Birds of a feather flock together

COMMENTARY

“As with candidates Laura Moss and Lange Sykes, Well’s affiliations suggest he is running for the City Council to work on behalf of outside interests to the detriment of the people of Vero Beach.”

MARK SCHUMANN

Limited government advocate, short-term rental champion and utility activist Glenn Heran and Commissioner Bob Solari.
Limited government advocate, short-term rental champion and utility activist Glenn Heran and County Commissioner Bob Solari.

Indian River County Commissioner Bob Solari’s campaign Facebook page currently features a picture of Norman Well attesting to the accuracy of documents he submitted Thursday qualifying to run for a seat of the Vero Beach City Council.

Wells may be a fine gentleman, but Solari’s enthusiasm for his candidacy raises questions about his commitment to protecting the interests of the residents and taxpayers of Vero Beach.  We are, after all, judged by the company we keep; and when it comes to Solari’s long list of attacks on the interests of the people of Vero Beach, you would have to say, “With friends like him, who needs enemies?”

From attempting to force Vero Beach to surrender its water and sewer utility to the County, to leading a legal challenge against the City that has cost County taxpayers and the customers of Vero Electric more than $1 million dollars, to championing vacation rentals, to refusing to cooperate in regional efforts to restore the Lagoon, to supporting the Oslo Road Boat Ramp project, to putting his fingerprints all over the City’s ill-conceived $10 million purchase of an abandoned 9-hole golf course, Bob Solari has been no friend of Vero Beach.

Now comes Norman Wells, who for all intents and purposes appears to be a clone Solari. Vero Beach does not need a Solari-type on the City Council. In fact, the best thing that can be said about Solari’s brief tenure on the Council is that it is in the past.

Further incriminating Wells as a plant by outside interests is his association with utility activist and pro-short-term-rental advocate Glenn Heran. Given Wells’ connections with Heran and Solari, it will be hard to trust any promises he might make to protect the City’s neighborhoods against the scourge of vacation rentals. More likely, Wells, if elected, would aid Solari, Heran and their Tea Party friends in seeking to turn Vero Beach into their own private experiment in limited-government extremism.

Given Herans’ and Solaria’s advocacy for selling the taxpayers of Vero Beach and the customers of Vero Electric short in the proposed sale of Vero Electric’s Shores customers to Florida Power & Light, it is also hard to imagine that their hand-picked man, Wells, would make any serious effort to look out for those who would become his constituents.

With Heran as his campaign treasurer, one big questions is just how much financial support Wells might receive from wealthy Indian River Shores interests and from Florida Power & Light. After all, it was Heran who got access to some $150,000 in FPL money and used it to promote the power sale and to support Tracy Carroll’s failed re-election bid in 2013.

As with candidates Laura Moss and Lange Sykes, Well’s affiliations suggest he is running for the City Council to work on behalf of outside interests to the detriment of the people of Vero Beach.

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