Shores leaders seek meeting with Mayor Kramer

MARK SCHUMANN

Brian Barefoot
Mayor Brian Barefoot
Vice Mayor Jay Kramer
Mayor Jay Kramer

According to reliable sources speaking off the record, at least one Indian River Shores civic leader and one member of the Shores Town Council have proposed a meeting between Shores Mayor Brian Barefoot and Vero Beach Mayor Jay Kramer. Barefoot, sources said, would like to present numbers suggesting the price for a sale of Vero Electric’s Shores customers should be far less than $64 million.

Speaking last week to a crowd of some 200 John’s Island residents, Barefoot said he hoped with Kramer as mayor of Vero Beach, there will be “a shift in voting patterns” on the City Council.

Signaling a possibly change in the Shores’ strategy, Barefoot also said that with the cost of litigation against Vero Beach now more than $600,000, Town leaders may have to reassess their chances of prevailing in court.

One other comment Barefoot made last week also suggests that if the lawsuit fails, the Shores’ next step will be to channel political contributions to Vero Beach’s elected officials who “support the Town’s objectives.”

In August, Vero Beach officials met with FPL representatives to discuss a possible sale of Vero Electric’s 3,400 Shores customers. FPL offered $13 million, but Vero Beach leaders say it will take $64 million to keep a partial sale from negatively affecting the remaining customers of Vero Electric.

Vero Electric’s customers in the unincorporated areas of the south barrier island, as well as those in unincorporated areas of the mainland, would not be included in the partial sale now being sought by the Shores.

Earlier this year, Finance Commission Chairman Peter Gorry said he believes a sale of Vero Electric’s Shores customers would result in higher rates for the remaining customers.

At least two members of the Vero Beach City Council, Pilar Turner and Harry Howle, have indicated a willingness to let FPL have Vero Electric’s Shores customers for $13 million. Councilmen Randy Old and Richard Winger have insisted any deal would have to be structured so as not to result in higher rates. Kramer has said the remaining customers of Vero Electric “cannot be thrown under the bus.”

 

 

 

 

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