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The Madness Of King George III Lober.

King George III of Britain is known for two things. First, George was the king that “lost the colonies” which of course became the United States. The second thing is that King George suffered from some mental disease which led him to be known as “Mad King George.” For years, historians believe that George III was afflicted with porphyria, but new theories say that he was bipolar.

Sadly, we here in Brevard may be witnessing a similar example in the person of County Commissioner and Chairperson Bryan Lober.

Since his election in 2018, Lober has had rather long history of unseemly run ins with other Commissioners, staff, and citizens.

The latest run ins have centered around the Brevard Board of Commissioners and Emergency Policy Group which is dealing the with COVID-19 pandemic in Brevard County.

There are legitimate concerns whether the Policy Group was designed to implement policies for a “slow moving” pandemic like this, or a “fast moving” crisis like a hurricane. There are obvious differences in the needed response times and hopefully the Brevard Board of Commissioners (BBOC) will address that in the future.

Additional concerns with the Policy Group is that of the ten members, only two are elected, their meetings are behind closed doors which means no transparency, and no public comment or input.

For the record, the members of the Policy Group are:

  • Brevard District 2 Commissioner Bryan Lober
  • Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey
  • Brevard County Manager Frank Abbate
  • Brevard County Attorney Eden Bentley
  • Brevard County Emergency Management Director Kimberly Prosser
  • Brevard County Fire Rescue Chief Mark Schollmeyer
  • Brevard County Public Safety Director Matt Wallace
  • West Melbourne City Manager Scott Morgan, who was representing the Space Coast League of Cities.
  • Brevard Public Schools Superintendent Mark Mullins
  • Maria Stahl, administrator of the Florida Department of Health in Brevard

Our story picks up a few weeks ago where the Policy Group voted to close Brevard Beaches by a vote of 5-4 (a close vote.) Closing the beaches was a contentious issue to say the least. People who wanted them closed argued that people were not practicing “social distancing.” People who wanted them open argued that social distancing could be maintained on the beaches, that people were going nuts in their homes, and that going to the beach and swimming could be considered exercise which is allowed under Governor DeSantis’ “stay at home” order.

The following day, a Friday, the BBOC voted to keep the beaches open by a vote of 4-1 with Lober dissenting.

The interesting thing is that Lober offered to resign from the Policy Group in that the BBOC was not accepting the Policy Group’s recommendation. It was very reminiscent of a pouting child that didn’t get their way.

Following the BBOC meeting, which was held in the view of the public, the Policy Group decided to vote on the issue again and by a vote of 7-2 decided to keep the beaches open. Amazingly, after railing against the Commission and Commissioners during the BBOC meeting, Lober’s vote in the Policy Group changed and he voted to allow the beaches to stay open. It was a flip flop of epic proportions. Instead of standing on his beliefs and principles, he changed his vote.

On Saturday, Lober then sent out an email to the members of the Policy Group which he later posted on Facebook saying that as the Chair of the Policy Group, he saw no benefit in calling meetings anymore if the BBOC was going to override the Policy Group’s decisions.

The following Monday, as Chairman of the BBOC, Lober called a meeting of the Commission where he produced an email, seen below, and proceeded to berate the other Commissioners for giving out “false and misleading” information on who was making the decisions affecting Brevardians and whether it was the Policy Group or the BBOC.

Screen Shot of Email

Notice that the office originating the email has been blacked out.

The office that sent the email was that of Commissioner Curt Smith, who is following every known medical recommendation and is staying at home because of an underlying medical condition. The email was not written by Smith, but one of his staff who may not have been aware that the BBOC had voted to keep the beaches open, and that vote was followed by the Policy Group voting in the same way.

Instead of simply sending an email to Smith to say “keeping the beaches open was a decision of the Commission,” Lober decided to make a huge production of the whole mess by calling a meeting whose main purpose was Lober’s rant against fellow Commissioners.

In response to Lober, Commissioner Tobia made the following remarks:

COMMISSIONER TOBIA: Was there anything else?

COMMISSIONER LOBER: At this point, no sir.

COMMISSIONER TOBIA: Couple of comments, I think we need to be as respectful as possible to Doctor / Commissioner Isnardi and if there are motions or things that we have a Commission meeting and I understand it is your right to these [meetings] but I am trying to understand the purpose of the meeting that came today.

I mean, I guess it somewhat humorous that you got something from Hooters. I am trying to find the purpose for the meeting number one, and number two, I respect you as an elected official. Some of the decisions that you made to call members of the public certain names, I think are quite frankly disgusting, ones that I would never use. But I respect you….

COMMISSIONER LOBER: Such as?

COMMISSIONER TOBIA: [chuckles] We’ve beat this horse dead but to chastise another elected official for sending an email like that. And I’ll be frank, I don’t know if that came from my office, but it sounds as though you’re looking for all emails coming from our offices to be run through your office. And then to threaten to send an email out to someone else? Which is your right to do anyway, I mean you are more than welcome to public request all our office and see all our emails, and respond to everyone. Hopefully you have better things, more important things to deal with dealing with your own constituents. But I think we need to take staff’s time very seriously here. We’ve got a crisis going on and the amount of….we’ve got a law enforcement officer back there, we’ve got our County Attorney here, we’ve got our County Manager on the line, we have an assistant County Manager, God forbid how many people we have out there. I’m just trying to find out “a” the purpose of this and “b” and of all people, I’m just trying to understand, the email and again, I don’t know if that came from my office. I don’t think that it did. I am texting someone in my office “that come from my office?” and they informed me that they don’t think so, but…

COMMISSIONER LOBER: Would you like a response or is this just a diatribe?

COMMISSIONER TOBIA: Well, that’s how most of the meeting go except you’re the one with the microphone. So if you want to count the number of minutes I’ve spoken and count the number of minutes you’ve spoken, I’d think that you’d find by a factor or twenty you’re the one that is doing that, but yeah, please respond to either one of those two statements.

The madness of Lober was then on full display.

First, notice how Lober twice interrupted Tobia. Later in the discussion, Lober claimed that rules are important and that the the BBOC should not have voted to overrule the Policy Group. Of course, the rules of decorum do not allow for Lober to have interrupted Tobia as Tobia had the floor. We suppose that “rules” are for everyone else.

Secondly, Lober calling Tobia’s remarks a “diatribe” given what Lober had said in berating other Commissioners is not even the pot calling the kettle black. The accusation is simply a lack of either honesty or self awareness or both.

A diatribe is defined as a forceful and bitter verbal attack against someone or something.

Somehow Lober didn’t see his attack on County staff and Commissioners as a “diatribe,” but labeled Tobia’s legitimate questions as one.

Tobia was simply asking “why are we here? Why are we wasting time, effort and resources on what is essentially your attack on everyone?”

To make the point that the attack on people was part of Lober’s (mad) personality, Tobia brought up Lober’s attack on people in the past.

Lober denied that he had ever made any such attacks.

Tobia tried to be diplomatic and not open old wounds, but Lober would not let it go.

Lober said that Tobia was not “unable” give an example “despite being pressed.” Tobia correctly said that certain comments by Lober had been “beaten to death,” and they have been.

Tobia eventually brought up Stacy Patel, of whom Lober made comments on social media.

Lober responded on Monday saying the comments were on social media and were in response to a racist and sexist comment Patel had made.

Lober also claimed the incident took place a year to a year and a half ago or six months ago.

The Patel incident took place last July – 9 months ago. Yet in many ways, when the incident happened is not really relevant. What was said is what matters.

Suddenly we had gone from Lober saying the attacks never happened to his belief that the attacks he makes are justified.

As Lober doesn’t seem to understand why Tobia brought the comments up, it is because Lober has a tendency to attack people just as he was attacking Commissioners on Monday.

As Lober says that Patel made racist and sexist remarks, he clearly remembers the incident. He said at the time and continues to say he was justified in the comment (and attacked Tobia for mentioning Patel wondering if Tobia was supporting racism and sexism as well.)

When Lober demanded that Tobia say what was objectionable about his comments, Tobia declined as to “not beat a dead horse,” and Lober then labels Tobia’s accusation as something Lober “allegedly said.”

We covered Lober’s comments here on Raised on Hoecakes. While we know he had the right to say what he said, people have the right to call him out for it and say it was wrong and disgusting. As we noted in one post, those people included Commissioner Smith who condemned the comments directly and Commissioners Pritchett and Tobia who condemned them indirectly.

There are but a few options when it comes to Lober’s initial denial of the Patel attack on Monday:

1) He is lying in saying he doesn’t know anything. That’s an odd stance given the national attention his remarks attracted. Letters and opinion pieces in the Florida Today condemned the remarks. Once Tobia reminds him of the remarks, Lober attacks him. However, it should be remembered that Lober’s attack on the Commissioners was based on the idea that he felt they were lying to constituents. If Lober is lying to constituents during a Commission meeting on what he said, we’d like to hear how his lies are acceptable but other “lies” are not.

2) He truly doesn’t remember the incident. If that is the case, he might be suffering from some sort of dementia or memory loss and Brevard residents don’t need a Commissioner who can’t remember things. Lober should resign.

3) He is simply delusional and his hubris allows him to believe in his self labeled grandeur. If he is suffering from delusions of grandeur, he should resign and seek assistance.

If this were a one time thing, we might be forgiving, but Lober has a history of this. He went after another citizen including wasting staff time on producing a video production on the person which was shown at a Commission meeting.

He did the same with the Florida Today, wasting time and resources in a vendetta against the newspaper and people had to sit through that at a Commission meeting.

He came after us, calling us “wimps,” and then proceeding to get every possible statement he tried to throw at our staff wrong. We don’t mind his silly name calling against us as it shows what type of a person he is, but his so called “facts” being so wrong shows he is willing to believe whatever lie he thinks helps him. (Wonder how he feels about lying about constituents while calling Commissioners liars. Never mind. We already know.)

Finally you have the strange and odd instance where Lober attacked a woman by the name of Maureen Rupe saying in part:

Lastly, as a friendly suggestion, you may wish to revise or remove the quote at the base of your signature block. You’d be hard pressed to find your “inferior” at any level of elected government- all the more so when it comes to manners and civility.

Is Lober’s madness part of the reason he can’t remember the attacks on people? Does he really think that his comments are always justified and never require any apology?

Tobia then said that he felt that the meeting was a result of Lober being hurt in losing the vote on closing the beaches.

Lober claimed he hadn’t “lost the vote” saying he had won at the Policy Group level even though Tobia was talking about the Commission’ vote. Somehow the madness made Lober think that a 4-1 with him dissenting was a “victory” and he was on the winning side of the discussion at the Commission.

Tobia asked the County Assistant Manager how many of the staff were there in response to the meeting. The Assistant Manager said he wasn’t sure but it would be somewhere between 8 and 15. Tobia’s point was clear that wasting the staff’s time to allow Lober to simply berate Commissioners was not a good use of resources. “I suspect we all have better places to be and things to do,” Tobia said.

Lober’s response, showing the madness, was that all of the Commissioners were full time employees as well.

We found that odd.

Several months ago, when Lober successfully sought to increase the costs of public records requests, he argued that the cost of Commissioners searching their phones for calls and texts should be based on charging for a a 20 hour work week and not a 40 hour work week as was being charged.

In what world is 20 hours a week “full time” employment?

Was the madness causing him to lie to Tobia this past Monday? Or lie to the people and Commissioners in pressing to raise rates?

What made the situation even more laughable was that Lober said he wanted the Smith office email to be exposed for the sake of “transparency.” So the guy who wants people to pay more to monitor the County and County Commissioners and who wants the recommendations of the Policy Group that meets behind closed doors and without public comment to be accepted is going to lecture and tell people he wants “transparency?”

Madness.

Lastly, in his comments, Lober claimed that the email to the Commissioner from the citizen never would have happened had the BBOC gone along with the Policy Group. As we said, the decision to close the beaches or keep them open was contentious and if Lober or anyone thinks that if the beaches had been closed, people would not have sent emails in protest, they haven’t been watching. Lober’s belief that all Brevardians wanted the beaches closed indicates how he only believes his point of view and the rest of the world agrees with him or at the very least should agree with him.

Sheer madness.

Commissioner Pritchett offered that as Commissioners were getting the emails on issues and not the Policy Group, it might be a good idea for Lober to bring to the Commission any rule or regulation the Policy Group wanted to implement that would affect the entire county. She felt that would be reasonable.

Lober said he didn’t know what those issues would be and what “reasonable” meant in the context of her opinion.

We bring up Pritchett’s comment as this past week Lober proposed an ordinance that would hold stores accountable for not policing people that were not practicing “social distancing” in stores.

In a meeting that made clear an increasing schism among Brevard’s leaders on how to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, county commissioners Tuesday evening rejected a proposal by Chair Bryan Lober to require retailers to establish social distancing in their stores — or face potential criminal charges.

Lober sees this as a needed step to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

But none of the other four commissioners would support Lober’s proposal at their meeting Tuesday evening, so it died for a lack of a second.

Lober raised his proposal on the same day that the first two Brevard County deaths from the coronavirus were announced.

Lober proposed that retailers be required to “take reasonable steps” to ensure that patrons maintain a 6-foot space between themselves and others, corresponding with social distancing guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

He did not specify how this would be done.

Lober’s idea really needs to be dissected.

First, he proposed to make it a criminal offense that stores enforce “social distance” upon customers. This would mean that the store or the store supervisor on duty would be responsible for the individual actions of other people. That’s akin to the police ticketing you for when someone breaks into your car. For an alleged conservative and Republican, the idea that Lober wants to shift blame away from the people that are causing the issue to someone who may not even been within 100 feet of the incident shows that Lober is not who he claims to be. It is another part of the madness. (To say nothing of stores, managers, employees, customers, etc., having no idea what Lober or law enforcement would consider “reasonable steps.”

Lober could not understand what “reasonable” meant in Pritchett’s comments, but somehow thought that people could and would understand “reasonable steps” in his proposal.

Why would that be other than Lober did not want to “reasonable” as defined by Pritchett but demanded that others be “reasonable” based upon some non-existent standard.

Secondly, in order to issue a ticket or citation, law enforcement would have to enter the store and observe the offense. In a time when we are trying to limit contact with people, Lober wants to increase the interaction. Furthermore, as best we can figure out, to make sure the interaction that Lober is complaining about didn’t occur, stores would have to have more employees who do nothing but act as “Social Distance” cops. That’s more people in the store or at the very least, taking people away from stocking shelves, disinfecting surfaces, etc.

What the heck is he thinking?

It hasn’t ended there either:

Adding more tension,in a separate issue, the commission voted 4-1 to recommend amending a previous Policy Group decision that would prevent leisure travelers from staying in county hotels.

The change, proposed by commissioner John Tobia and approved by all except Chair Lober, was to allow hotel guests to sign a sworn statement to certify they are not booking a room for tourism. The statement was meant to fulfill the requirement that guest’s have to certify that their visit is for business or an exempted activity and not leisure.

Tobia said the aim of the change was to ensure that victims of domestic violence, which is reportedly increasing due to people being stuck at home, are able to check into a hotel to escape their abuser.

Lober and critics of the move have blasted it for being a weak “honor system’ requirement that could easily be abused and opening the doors to tourism in the county.

Randy Fine, in a Facebook livestream on Wednesday compared the certification to a drunk driver self-certifying they didn’t have too much to drink.

“We’re seeing the best of people and the worst of people right now and the honor system will not work. I think it’s insane frankly that they thought it was a good idea,” he said.

“I try not to criticize directly but I will share that I am personally frustrated with the lackadaisical response I have seen at the county level,” he said.

Fine blasted Brevard for being “the county that has done literally the least of any county on the east coast of Florida,” and feared it could easily become a hotspot.

Tobia speaking to FLORIDA TODAY on Wednesday defended the resolution by saying that the opposite was true.

“I think we upped the ante,” he said. “We took the penalty from a misdemeanor to a felony.” Lying on the certification, he said, would constitute perjury, a felony punishable by up to five years imprisonment.

Tobia rebuffed accusations that he and the other commissioners are not taking the pandemic seriously and want to open the door to tourism as “patently false.”

Lober’s attack on Tobia’s proposal was clearly in retaliation to Tobia challenging the man who believes he sits on a throne, and not a chair.

Lober claimed Tobia was responding to developers and hoteliers, a charge that Tobia vehemently denied. Lober constantly claimed that the hoteliers were willing to put money ahead of the safety and heath of their employees.

We aren’t fans of hoteliers and have said so, but this accusation does more to illustrate Lober’s willingness to throw everyone under the bus in a vain attempt to make Commissioners and others suffer.

First, where does Lober want victims of domestic violence to go?

As it stands now, alleged victims have to get a “note” from a doctor or an employee to for the County to recognize them as victims. Think about that for a moment. In a time when the number of doctors are short and their time limited, Lober wants a note from them on whether their patient is a victim of domestic violence. In the alternative, the victim could bring a note from an employer which is a great idea except many businesses are closed. How victims are to get such a note is not clear in the madness of Lober’s mind, but it is clear that in order to attack Tobia, he is willing to throw victims under the bus and then back up over them.

Many of the people that we work with and have worked with in the past will tell you that when people accuse others with no proof, it is because they would do the action in question. Lober thinks people lie all the time because as shown, his first response is to lie himself.

Secondly, Lober’s stance and belief is sad to us because in a country whose foundation has the pillar of “innocent until proven guilty,” Lober and Fine think people are guilty until proven innocent. We aren’t saying that people won’t lie, but the idea that people lying is the first thought that came out of the minds of Lober and Fine says a great deal about how they view normal citizens in the County.

The madness is such that unless you agree with Lober, you are automatically a liar. You can’t actually be a victim of domestic violence because if you were, you would have made meticulous plans to leave including getting notes instead of the most logical step of getting the heck away from the abuser. In that most victims of domestic violence are women and children, Lober has shown his lack of support for that demographic as well.

Tobia’s plan shows his willingness to accept the word of people, and hold them accountable for their actions instead of some person at a check in desk at 12:30 AM at night.

Third, Lober has always supported the Tourism Development Council (TDC) which promotes tourism in Brevard which means money into the pockets of the same hoteliers Lober now claims are willing to put staff and guests at risk. (After all, we all know that people who flee domestic abuse situations or a disaster destroying their home flee with lots of money.) Which is it? Are the people whose businesses the County promotes through taxes good people, or are they simply black hearted maniacs willing to put workers and guests at risk?

It’s madness from a man who either wants to be or thinks of himself as a ruler of people and not a public servant.

We have watched the COVID-19 coverage more than most and have always cringed at the political fighting that has occurred between political parties.

The situation here in Brevard is different. In our opinion as stated in this post, it is worse based upon one person. The response to the pandemic is not only a political fight, but one of someone who is mad with power and who is fighting with others.

Madness.





7 Responses to “The Madness Of King George III Lober.”

  1. 𝐄𝐠𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐚 is psychiatric term used to describe excessive preoccupation with one’s ego, identity or self and applies the same preoccupation to anyone who follows one’s own ungoverned impulses, is possessed by delusions of personal greatness & grandeur and feels a lack of appreciation. Someone suffering from this extreme egocentric focus is an egomaniac. Egomania as a condition, while not a classified personality disorder, is considered psychologically abnormal.

    The term egomania is often used by laypersons in a pejorative fashion to describe an individual who is perceived as intolerably self-centered. The clinical condition that most resembles egomania, and most often associated with is narcissistic personality disorder, though they differ vastly according to the individual’s responses to others.

    Diagnosis – Free of charge.

  2. Mike Reitano says:

    This reads and sounds like people need to inform themselves about the/their candidates and stop voting a party line. And if necessary by their words/actions do their job and term limit them.
    Whether it be a partisan or non partisan election.
    It is a embarrassment

  3. Matt Fleming says:

    Lol, what a dumpster fire.

    This is what Brevard County Republican leadership looks like. How do you think Lober and Fine got elected in the first place?

    The county can’t actually close the beaches. That has to be done at the state level. Everything seaward of the mean high water line/erosion control lines is held as ‘State Sovereignty Lands’ under the Florida Constitution. Of the remaining parts of the beach south of the cape, at least 60% of the Beaches are privately owned. While the county may have the emergency capacity to close property it owns, and likely the public dune crossovers, there’s no way they could legally enforce a beach ban.

    Lober ought to have known that seeing as he is a lawyer. The hotels is another story. It is on the hoteliers, not the guests to properly manage their properties.

    What they did by creating that check in system was shift that burden to people who for legitimate reasons me need a temporary place to stay.. The hoteliers essentially reopened their hotels.

    When Tobia read Hermansen’s text out loud in the meeting, I laughed because of course they would like to keep their hotels open during a pandemic. They don’t care who gets sick, they’re probably relaxing in a mansion or penthouse somewhere.

    Great-but long-article. The ‘butthurt ointment’ really pulled the whole thing together.

    -Matt

    • Matt Fleming says:

      On a side note: I know Maureen, he’s an idiot for insulting her. She’s one of the very best people who lives in this county and we are lucky to have her.

      -Matt

    • AAfterwit says:

      Matt Fleming,

      Thanks for the comment.

      As we noted, Lober is a RINO. His thirst for power and control aligns him with left leaning people like yourself.

      Secondly, the state has already told counties they can shut the beaches, so your information is wrong on that as well.

      So as it appears that you don’t think that people should be able to seek shelter at a hotel if abused or if their home burns, we can assume that you (on the left) agree with Lober and Fine that people are liars.

      Wouldn’t that make you a liar as well?

      After all, if you are willing to say that all people are liars and not take personal responsibility for their actions, doesn’t that align you with Lober and Fine?

      Funny how that works.

      A. Afterwit.

      • Erik Sandberg says:

        So, the Afterwit teams logic goes like this?

        1) if you pragmatically acknowledge that people lie for convenience, you are also a liar.

        2) if you are also a liar, you must be a leftie

        Or, does it go like this?

        1) if your opinion on a single issue happens to match Lober’s opinion on that same issue, you must either be a RINO or a leftie

        2) being a leftie makes you a “liar as well”.

        You charlatans need to find a new hobby. “Reporting” doesn’t seem to be your gig.

        • AAfterwit says:

          Erik Sandberg,

          Thanks you for the comment.

          1) if you pragmatically acknowledge that people lie for convenience, you are also a liar.

          2) if you are also a liar, you must be a leftie

          No, if you accept and promote the same lies, and hold the same position that the lies promote that are clearly not conservative values, that means you must be on the other side of the political spectrum.

          1) if your opinion on a single issue happens to match Lober’s opinion on that same issue, you must either be a RINO or a leftie

          2) being a leftie makes you a “liar as well”.

          No. Once again, holding onto multiple positions that are on the left while lying about who you are and what you believe places you firmly on the left.

          You charlatans need to find a new hobby.

          Charlatans? Given who you are hanging out with and promoting, that is clearly the pot trying to call the kettle black.

          “Reporting” doesn’t seem to be your gig.

          Sorry you see it that way.

          We will give your opinion all the consideration it is due.

          Thanks again.

          A. Afterwit.

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