Harman has inclination to service
Published: Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.
He's been out walking the neighborhoods, and those who have met Bryan Harman on their doorstep know about his enthusiasm for issues affecting the city.
"Gainesville has really made me want to become involved in the community," Harman said. "I really think my quality of time here has been outstanding."
The 32-year-old Harman is running for the City Commission seat in District 2, a position elected by the northwest portion of Gainesville.
His competition includes Lauren Poe, a professor at Santa Fe Community College, and Bonnie Mott, the owner of the real estate company Prudential Preferred Properties.
Harman moved to Gainesville in 2003 from Daytona Beach where he had been taking flight lessons at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
"When 9/11 happened it just crippled the airline industry," Harman said, so he quit flight school and packed up to move to Gainesville with his mother, Carole Harman.
Bryan Harman grew up in Richmond, Va., and received his bachelor's degree in history and political science from the University of Virginia.
It was the experience and mentoring of politician C.B. Daniel that led Harman to consider public service.
"He just was so passionate about Gainesville and he never would have felt that way if he hadn't been so involved," Harman said.
Working on Daniel's unsuccessful mayoral campaign in 2004 sparked within Harman a desire to serve.
Since then he has served on the board of directors for Peaceful Paths Domestic Abuse Network and worked on the Environmental Protection Advisory Committee that advises the City Commission on environmental issues.
A registered Republican, Harman described himself as socially liberal and fiscally conservative.
"I wouldn't be there to necessarily agree with everything," Harman said. "We need to not be so reliant on city staff and consultants. I think we need to do our own homework and really know the issues inside and out."
The top three items on his agenda are protecting neighborhoods through tighter ordinances and stronger enforcement; promoting clean industry to move into Gainesville and cutting wasteful spending in government.
Harman said he would have voted against locating the one-stop homeless center in a warehouse at 3335 N. Main Terrace.
"I totally oppose it. It's unethical to stick a homeless center close to the Stephen Foster neighborhood," he said.
"Lastly, we need to cut wasteful spending," he said. "We just spend an exorbitant amount on consulting fees."
When the campaign is over, Harman said he hopes to return to his job as a marketer for an assisted living company.
The self-proclaimed workaholic said the campaign has made his life crazy.
"Let's see, what does Bryan enjoy?" he asked. "Lately it's just been this (the campaign), but also traveling and working out in the gym."
Megan Rolland can be reached at 338-3104 or megan.rolland@ gvillesun.com.
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