No More Three Hour Lunches for Me Please

3 hour lunchRemind me never to go to any such meeting where there are two speakers on three subjects and the first speaker droned on and on plus was asked to do Q & A before the second speaker was brought to the dais.

At the Taxpayers lunch today….two speakers were on the agenda to speak about All Aboard Florida – The County Attorney Dylan Rheingold  and Dan Richey.  Actually the County attorney was also to give a utility update as well.

Dylan Reingold, the County Attorney was called on first and he was billed to focus on legal issues regarding All Aboard Florida here at the local County level. And he also was supposed to give an update on other important topics facing our County now, one being the ongoing Utility matter. Well, you know what happens when you give an attorney a microphone….He went on and on and did not tell us anything much that we have not already been hearing ad nausea from the City of Vero Beach High Speed Rail Commission and the County Commissioners in many public meetings about the All Aboard Florida high speed rail service.

Actually, he spoke at length about the EIS report but the most important thing he did not say was the All Aboard Florida group paid to have their own  Environmental Impact Study done. It was not an independent study so….go figure.

Dan Richey was supposed to be updating us on All Aboard Florida in regards to their recent activity at both the State and Federal Levels and he comes from a different point of view…that of the Citrus Industry and the potential harm this rail system will have on the State.

By the time they got to speaker number two, Dan Richey,  and I might add, if I were Dan, I would have politely gone to the microphone and begged off and asked for a return invitation to speak on the AAF when he could say what he had to say without being rushed.   But, he was kind enough to stick with it and made a point to say he would abbreviate what he had to say because of lack of time.

Dan is involved in the Citrus Trade and as such has a wide range of knowledge when it comes to how AAF will impact both that industry and other areas of local business.

He made a few points that were worth noting. He talked about the widening of the Panama Canal and the deepening of the Ports in Miami and pointed out that the reason Fortress, the parent company of AAF, is in business is to make MONEY and they intend to make money by shipping in all the cargo, mainly, agricultural cargo that will be coming into the United States via the Panama Canal through Miami. He talked about the diseased fruit that will go unchecked in the Port of Miami and how, when unchecked, these imported products will harm the Citrus Industry in Florida.  “The Feds are interested in trade, trade, trade, not necessarily interested in protecting our on Citrus industry” he said.

He also mentioned that the USDA is no longer doing the good work of checking the ag shipments from other nations and that all kinds of tainted shipments will get through and ultimately put on rails to head North. Oh, he said that is because the USDA is now part of Homeland Security.

So, the bottom line is that Dan Richey was able to get his point across, in spite of the lack of time and the high speed rail is nothing more than a ruse to get the passenger train up and running just long enough to lose money so that it can be converted to freight trains. Hmmm.

BTW, one last question was fielded from the floor by Barbara Johnson. She said she would like to see  a triumphant formed with the County, Indian River Shores and the City of Vero Beach to work together to get out of FMPA. However, she said, the City will never agree to such a thing. Do you get the impression that the County and the Shores know their law suits are futile and they want a new group formed so that they can continue to let the City carry the load and do the impossible which is to break the back of the FMPA? By the time this point was brought up by Ms. Johnson most everyone was already out of their seats and bolting for the door.

This was not a typical hour long lunch meeting and I did stay to the end but listen here folks – a three hour meeting in the middle of a busy day is more than I bargained for. Hey Taxpayers, one speaker at a time please.




  1. Cathy Katrovitz says:

    I thought edible items coming into the US had to be inspected. Remember when we used to have to stop at the Arizona border and give up any fruits/veggies we were carrying into AZ? If USDA is not doing its job because it’s now a part of Homeland Security, we might as well throw up our hands and call it quits. Otherwise, I’m writing a letter to someone–maybe one of those just-reelected people who supposedly represent us. I can imagine County and Indian River Shores would LOVE a triumvirate–since they’d provide 2/3 of the thing. Bea, you and the others deserve some kind of award for sitting through that over-long program.

  2. Bea-isms says:

    Cathy, I asked Dan Ritchey if USDA could free themselves from Homeland Security and he said they went down that road and it was a no go.

    I think the triumvirate idea is so that Vero Beach can again choke up another 2 million dollars to try to get out of the contracts. LOL
    The only song that comes to my mind on that idea is….”What kind of fool am I?”

    And, just think Cathy, I spent $18.00 on my lunch too.

  3. savannah, ga says:

    why do we even a had a federal government? I mean what does it do now that its mandated to do in the constitution? oh wait, tax us

  4. Bea-isms says:

    Good point savannah.

    • Cathy Katrovitz says:

      U.S. roads & highways & bridges. Keeps Texas from wanting to take over neighboring states? Makes sure most aircraft don’t collide in mid-air (FAA)? FBI-interstate criminal hunters? Our militia? And a few other little things we might miss if we didn’t have them.

  5. Cedric says:

    The trouble with the Indian River Taxpayers group it is anti COVB and dominated by out of city people . At every turn they try to downgrade the city for the benefit of county residents. Their favorite Vero person is Bob Solari, the most anti COVB commissioner holding office.A typical meeting is good food and lots of BS. The next time you go, bring a shovel.

  6. Bea-isms says:

    That is funny Cedric…Bring a shovel. Every time the County attorney referred to something regarding a vote by the commissioners he nodded in an affirmative way to Commissioner Salami.

    And, of course he sat close to the red headed Hen. It appears she is being groomed for his seat on the commission so get ready folks, she will be around for a long long time. That is the life of the incumbent…always get elected to whatever seat you want.

    • jim says:

      A seat on the city council should be more than a waiting room for a higher paying job. Pray that a competent person steps up when we are finally past the Solari era.

  7. Bea-isms says:

    I agree Jim. I totally agree. But, the handwriting is on the wall for the hen. That’s just the way it is.

  8. savannah, ga says:

    I wont vote for pilar.

  9. savannah, ga says:

    we cant have a militia. the states national guard cant be called a militia. its a ruling from the supreme court. unless you meant the dod.