YOUR OPINION: Commissioner Lober’s Authorized Expenses Were Necessary, Not Abusive or Unreasonable

YOUR VIEW: 'CONTEXT AND TRUTH MATTERS'

Since childhood I’ve lived, worked, raised a family, built a home and even devoted time to public service in beautiful Brevard County Florida.

Recently I was stunned to read claims in Florida Today based on an anonymous email sent to commission members and the Clerk of the Court by a random, self-credentialed, expert claiming county issued purchase card expenses approved by my District 2 County Commissioner Bryan Lober were extravagant, inappropriate, and evil.

The expenditure of tax-payers’ dollars is not a subject I take lightly so I wasted no time contacting Commissioner Lober demanding an explanation for such scurrilous accusations!

Commissioner Lober said he was blindsided by Florida Today giving credence to anonymous, extraordinarily misleading accusations of disproportionate spending by him compared to all the other commissioners combined when, in fact, the opposite was true.

When asked about lavish spending accusations Commissioner Lober said, “$40,000 was spent over three calendar years with a fraction spent on office equipment.

In fact, $599 “audio editing software” cost taxpayers nothing! It was credited, in full, two calendar years ago. An office chair was sent to the Viera Government Center, not his Merritt Island office and is identical to those used in the County Manager’s Office.

The scratch and dent purchased refrigerator was necessary to replace a broken refrigerator in the staff break room used to store items like physician prescribed medications for employees and water for guests. Sadly, he said surveillance equipment became necessary for a nonprofit project located in an industrial area to protect volunteers from physical attacks.”

As I carefully listened to Commission Lober’s explanation of expenditures, my initial fears were quelled proving the old adage: “CONTEXT MATTERS”! Any journalist or concerned citizen can call Commissioner Lober and conduct their own research if they seek fact based public information instead of anonymous made-up fiction.

Sadly, it appears as though Florida Today’s journalistic license was torqued, damned and deemed publishable that Commissioner Lober’s spending was extravagant when, in fact, Commissioner Lober’s authorized expenses were necessary and not abusive or unreasonable.

None of the now scrutinized expenses violated code, statute, law, rule, or policy. They were instead authorized by the Board of County Commissioners and reviewed by our elected Comptroller “before payment was issued!”

As the blurry fog of phony accusations settles, Lober said his county purchase card use has voluntarily complied with County Manager suggested best practices regarding use, purchase limits, and inventory. Truth matters!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mary Jane Nail has resided in Brevard County since 1949 when her family moved to the Space Coast so her father could work at Banana River Naval Air Station, which is now Patrick Space Force Base.

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