Utility activist Steven Faherty has taken it upon himself to read the minds of the six Vero Beach City Council candidates regarding their enthusiasm for the proposed power sale. Three candidates Faherty describes as “anti-sale,” three as “pro-sale.” In truth, none of the candidates have expressed opposition to the sale. The differences between the candidates on this issue has more to do with honesty and integrity. Some seek to fool voters into believing they can conclude the sale by somehow miraculously persuading the Florida Legislature and the Florida Supreme Court to set aside long-established contract law solely for the benefit of Vero Beach.
“Given these realities, I am left wondering what Faherty meant when he recently labeled three Vero Beach City Council candidates “pro-sale,” and three “anti-sale.” Such simplicity may play well in a time when the public has little interest in details, and even less interest in hearing more about the power sale issue. But the fact is Faherty’s labels mean absolutely nothing. Given that none of the candidates, if elected, are going to be in a position to move the power sale forward, and given that some of them are claiming otherwise, you have to wonder what their promises really mean. Maybe it is more useful and relevant to determine which candidates are committed to standing up for the interests of the people of Vero Beach and the customers of Vero Electric.”
Just yesterday, a friend asked me, “Why are you against the power sale?”
“In principle, I am not opposed to the sale,” I told him. I went on to explain that the all-important underlying issue has always been how to structure the sale, and plan for its consequences, in a way that does not result in a significant decline in the quality of Vero Beach’s municipal services.
My friend lives on the south barrier island, so I took his question as an opportunity to remind him that he and his fellow south barrier island residents cannot buy so much as a roll of toilet paper without driving into the City of Vero Beach to shop. “Imagine how uncomfortable you would be, and how difficult it would be to carry out commerce, without police protection,” I said.
For that matter, imagine trying to run any successful business, real estate brokerage for example, if Vero Beach were not able to offer such excellent services and amenities – plentiful, well-maintained parks and green space, guarded public beaches, recreation programs, clean streets, not to mention the Riverside Theatre and the Vero Beach Museum of Art, both of which occupy land leased from the City for just $1 a year. Without question, my friend and thousands of others who live in the unincorporated areas of Indian River County and in Indian River Shores benefit in countless ways from the quality of life made possible, at least in part, by the City’s exceptional services. More…