In June 2019, County Commissioner Bryan Desloge filed to run for reelection for Leon County Commission, District 4. Brian Welch is also running for the position.
Desloge, a Tallahassee native, has served as County Commissioner since 2006. He is a member of the Board of Directors at Florida Blood Services and the Village Square. He has also worked as president of the National Association of Counties, president of Desloge Home Oxygen and Medical Equipment, chairman of the board at the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, and other positions. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Finance and Real Estate from Florida State University. Main features of Desloge’s campaign include economic development and job creation.
What motivated you to run for local office?
“When the seat became vacated, I had already been deeply involved in serving our community from working with our local Chamber of Commerce to serving on a number of charitable boards. I saw a number of challenges facing our community—from a lack of County parks to water management issues to bringing high-quality jobs to Leon County. I was also motivated to help solve the growing crisis and the growing lack of cooperation between the City and the County that was both counterproductive and costly to the citizens of Leon County.”
What unique perspective would you bring to the position?
“I have extensive business experience creating jobs and solving complex problems in the healthcare field—which feels more pertinent now than ever before. I have also been active with national organizations like the National Association of Counties (where I was chosen to serve as President) and have spent a good deal of my time working with other county governments to learn best practices so we can apply those best practices here to solve real problems facing our community. By listening to and learning of their experiences, I think I am better able to understand the problems facing our neighbors and have a broader array of tools in the tool chest to help solve those problems.”
What do you see as the biggest challenges facing Leon County?
“It’s a two-part challenge. Without a doubt, the current COVID-19 crisis and all its moving parts will present a series of challenges for our community. First and foremost, we must keep our eye on the ball of staying safe and ensuring that we are prepared to care for our fellow citizens and that our health delivery system remains prepared.
Second, we must meet the challenge of getting the wheels of our economy moving again while keeping people safe once the worst has passed. I am uniquely equipped, with an extensive business background (in healthcare) and with years of experience working cooperatively with other counties across America, to best understand these complex and difficult challenges.”
What is your plan to address these challenges?
“First, it is critical to understand that Leon County is blessed with some of the best-trained and most experienced staff in all of Florida. I will continue to listen and work with them and our health care community to continue assessing data as it becomes available.
Second, as someone who well understands the provision of health care services, I will continue working with our health care professionals, our hospitals, and other providers to ensure we are doing everything we can to keep our community safe and our health care delivery system intact. Those are my top two priorities.
Third, as a business owner and as past chair of the local chamber of commerce, I will work with our local business community to pull down the necessary grant monies needed to help keep our local businesses afloat and to jumpstart our local economy again once we are in a position to do so. And this isn’t just about ‘businesses,’ this is about local families and making sure they are taken care of to the maximum extent practicable. In the meantime, we are making sure—to the maximum extent we can—that people are being paid, that every dollar eligible to our government, businesses, and local families are secured and properly deployed.”
Responsibilities of the County Commissioner position include making policies and setting budgets. The position has a four-year term length and an annual salary of $80,289.00. The deadline to file for the position is May 11, 2020, and the election date is November 3.
Ahead of the 2020 local election season, Tallahassee Reports has asked all local candidates to answer basic questions about their candidacy. The answers to the questions are in the candidates own words.The goal is to get as much information out to voters as possible. More focused questions will be addressed as the election draws nearer.