Moss continues to raise questions about Mayor Kramer’s attire

Despite assurances from City Attorney Wayne Comment that Mayor Jay Kramer's appearing before the Utilities Commission wearing a shirt bearing a campaign message was within the law, Laura Moss continues to press the issue. Is Moss getting her legal education at the expense of the taxpayer of Vero Beach>
Despite assurances from City Attorney Wayne Coment that Mayor Jay Kramer’s appearance before the Utilities Commission wearing a shirt bearing a campaign message was within the law, Laura Moss continues to press the issue. Is Moss getting her legal education at the expense of the taxpayer of Vero Beach?
COMMENTARY

MARK SCHUMANN

Laura Moss
Laura Moss
Jay Kramer
Jay Kramer

Utility Commission Chairman and Vero Beach City Council candidate Laura Moss again this week raised questions about Mayor Jay Kramer’s Aug. 9 appearance before the Utilities Commission wearing a shirt bearing a campaign message. At the time, Kramer was a candidate for the Indian River County Commission.

Mayor Jay Kramer spoke from the podium addressing his concerns over selling Vero Electric’s Indian River Shores customers for $17 million less than the $47 million recommended by a team of five experts.  The Commission ultimately recommended accepting $30 million, rather than $47 million, but that advice was not followed by the City Council.

Following up on answers she received in late August from City Attorney Wayne Coment, Moss again this week questioned the legality of Kramer’s attire. Referring to Kramer, not by name but as the “Presiding Member,” Moss wrote, “For the purpose of clarification, given that the Presiding Member explicitly presented himself in his official position while wearing clothing promoting his own candidacy in a political race, how does Florida State 104.31(2)…not apply to his behavior as cited in no. 3 of my inquiry to you dated 31AUG2016…?

Responding to Moss, Coment wrote, “You will note I limited that response to a question of the Mayor wearing a shirt at the time of his attendance at the advisory board meeting that stated his name and the office for which he was a candidate at the time. I am still of the same opinion previously expressed as the wearing of such apparel, lapel pins, and other modes of passive political expression have been deemed to be not within the prohibitions of the statute you cite. Additionally, the referenced subsection (2) is expressly limited to “employees” and elected officials are not considered employees. (Note that subsection (1) specifically includes officers). Should you require further guidance regarding political campaigns, campaigning, candidates, campaign finance, or the like, I can only suggest you inquire of the Florida Elections Commission. The Commission contact information is attached for your convenience.”

Just today, InsideVero submitted a questionnaire to all six City Council candidates, including a question about what each of them believes to be the major issues facing the City of Vero Beach. Given the time and energy Moss is spending dogging Mayor Kramer, one has to wonder if she considers clothing a major issue; or perhaps she is simply revealing an inclination to be exceedingly petty.

3 comments

  1. If Brian Heady is going to turn his attention to the county, then someone will need to take his place at City Hall as the all-knowing one. It might as well be Laura Moss. Let’s just hope we never have to see what she looks like wearing an overgrown, unkept beard.

  2. I was a Kramer sign holder at the main library on the first day of early voting. Wearing my Kramer for County Commissioner T-shirt, I was concerned about going inside to vote with it on. After my “shift” was over, I found my husband’s cardigan sweater in the car, slipped it over my shirt, and went inside to vote. Just a reminder that this was August and it was very hot. Going inside, I explained why I was wearing the sweater. Everyone told me to take it off–the only time it would be a problem was if I stood outside the entrance for a long period of time. It would be nice if Mrs. Moss and all the other candidates found something of major interest to us residents of Vero Beach. There are many topics available – maintaining parks and related facilities, keeping sidewalks in good repair – along with streets, neglected lawns of property owners on summer vacation in other parts of the country, maintaining the garbage pickup–and vehicles, beach area needs…..just lots of ‘stuff’ besides what Mr. Kramer happened to wear to that one meeting. Public comment at the City Council meetings has turned into free open-mike for candidates.

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