody bag and a framed 4×6 photo with Santa. Proceeds benefit Rescue Rebels. All pets must be on a leash and up to date on vaccinations. Call 321-305-4584 for more information.


Breakfast with Santa in Palm Bar in Palm Bay

Meet Santa at the Ted Whitlock Community Center, 1951 Malabar Road in Palm Bay, on Saturday, December 10th from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Beef O’ Brady’s Bayside Lakes will serve pancakes and sausage, and coffee, hot chocolate, orange juice and pastries will be available. There will be inflatables, games and crafts. Bring your camera for a photo with Santa. Admission is $5, or free for children 2 and under with a paying adult. Visit for more details.

Contact Information

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Melbourne Office 

900 East Strawbridge Avenue

Melbourne, FL 32901

(321) 409-2025


Tallahassee Office

330 Senate Office Building

404 South Monroe Street

Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100

(850) 487-5017



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