County Says NO to Lower Rates

noNo, no, no. Don’t you dare lower the rates?

The county had a special call meeting….for what you might ask?

They actually had a special call meeting to try to stop the City of Vero Beach from lowering their electric rates.

I know this might be hard for some of you to understand but let me explain. The five elected County Commissioners and the elected officials at Indian River Shores have not yet grasped the fact that the City of Vero Beach is not able to sell their Electric Utility – not to FPL or to anyone for that matter because they are locked into contractual obligations that cannot be broken. The City did in fact spend four years and close to two million dollars in attorney fees to try to get out of these obligations and to no avail. And, to make matters worse, three member of the City Council, Tracy Carroll, Pilar Turner and Craig Fletcher agreed to sell to FPL in a signed contract that is almost as binding as the long term contracts that the city cannot get out of in order to sell to FPL. And, just remember this, this binding contract with FPL is good until Dec. 31, 2016  2015 or thereabouts.

So, last election one of the signers of the FPL and City of Vero Beach sales agreement did not get re-elected. Oh, I see, the sell crowd no longer has three votes so……that is how it stands today. They sold the community on the fact that they had a deal with FPL to own the City Utility but they had no details ironed out to make sure the sale would fly. We ended up with a dead deal….As Charlie Wilson says, the city went from a done deal to a dead deal.

If you were an elected official and you had a dead deal and you know you cannot promise FPL rates what would you do. Yep, you would take the bull by the horn and you would do everything in your power to lower the rates. That is exactly what this current council is setting out to do and they are making progress says Schef Wright….the new utility guru attorney who is now retained by the City of Vero Beach. Yippee – lower rates are coming. In fact, Wright and the City Manager, Jim O’Connor spent some quality negotiating time with OUC to get better wholesale rates and this very fact was reported at the last council meeting. I say again….Yippee Yippee, lower rates are coming.

And, then along comes this “special call” meeting by the County and they have made it plain as day that they will do everything to stop the City of Vero Beach from lowering the rates. In fact, Wesley Davis went so far as to say that he would like to put an injunction against the city so that they cannot lower their rates. The County Commissioners have made themselves clear. They want noting on the table but a sale to FPL….End of story.

So, they do not accept the fact that this new council is working on lowering rates and they are trying to make waves one week before an election so that they can help the king of “Sell to  FPL”, Charlie Wilson have his way and give him a leg up on a possibility of getting elected.

And, what’s in it for the rest of them…..I’ll tell you what’s in it for them. They go to bat for FPL and then when they run for the next term or the next office they will surely be able to count on FPL to help finance their next election. You know what I mean….Wesley Davis, Tim Zorc, Bob Solari are doing their fund raising a bit early but they know who they can count on. And they do it all with a smile on their faces as they tell their low information constituents that they will settle for nothing less than FPL rates and to hell with Vero Beach.

It is imperative to elect the OK’S.  Old, Kramer and Shupe will not let the City’s business be run by a bunch of bullies at the County and the Shores. Get out the Vote.




  1. says:

    I think I will stay home. some of those commissioners are on the ballot. and have no challengers. there is no write in slot. therefore why am I going to vote for these liars.

  2. Cedric says:

    To put it plainly the situation created by the county stinks. In fact,every ratepayer in the city and county should be irate by their politically motivated actions . If you don’t think Bob Salami and Charlie’s friend Wesley Davis aren’t behind this , think again. This whole affair reeks of down and dirty politics. Every roadblock they put down to not allow lower rates costs all of us money every day. Dirty politics at its worst.

  3. Cathy Katrovitz says:

    This might be a good lesson for the folks in Fellsmere and Sebastian. Beware of your County Commissioners. If you’ve got something they want, they will find a way to take it. All they need is some outside big money and “a plan”. I think Fellsmere is doing well – got smart and opened up their city boundaries. Sebastian has a larger population than Vero, I think. Guard yourselves. It is probable Vero is going to have to put up one heck of a fight to survive. I can assure the current Commissioners they will not see our votes ever again. I’d vote for Bugs Bunny first.

  4. Bea-isms says:

    I hope there are some good people out there reading this blog on a regular basis that might want to consider running for County Commissioner when the next batch is up for re-election.

    Cathy, Elmer Fudd would be another one that I would vote for too before anyone of the robber barons who sit on the Commission.

    Between the cop out on the Oslo Boat ramp and now this latest fiasco of not wanting the City of Vero Beach to press on with lowering rates….what have we got out there. Takes a lot to shock me but this special call meeting sure did me in.

    When I say cop out on the Oslo boat ramp I mean they were all cowards….Instead of an up or down vote (for the world to see) they voted to postpone the vote for three to five years. What a joke these clowns are…what a joke.

  5. […] Gardner’s column is a must read.  MORE… […]

  6. jim says:

    10 dollar per KW hour reduction in electric bills and the county rescinding its 6% franchise fee would pretty much get the county people where they want to be. As far as Indian River Shores, Let them take their entitled attitudes to court and let the cards fall where they will. Shef is smarter than anyone they can pull in to represent them and honestly, they stand little chance in winning their argument. If, in fact, they win, then FPL will have to pay us, per meter, what those accounts are worth.

  7. Jim Moran says:

    The special call meeting was nothing but a political rally. I agree with Jim, forget the mediation and let’s get this issue resolved. Vero Beach Electric is in an enviable position. Where else can you defend yourself using the claimant’s money. I assume all legal fee’s are charged to the electric utility account. (higher rates)

    • jim says:

      I believe that’s true. And the 2 million dollars in legal fees for the dog and pony show that was ” the sale” also was paid for by county ratepayers, in addition to the 6% surcharge that the commisioners charge their constituents. We can be right in line, ratewise, taking positive steps. Maybe not the lowest in Florida, but right in line. And what is wrong with that?
      TOT ABC

  8. Bea-isms says:

    Both Jims are right. The special call meeting was nothing more than a political “fundraiser” IMO.

    And, you are correct in saying that the rate reductions go as planned and the county rescinds the 6% franchise fee….well, then there could be no financial gain to support the sale to FPL at all costs.

    It is very necessary for all who are paying attention to go to the polls and defeat these idiots who think they can get elected and then run the city to to ground. We know how un savory the Roo is but just as dangerous to the City is the red headed Hen and Hairy Carry.

    • jim says:

      FPL is not interested in having super low rates. If the gap is that large, it will soon be closed by higher FPL rates. They will take every dime they can get. And when the differential is a negligible amount, It will come back down to service,
      where Vero Electric hands down, has the edge. I lived the FPL dream in ’04. That is the biggest reason I move to Vero, and Vero Utilities.

  9. Cedric says:

    We must all ask ourselves which candidates can be trusted and which candidates are the pawns of outside interests such as developers, All Aboard Florida high speed trains and other big money people. Who went campaigning with the AAF high speed train lobbyist ? Who received campaign cash from certain builders ? I do know that Shupe, Kramer, Old and Heady do not fit this description. Do the names Turner, Howle or Wilson sound familiar? What promises have been made to these groups?

    • Bea-isms says:

      And, I might add, who of all the candidates has received the most campaign money form outside sources. I think I read that Charlie Wilson has received over 85% of his campaign money from folks who do not live in the city. You know what that means, if they don’t live in the City they can’t vote in the City….but, they sure do try to influence the City elected officials.

  10. dian george says:

    Next Tuesday. Tomorrow is Charlie’s hearing in Tallahassee regarding his sign violation. Poor fellow is confused thinking it has been resolved with the supervisor of elections. I wonder how his campaign contributors feel about having to fund his election violation. He says I will be disappointed. I am going to put my faith in the citizens of Beach of Vero. The fact that most of the campaign contributions came from outside of the city. That might be a good sign that city residents have paid attention. We will see.

  11. Cedric says:

    Lets FAST TRACK any candidate who received campaign cash or went door to door with the All ABOARD FLORIDA LOBBYIST into defeat. Send a message to AAF telling them we do not want them or their candidates . Sent a message to AAF and candidates Turner, Howle and Wilson with your vote that we don’t want them.

  12. Joan says:

    Let’s do a for instance….somehow the deal is done the City sells the electric company to FPL. How long will it take to finalize. Years, wouldn’t it be better to have lower rates till the deal is closed.
    I would prefer we keep our electric, but if it can be proven that the CITY residents will benefit from the sale then sell it. So far I haven’t seen or heard anything to that effect. As it stand now only non city limits customers will benefit.

  13. Cedric says:

    Past history has proven that Vero Electric provides quicker service after hurricanes,(2004). When 30 day Wilson said the city would realize $90,000,000 from the sale he was wrong ,but it got him elected. He keeps playing the same “broken record” again this time around, but this time we know the facts. When nasty Glenn Heran ,an outsider , plays his “broken record” he is wrong by $150,000,000. In plain truth too many outsiders have too much to say about the city. While we all would like lower rates, outsiders would gain at city residents expense. We would pay higher taxes; they would not, while reaping the benefits of the city of Vero and all it offers.

  14. Cedric says:

    I just read today’s Press Journal’s report on the electric sale meeting between the city, county and IRS. What a bunch of baloney ,hot air and political grandstanding on the part of some. For instance Pilar Turner said a committee should be formed to solve the problem. Who does she think she is talking to, a bunch of idiots? She was the mayor ,spent $2 million on legal fees and could not get a sale; she is the FMPA representative and cannot get a sale. Then there is the Political Windbag Bob Solari, who according to editor Larry Reisman ” put on his best Jonnie Cochran suit”. In my opinion,Solari IS A true HYPOCRITE… Why you ask? Because he now worries about some non city residents with low incomes, BUT WHEN HE WAS A VERO CITY COUNCILMAN HE NEVER RAISED THE QUESTION NOR DID HE CARE! A TRUE PHONY! BTW lets not forget his wife who went door to door with the AAF lobbyist, Turner, Howle and nasty Glenn Heran… This sale died when OUC bailed out and FMPA ,with its court approved contracts holds all the cards. The phonies don’t mention THE ALL REQUIREMENT PART OF THE FMPA CONTRACT? WHY?… The present majority of Winger, Kramer and Graves hired Shef Wright ,a noted and respected lawyer in this field to complete this sale, if he can’t do it nobody can. HYPOCRITES and PHONIES please shut up.

  15. Bea-isms says:

    Joan, your hypothetical situation is right on. There is no one in the world that would like to see the Electric Utility sold if there were a benefit to the city to sell. Remember, the Glenn Heran and the Charlie Wilson scenarios of the City realizing a big fat profit by selling the Utility to FPL was a pipe dream. In other words, their predicted profits are not going to happen. In fact, it was beginning to look like Pilar Turner was asking the rate users to kick in $26 million dollars more (not from Profit) to make the sale happen. And, it still did not happen.
    And, remember, the city of Vero already has invested four years and $2M to make a sale to FPL- and it still did not happen.
    All that did happen was that the City (with three votes) did sell off the Utility to FPL and the deal that was made still cannot happen.

    You were wise to point out that even if a sale were to happen, it will take years and years and no one can predict what the cost of electric will be years down the road. That is why this council and the next few councils should continue down the path of “lowering rates” for all the ratepayers.

    It is up to the resident to get out the vote to make sure they have a council that will continue down the path of lowering rates while still trying to find ways to sell off the Utility if that is the way the City wants to go.

  16. Bea-isms says:

    Read this article that I found on Inside Vero and feel free to comment on it on Bea-isms because I noticed that IV is no longer doing comments???

    Reisman is the lie that the Pee Pee Jay is hoping no one will notice…In other words, he is working very hard to re-write history in order to do the dirty work for FPL….

    Again, click on the link and read this for yourself.

    • Mark Schumann says:

      Bea, Thank you for your willingness to host dialogue/comments on your site. I’m reluctant to host an unmoderated dialogue, and I just don’t have the time to do more than write and report. The “after party” is just more than I have time for now. Mark

      • Joan says:

        Thank you Mark, I thought something was wrong with my computer. I understand your problem.

      • Bea-isms says:

        Thank you Mark for explaining. I actually like the blogging/commenting part of my website because it gives a lot of folks a way to express themselves on these very important issues that you and I write about.

        And, yes, it does take a lot of time and I can appreciate where you are coming from.

    • Terry says:

      An editorial writer must write to please the publisher…while he still has a job.

  17. Bea-isms says:

    Here’s a quick little note about something I could not resist mentioning. There is a political advertisement paid for by the Charles Wilson campaign of Pilar Turner and Charlie Wilson standing side by side.

    And, it says, “The best way to know what someone stands for is to know who they stand with.

    It looks to me as though this ad would be the kiss of death for Turner or…..maybe it is the kiss of death for Wilson. LOL

    The real question here is when did Charlie Wilson get permission from Schumann to pirate the pix from Inside Vero and did Charlie get the Red Headed Hen’s permission to use her in an ad. Oh well, it will all be in the can by Tuesday…..

    • dian george says:

      The answer to that Bea is that he didn’t. So now I hope he is charged with copy right infringement. The fact that he used that picture concerns me that he has a serious contagious skin disease. Pilar Turner was standing quite close to him and I am wondering if he has seen a dermatologist regarding his face. I have reason to believe that he should be required to have medical clearance prior to appearing in public.

  18. Bea-isms says:

    Hey Terry, you must be talking about that piece of crap that Larry Reisman just wrote. And we thought the Lemmonator was bad.

    • Terry says:

      Yes, I am. The problem with lying is that people can and do remember what was in the PJ before voting about FPL…even if the liar does not.

  19. jim says:

    Larry Reisman is the newest fiction writer from our area.

  20. Cedric says:

    Do you remember the three stooges LARRY, MOE, and CURLEY? They were last seen on Route 1 drinking lemonade.

  21. Bea-isms says:


    Maybe the Lemmonator is selling Lemonade on US 1 to augment his income. After all, once the political season is over who will advertise on his “yellow paper”?

    Wait a minute, maybe Carole Jean Jordan, the Tax Collector, will be advertising in his “fluff” paper because she is displaying it prominently in the government office that she runs. I thought that was a no no. Maybe Mark Schumann or Milt Benjamin could put stacks of their publications in her office too. Just saying.

    All I can say is this….the Pee Pee Jay got rid of “fluffy” boy and replaced him with Larry boy and I think they have gone from bad to worse.

  22. Cedric says:

    In the words of the 3 stooges “yuk, yuk, yuk” Speaking of the PJ , notice how quiet Bobby and AMY have been. There frontal attacks for the Vero Electric sale did not work,so they have gone into deep cover. Yes, the PJ is good for some things, but not for reading value. I understand it is almost as good at wrapping fish in as 32963. I always wrap my fish in lovely Lisa’s articles.