Q&A With Bryan Lober: Brings Entrepreneurial, Legal Experience To Brevard County Commission
By Space Coast Daily // January 7, 2019
SPACE COAST DAILY EXCLUSIVE Q&A
ABOVE VIDEO: Brevard County Commissioner Bryan Lober talks about his first month in office representing district 2 and his upcoming agenda item to prevent animal abuse.
SEE THE SPACE COAST DAILY EXCLUSIVE Q&A BELOW
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The 2018 General Elections results are now in the books and there was certainly no “Blue Wave” in Brevard County as Republican candidates swept all local statewide and county level offices.
The turnout in Brevard County was a stunning 67.2 percent in this midterm General Election cycle.
In the Brevard County Commission races, Republican Curt Smith retained his District 4 seat, defeating Democrat Matt Fleming 62-38 percent.
In District 2, Democrat Victoria Mitchner lost to Republican Bryan Lober 57-43 percent.
“Thank you to all those who volunteered their time to help me in this hard-fought campaign,” said Lober.
“Victory would not have been possible without the countless hours you dedicated and the advice you provided. We knocked on thousands upon thousands of doors, educating voters as to the campaign’s key stances.
“A special thank you goes out to my wife, Rebecca, for being the best campaign spouse I could have asked for and to our rescue dog, Winks, who was willing to allow his dad the time needed to campaign effectively. To my constituents, I look forward to prioritizing your needs and ensuring that you have a voice on the commission.”
Selected Vice Chair By Peers
True to his word to shake things up quickly, Lober spearheaded the Brevard County Commission’s 3-2 vote to put in place term limits for Tourist Development Council members.
As the newly selected Commission Vice Chair, Lober put forth the proposal during the regular meeting of the commission on Dec. 4 at the Government Center in Viera.
Commission Chair Kristine Isnardi and Commissioner John Tobia voted with Lober in favor of the proposal. Voting against term limits for TDC members were Commissioners Rita Pritchett and Curt Smith.
“The voters want us to have term limits, and we are delegating to some degree what we would otherwise be doing to an advisory board, and I think it is important to have comparable term limits, or even more stringent term limits,” said Lober.
Lober’s proposal would term out TDC members who have had two consecutive four-year terms and calls for this action to be retroactive for current TDC members when their term expires.
“I totally agree with term limits and it is reestablishing the public trust and whether or not our TDC has done anything remotely questionable,” said Isnardi.
Lober’s proposal also stipulates that former executive directors of the Space Coast Office of Tourism could not be eligible to become a member of the TDC for at least two years after leaving their executive director position.
The proposal will be placed on the agenda for a final vote in January.
Attorney and Mediator
Also true to his word that he would consider all points of view before acting, Lober used his skills and instincts as a trial attorney and trained mediator when he voted in a 3-2 block with Pritchett and Smith in regard to the Diamond Square Cocoa CRA.
“I believe some of my critics were surprised as I did not position myself in a voting bloc despite ample opportunity to do so,” said Lober.
“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.”
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.
Q&A WITH COMMISSIONER BRYAN LOBER
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.
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.
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