Recently, Finance Director Cindy Lawson estimated that, assuming a Jan. 1, 2015 closing, the City can expect to net up to $13 million in additional cash from the sale of Vero Electric, though according the FPL’s estimates, the total value of the deal is $179.5 million.
In 2009, utility activist Glenn Heran circulated a financial model projecting the City would net $156.5 million in cash from the sale of Vero Electric. In his calculations, Heran proposed the city should pay itself $10 million for the power plant site.
Apparently desperate to sell the public on the benefits of accepting a $26 million surcharge to help fund the sale, Heran is now playing another shell game with the numbers. This morning he went before the County Commission claiming the City will net nearly $40 million from the sale. In his calculations, Heran is proposing to count reserve fund money already in the City’s bank accounts as “proceeds” from the sale. More…
Did you ever wonder what motivates members of the Vero Beach City Council to vote the way they do? In national politics, it is common practice for a Congressman or Senator to offer a vote in exchange for what is typically referred to as pork. Legislators represent their districts or states, and although they are elected to do the country’s business, they also need to look out for the interests of voters who elected them. So if your representative’s vote is needed to pass a bill before Congress, and your district needs funding for a new highway to nowhere, don’t be surprised if the bill passes with a rider authorizing funding for that highway. That’s pork without the pig attached. More…
In response to Florida Municipal Power Agency General Manager Nicholas Guarriello’s call for an end to what he described as “a letter writing campaign,” Florida Power & Light President Eric Silagy fired off another letter to Guarriello today.
Late last week, Guarriello wrote Silagy expressing “disappointment” at what he described as numerous misstatements made by FPL spokeswoman, Amy Brunjes, at last Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Silagy defended Brunjes, writing, “we believe Ms. Brunjes accurately presented the situation from FPL’s perspective.” More…
“Lemmon is either being intellectually dishonest, or he is drunk on FPL Kool-Aid.”
In his Sunday front page column, Press Journal pundit Russ Lemmon, a member of Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers’ editorial board, asserted that “the will of the people” was clearly expressed in elections held in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. One might think Lemmon would have discovered by now that divining the will of the people is a complex and risky business. More…
Editor’s Note: More than once, Florida Power & Light’s External Affairs Manager, Amy Brunjes, has gone before the City Council and directly accused Councilman Jay Kramer of obstructing FPL’s efforts to acquire Vero Beach’s electric system. Personally attacking Kramer gives Brunjes no pause, but the word on the street is that she considers any correction of her misstatements before the council as unnecessarily personal. The following story was first posted March 4.
When asked today how the power deal keeps getting better for the OUC, the FMPA and FPL, Mayor Richard Winger offered a number of examples, including the shifting price FPL says it will have to pay to resolve the short term power issue. That number is down from $30 million to $26 million, though FPL External Affairs Manager, Amy Brunjes, did her best today to put a masterful spin on the truth. More…
Florida Department of Education Outstanding Volunteer: L to R: Dr. Fran Adams, Superintendent; District & State Senior Outstanding Volunteer, Berdyne Williams; Sue DiDomizio, Assistant Principal, Citrus Elementary; and Carol Johnson, School Board Chairman.
The 2014 Volunteer of the Year Reception was held on Thursday, March 6, in the J. A. Thompson Administative Center to honor the District’s Outstanding School Volunteers. Forty-eight volunteers were honored, accompanied by family members and school personnel.
Each year, the Florida Department of Education conducts an Outstanding Volunteer of the Year competition. Each school district may submit one Senior, Adult, and Youth winner for their district. From those submissions, Florida State Outstanding Volunteers are chosen. This year, Indian River County School District’s Senior winner was selected as one of fifteen State Outstanding Volunteers! More…
UN Women EFL Chapter Board member, Carrie Sargavakian, Mkt Coordinator, Sherry Todd-Green, Luv Juice owners, Cheri Schumann…and UN Women East Florida Chapter’s Board President, Lalita Janke
Vero Beach women were “hanging tough” Saturday when they met in Indian River Shores to celebrate International Women’s Day. Relative to this year’s IWD theme of inspiring change, each shared their unique story of success and how they overcame obstacles to get to where they are today. More…
Closer Than Ever will be on stage at the Riverside Theatre through March 24.
Riverside Theatre is currently hosting a musical revue described by its own creators as a “bookless book musical”. Closer Than Ever, featuring music of David Shire and lyrics of Richard Maltby, Jr. opened March 11th with a final show currently planned for March 23rd. With the 2013-2014 Riverside Theatre season drawing to a close, this production has something for just about everyone. More…
Click image to view interview.
Democratic Congressional candidate Corry Westbrook recently sat down with Inside Vero editor Mark Schumann to discuss her campaign. If Westbrook wins against fellow Democrat Garbriel Rothblatt, of Palm Bay, in the August primary, she will face Republican incumbent Bill Posey in the November election.
The Vero Beach High School girls lacrosse team continues to dominate its Florida rivals. Roscoe Bell/Bell Photography
Eight straight Florida state high school championships…National ranking…This year playing three of the top national teams.
Are we talking about Miami, Tampa or Jacksonville? No, we’re talking about Vero Beach. And it’s not football or baseball. It’s not even boys. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Vero Beach girls’ lacrosse team. More…
Vero Beach 32963 reporter Lisa Zahner
One important dimension in the story of the push to sell Vero Beach’s electric utility to Florida Power & Light is the role the press has played in informing, misinforming and enflaming public opinion.
For its part, the island weekly, Vero Beach 32963, has for five years carried on a persistent campaign, often aided by utility activists Glenn Heran, Dr. Stephen Faherty, Charlie Wilson and others, to call attention to what the newspaper’s publisher clearly sees as the many failings of Vero Beach’s elected leaders and city staff.
This reporting would be fair and responsible, except that the newspaper’s reporters and editors have become so attached to the outcome that they are no longer simply reporting and commenting on events, but have become players in the unfolding drama. More…
Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers’ recent reporting on the proposed sale of Vero Electric to Florida Power & Light has been simplistic, one-sided and often inaccurate. In fact, the Treasure Coast daily’s coverage has been so painfully simplistic, one might think Scripps, whose publisher, Bob Brunjes, is the husband of a key FPL executive, assigned the story to its greenest intern, or worse, has outsource the coverage of this important story to one of its graphic designers based in India. More…
Moody’s Investor Service yesterday affirmed the Florida Municipal Power Agency’s A1 rating on its Stanton Revenue Bonds. At the same time, Moody’s raised cautions about the proposed sale of Vero Electric. The Moody’s report explained that the rating agency believes and expects any sale of Vero Beach’s electric utility will, “be structured in a way that fully protects bondholders’ rights under the bond resolution.” More…
Headlines are a key element in any newspaper, especially those sold in high traffic businesses like Publix or Walgreens. It’s no accident that the National Enquirer and similar sensationalist publications are available at checkout counters, enticing readers with their headlines like “Aliens stole my baby” and “How I lost 500 pounds.”
The problem with headlines though is that they are often misleading. For instance, in 1948 the Chicago Tribune headline screamed “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN.” Unfortunately, the opposite was true.
Locally, the Treasure Coast daily, which clearly supports the sale of Vero Electric to FPL, seems to use headlines as a way of telegraphing their version of events to readers, who in fact, may never read the story behind the headline. More…
Approximately 40 people turned out Wednesday evening for what had been billed as a town hall forum where citizens could ask questions of utility “experts.” The event, so sketchy even Florida Power & Light didn’t send spin doctors to participate, turned out to be little more than a pro-sale rally where a handful of the sale’s most militant supporters gathered to pool their indignation, anger and ignorance of the facts. Any one who went to Wilson’s forum hungry for the truth surely left with an empty stomach.
After receiving a report on what was said during Wilson’s blame fest, I was reminded of advice a friend shared recently. ”Where ignorance is an enemy, intelligence an adversary, and illogical an opponent, those of sound minds are well served to tread carefully,” he wrote. More…