Peter O’Bryan files to retain seat as County Commissioner

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — County Commissioner Peter O’Bryan announced Tuesday he has filed the required paperwork with the Supervisor of Elections to run for re-election to his seat in November 2010.

O’Bryan, who moved to Vero Beach in 1984 and worked as a biologist with the Indian River Mosquito Control District for 14 years, joined the commission in 2006. Prior to joining the county commission, O’Bryan worked as a financial advisor at Riverside Bank.

O’Bryan said he’s seeking a second term to further some of the issues he’s worked on since being elected two years ago.

“I think the big thing is that I want to continue to work on creating job opportunities and diversifying the economy,” O’Bryan said.  Known as an outspoken, determined and productive member of the commission, who often finds the “third way” of handling an issue or problem, allowing divergent opinions to coalesce around a vote, O’Bryan uses his training as a scientist to tackle the complex and often tedious issues which come before him at the dais. 

“I think I have a reputation of doing my homework and do my research, which is necessary to be able to understand the issues and make a vote that is based on what is best for the county residents,” he said. “I think people look to me for leadership and to find solutions.”

Among his committee work, O’Bryan serves as liaison to the Beaches and Shores Preservation Advisory Committee, the Economic Development Committee and the Value Adjustment Board. Based on his interest in the subject and his expertise, he was appointed this summer to a task force which reviews contracts for right-of-way property needed to complete road improvement projects.

When asked what he feels he brings to the table as a county commissioner, O’Bryan said, “

In his press release, O’Bryan stated, “If re-elected I pledge to continue to work hard and fight for those programs that diversify our economy, create jobs, and to fulfill the vision of Indian River County as the ‘Gateway to the Research Coast'”

O’Bryan said he looks forward to having the commission race on the same ballot with the Tax Abatement Referendum, which he helped bring forth for the county. The initiative would offer property tax incentives to new businesses or to expanding local businesses creating jobs and contributing to the local economy.

Former RBC Bank executive and avid volunteer Karl Steene will be running O’Bryan’s campaign.

O’Bryan and his wife Susan have three sons, two of whom are in college at the University of Florida and Rochester Institute of Technology, and one who is a freshman at Vero Beach High School and plays in the Fighting Indians Band.

Former County Commissioner Tom Lowther, proprietor of Lowther Funeral Home in Vero Beach, began his campaign months ago to reclaim the seat he lost to O’Bryan in 2006.

Though Lowther got a head start on campaigning and raising funds for the race, O’Bryan said he plans to wait until after the holidays to begin campaign events, citing the fact that the average voter is not yet engaged in next November’s political match-ups.

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