Municipalities are working together to seek participate in Lagoon Council Reply

MARK SCHUMANN

In the face of the Indian River County Commission’s refusal to participate in a regional effort to address the Lagoon crisis, four municipalities – Sebastian, Fellsmere, Indian River Shores and Vero Beach – are banded together to seek representation on the new Indian River Lagoon Council. More…

Sebastian Inlet State Park to host Night Sounds concert April 4 Reply

NEWS RELEASE

Remember When PictureThe Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Sebastian Inlet State Park will hold the Night Sounds concert series on Saturday, April 4, 2015. Hosted by the Friends of Sebastian Inlet State Park, the concert will showcase Remember When. Remember When is three singers and a music mixer that play the oldies but goodies from the 1940’s to the 1980’s. Come join us for a jukebox Saturday night style concert. The concert will Take place at the pavilions on Coconut Point, located on the south side of Sebastian Inlet. The concert is free with regular park entry fees.

For more information about Remember When visit

www.rememberwhenentertainment.com/third-page.html.

For more information about the concert please call (321)984-4852 or visit www.floridastateparks.org/sebastianinlet.

This event will take place:  Saturday, April 4, 2015, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Sebastian Inlet State Park

 

Lagoon Council holds first meeting, elects officer, Indian River County unrepresented 1

MARK SCHUMANN

Currently, Indian River County is unrepresented in a regional effort to address the Lagoon crisis.

Currently, Indian River County is unrepresented in a regional effort to address the Lagoon crisis.

The new Indian River Lagoon Council, a regional effort to address the Lagoon crisis, held its first meeting today in Palm Bay. The group includes representatives from the Brevard, Saint Lucie, Martin and Palm Beach County Commissions and from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Saint John’s and South Florida Water Management Districts. The Indian River County Commission chose not to participate in the Lagoon Council, objecting to voting representation for the three state agencies. (See: Regional Lagoon Council proceeds without Indian River County) More…

Who cares about our kids? Reply

Who cares about our kids?

D. LORNE COYLE, MDiv.

The Recession is over?

Commercial space is being occupied. New restaurants are opening. Hotel occupancy is way up from two years ago. Gas prices are down. Giving to the United Way is up. New home construction is booming again.

The Great Recession is over.

Or is it?

Not for everyone in Indian River County:

  • While unemployment is down from its 14% peak in 2010, it is still almost twice as high as in pre-recession 2006
  • The number of Indian River County citizens in poverty has increased to 14% from 10% in 2006
  • The number of homeless in the County has grown to 1048 from 741 in 2006
  • Births to single mothers have increased to 47% from 43%
  • And the children? Today 21% of our children under 19 years old live in poverty vs. 16% in 2006.

Fellsmere City Council will seek representation on Lagoon Council 5

MARK SCHUMANN

Fellsmere SignThe Fellsmere City Council this evening directed City Manager Jason Nunemaker to work with its sister cities in Indian River County to seek representation on the newly formed Indian River Lagoon Council.

Fellsmere, along with Sebastian, and possibly Vero Beach, are acting in response to a void created when the Indian River County Commission recently voted not to participate in the regional effort to save the Indian River Lagoon. More…

Vero Beach, Sebastian, Fellsmere may fill void left by County on new Lagoon Council 2

MARK SCHUMANN

Richard Winger

Richard Winger

Richard Gillmore

Richard Gillmore

Leaders in the cities of Sebastian, Fellsmere and Vero Beach appear to be considering how to fill the void created when the Indian River County Commission declined to participate in the new Indian River Lagoon Council.

Vero Beach Mayor Richard Wingers said yesterday he has been in conversation with Sebastian Mayor Richard Gillmore. Vero Beach City Manager Jim O’Connor said he has discussed the issue with Fellsmere City Manager Jason Nunemaker. More…

Commission approves $2.7 million to fight All Aboard Florida 2

MILT THOMAS

Bob Solari

Bob Solari

The Indian River County Commission this morning unanimously approved a motion by Commissioner Solari to create a $2.7 million fund to fight All Aboard Florida and “protect the community.”

The fund will be established to cover legal expenses in fighting the high speed rail project that is almost universally opposed by Indian River County residents. The motion, approved by a 5-0 vote this morning, calls for the county to reserve $500,000 this year and then budget $1.1 million in each of the next two fiscal years. More…

Vero Beach should join Sebastian in seeking a seat on Indian River Lagoon Council 2

COMMENTARY

“Working together, Sebastian and Vero Beach leaders will demonstrate that far more good can be accomplished through compromise and collaboration than through divisiveness. The Lagoon is in crisis. There is no time for petty politics.”

MARK SCHUMANN

"Put simply, Solari does not do well when things do not go his way."

“Put simply, Solari does not do well when things do not go his way.”

To more aggressively address the Lagoon crisis, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the St. John’s Water Management District, the South Florida Water Management District and the county commissions of Brevard, St. Lucie, Martin and Palm Beach Counties recently formed the Indian River Lagoon Council. Conspicuously absent from the group is any representation from Indian River County.

Following the advice of Commissioner Bob Solari, the Indian River County Commission chose not to participate in the regional effort to save the Lagoon? Why? Because the Lagoon Council does not reflect Solari’s idealistic vision of “representative government.” How ironic, then, that Solari’s response to not getting his way is to refuse to participate in the Coalition, thus leaving Indian River County without representation and input into how local, state and federal money will be spent in a regional effort to save the Lagoon. More…

Sebastian seeks to fill void left by County 2

Sebastian City Council will ask for a seat on Lagoon Council

With the Indian River County Commission refusing to participate in a regional effort to address the Lagoon crisis, the Sebastian City Council is taking steps to insurance local interests will be represented on the newly formed Indian River Lagoon Council.

At the urging of Commissioner Bob Solari, the Indian River County Commission is refusing to participate in a regional effort to address the Lagoon crisis. The Sebastian City Council is taking steps to insure local interests will be represented on the newly formed Indian River Lagoon Council.

VERONEWS.COM

Solari: Objects to participation boy DEP and Water Management District

Solari: Objects to participation by DEP and Water Management District

Agreeing that it is “a travesty” and “unconscionable” for Indian River County to have no voice in how lagoon-designated funding will be used, and on the heels of the county’s official separation from the newly formed Indian River Lagoon Council earlier in the day, the Sebastian City Council on Feb. 11 agreed to seek a seat on the lagoon body – with or without other local municipalities’ participation. Continue reading…

Home Rule empowers towns and cities to chart their own course Reply

COMMENTARY

“Talk of unified local government may feed at least a few egos longing to rule over larger fiefdoms, but consolidation of local government within Indian River County would do nothing to improve the quality of life for the residents of Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, the Town of Orchid, Sebastian or Fellsmere.”

MARK SCHUMANN

Within Indian River County there are five incorporated municipalities: Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, the Town of Orchid, Sebastian and Fellsmere. Why these “extra” layers of government, collecting taxes, imposing regulations and providing services some argue are not essential? Wouldn’t it be more efficient and less expensive for the Indian River County Commission to administer the basic, essential services mandated by the state?

To advocates of so-called limited government, that may sound like a compelling, rational argument, but the case for consolidation crumbles under the weight of reality. In his 2103 book,“If Mayors Ruled the World,” Benjamin R. Barber argues that national and state leaders, and county leaders as well, could govern move effectively and responsibly if they would take a lesson or two from mayors serving cities large and small. More…

Fellsmere leaders focused on economic development, historic preservation, and eco-recreation/tourism 3

GUEST COMMENTARY

JASON NUNEMAKER

Editor’s note: Jason Nunemakers is the City Manager of Fellsmere.

Jason Nunemaker

Jason Nunemaker

Ten years – depending on your perspective that may seem like a trivial length of time. But as a city manager that is a term of service in a single city that is unusual in Florida and frankly a milestone I was not sure I would achieve based on my early experiences in the profession. Rarer still is the opportunity to work with people as genuine, caring, and proactive as I have found in a succession of City Councils in the City of Fellsmere. Against the backdrop of this milestone, ten years as City Manager, coupled with a New Year and a recent large-scale annexation it seems appropriate to reflect on where we have been and where we are going.

The City Council changed their charter from a strong-mayor form of government to a council-manager form in 2005. I was humbled to be selected as the first city manager subsequent to this change, albeit the second choice as Councilman Tyson likes to jokingly remind me. This significant change was predicated in large part on the City’s desire to manage and facilitate quality growth. Several years prior the Pine Grove annexation and associated land use amendments were completed and City leaders recognized the need to professionally manage the implementation of the eventual development. More…

Rushing through Vero: The fast train to elsewhere Reply

GUEST COMMENTARY

HONEY MINUSE

As we entered 2014, the IRNA Land Use Committee meetings were dominated by concerns arising from the high-speed train proposed by All Aboard Florida (AAF). The train would run from Miami to Orlando through Vero Beach with intermediate stops only at Ft. Lauderdale and Palm Beach without stopping at Vero. We wanted only the facts about the project – not the fluff.

At the same time, the Indian River Chamber of Commerce was facing a similar situation, seeking information about the proposed train that would speed through the community without servicing its residents – not railroad propaganda. More…

Changing our name, expanding our mission 3

Inside-Vero-Logo-Press-Outlines [Converted]

MARK SCHUMANN

Two years ago, Milt Thomas and I began publishing InsideVero, a community news magazine dedicated to offering balanced reporting on issues of importance to the residents of Vero Beach and southern Indian River County. Beginning in January, with an issue to be released January 15, we will expand our coverage to include news and features of importance and interest throughout Indian River County. At the same time, we will increase our circulation from 15,000 to 33,000. To reflect our expanded mission, we have changed the name of our news magazine to Inside Indian River. More…

Exchange Club of Fellsmere donates toys to the Fellsmere Police Department Reply

NEWS RELEASE

Fellsmere Exchange Club 12-16-14Recently, the Fellsmere Police Department announced to the public that it was initiating a toy drive to collect toys for local youth this Holiday Season. The Exchange Club of Fellsmere partners with organizations in the community each year on various occasions, but makes a special attempt during the Holidays for just such a purpose. This year the Club adopted the Police Departments’ cause as their own. MORE...