Commissioner Bryan Lober Leads Brevard Delegation at Indian River Lagoon Management Conference

By  //  December 15, 2018

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Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program Management Conference held in Ft. Pierce

SAVING THE INDIAN RIVER LAGOON: Newly-elected Brevard County Commissioner Bryan Lober led a delegation of Space Coast environmental advocates and experts on Friday to attend the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program Management Conference on Friday in Ft. Pierce. Among those attending the conference were Anthony Catanese, Laurilee Thompson, Mark Grainger, Matt Shelton, Doug Patterson, Mitch Roffer, Vince Lamb, Frank Golan and Duane De Freese. (Space Coast Daily image)

CONFERENCE DISCUSSES 10-YEAR MANAGEMENT PLAN

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Newly-elected Brevard County Commission Vice Chair Bryan Lober led a delegation of Space Coast environmental advocates and experts on Friday to attend the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program Management Conference on Friday in Ft. Pierce.

The conference included Board of Directors, Management Board, STEM Advisory Committee and Citizens’ Advisory Committee members.

The conference focus was “Looking ahead to 2030, a 10-year comprehensive conservation and management plan for the Indian River Lagoon.”

This final plan was revised with input from citizens throughout the Indian River Lagoon watershed. The comprehensive plan was then adopted, and the staff was authorized to submit it to EPA for certification.

Along with Lober, other IRL Council Board of Directors signing on to the comprehensive plan included Chris Dzadovsky, Chair, St. Lucie County Commission; Deb Denys, Vice Chair, Volusia County Council; Susan Adams, Secretary, Indian River County Commission; Stacey Hetherington, Martin County Commission; Drew Bartlett, Florida Department of Environmental Protection; Doug Bournique, St. Johns River Water Management District; and Brandon Tucker South Florida Water Management District.

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The Indian River Lagoon Council and Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program will work with the citizens, cities, government agencies, academic institutions and business community to seek expanded funding for the implementation of the CCMP action recommendations.

During both the Primary and General elections earlier this year, Lober made the health of the Indian River Lagoon a major plank in his platform.

“I am dedicated to bringing the Indian River Lagoon back to health and this effort is at the top of my priority list,” said Lober.

“The Indian River Lagoon must remain a high priority if we are to have any hope of reversing course on its degradation.”

Lober, who was elected in District 2, was sworn in on Nov. 20 and then elected Vice-chair with a 5-0 vote by his colleagues.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN

SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Newly-elected Brevard County Commissioner Bryan Lober has hit the ground running and on Thursday discussed the details with WFTV’s Melonie Holt of his proposal that could bring more nutrient monitoring stations to the ailing Indian River Lagoon. (WFTV video)

Since being elected in November, Lober has hit the ground running and on Thursday discussed the details with WFTV’s Melonie Holt of his proposal that could bring more nutrient monitoring stations to the ailing Indian River Lagoon.

To gain insight into Commissioner Lober’s vision and goals, Space Coast Daily sat down with him during a Question and Answer session to get more details about his agenda and priorities:

SPACE COAST DAILY: Congratulations, Commissioner Lober.
COMMISSIONER LOBER: Thank you; I appreciate it.

SPACE COAST DAILY: With the benefit of hindsight, what factors do you credit with your victory?
COMMISSIONER LOBER: The perseverance of hardworking supporters, a thick skin, and a consistent message. One particularly committed volunteer knocked on 3,000 doors between the primary and the general election; there’s nothing that can make up for that dedication. My supporters and I continued forging ahead despite the invented claims of others with something to lose. It was full throttle from the day I announced through November 6. Every day, my supporters and I spoke with additional voters to get the message out.

SPACE COAST DAILY: What was that message?
COMMISSIONER LOBER: Simply put, I am beholden to no one and my allegiance is with my constituents in District 2. I ran to prioritize them over the special interests and cronies who have been allowed to harm District 2 and the rest of the county for too long.

SPACE COAST DAILY: How do you plan on cutting out the special interests?
COMMISSIONER LOBER: First and foremost, my goals are wholly incompatible with their goals. While a degree of continuity may be valuable, I am looking at shaking things up by introducing new blood into not just the County Commission but also the various boards in which commissioners appoint members. As I consistently refused to accept any monies from special interests, I don’t owe any favors. All votes will be decided based upon what’s best for the constituents, not what’s best for the frequent flyer power players. I have no tolerance for shady deals or corruption.

SPACE COAST DAILY: What would you say to those who might classify your approach as overly bold?
COMMISSIONER LOBER: I did not run a meek campaign. I will not be a meek commissioner. Voters deserve someone who will call a spade a spade and not worry about being politically correct. One must have a spine in order to take out the trash and there’s plenty of trash.

SPACE COAST DAILY: Have you spoken with the other Commissioners about your goals?
COMMISSIONER LOBER: Yes. Prior to the “Sunshine” Law kicking in, I met with all four of the commissioners with whom I will be working. I met with some of them multiple times. I explained my goals and listened to theirs.

SPACE COAST DAILY: Given that you may not be in favor of business as usual, how do you anticipate working with your colleagues?
COMMISSIONER LOBER: As I alluded to, I made a point to meet with all of my colleagues to build bridges and forge productive relationships. Each have certain goals which are not incompatible with the goals I’ve set. I intend to defer, to a reasonable degree, to the other commissioners with respect to projects which predominantly impact their districts and I anticipate the same courtesy will be extended to me.

SPACE COAST DAILY: What if the same courtesy isn’t extended?
COMMISSIONER LOBER: I’m not optimistic; I’m realistic. I generally expect people to do whatever is in their interests to do. I was rather direct in indicating that I give what I get. I intend to grant the other commissioners a degree of deference with respect to the areas where they live and work. If the same courtesy is not extended to me, my deference toward them will be short lived. I believe the Golden Rule, karma, and equity are all admirable.

SPACE COAST DAILY: What will it be like to be the only licensed attorney on the Commission?
COMMISSIONER LOBER: I imagine it will be a lot like Commissioner Isnardi being the only licensed nurse practitioner on the commission. Diversity of backgrounds and occupations can only improve the Commission.

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SPACE COAST DAILY: You successfully moved to place term limits on the TDC. Why?
COMMISSIONER LOBER: My constituents will benefit from new blood being introduced into that committee. With multiple members having served double-digit years, with questionable-at-best recommendations, and the strong appearance of self-dealing and impropriety, it’s time for a change to restore voter confidence.

SPACE COAST DAILY: Do you believe that your first general meeting surprised any of your critics or supporters?
COMMISSIONER LOBER: Yes and no. Yes, I believe some of my critics were surprised as I did not position myself in a voting bloc despite ample opportunity to do so. No, the bulk of my supporters understand that I will listen to all options before making a decision and my decision is not dependent on the stances of any particular set of my fellow commissioners. I plan to give those who approach me in good faith ample opportunity to state their case and provide any desired input before making any decisions with long-lasting impact. This shouldn’t be a surprise to my supporters.

SPACE COAST DAILY: What’s next?
COMMISSIONER LOBER: There’s a lot in the works. I intend to spread out my efforts over a number of meetings as I respect my fellow commissioners’ time and I don’t believe the best decisions are often made many hours into an unnecessarily long meeting. As I’ve demonstrated from the get-go, times have changed but I’m not finished working for my constituents and fellow D2 residents by a long shot. 

Newly-elected Brevard County Commissioner Bryan Lober has hit the ground running and on Thursday discussed the details with WFTV’s Melonie Holt of his proposal that could bring more nutrient monitoring stations to the ailing Indian River Lagoon. (WFTV video image)

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