Shores residents attack Old, while soliciting campaign contributions for Moss

COMMENTARY

“These accusations against Old have no basis in fact, and serve as further evidence Shores leaders are willing to abandon truth and decency in pursuit of their political objectives.”

“Given that a partial sale of Vero Electric’s Shores customers at FPL’s proposed price would benefit only Shores residents, while disadvantaging the remaining customers, what Grealis and McCord have begun with their email solicitation for Moss is a ‘Welfare for the Wealthy’ campaign.”

“For Grealis and McCord, the singular focus is to find three puppets who will do the Shores’ bidding on the Vero Beach City Council.” 

MARK SCHUMANN

Bill Grealis
Bill Grealis

Perhaps the most important question Vero Beach voters must consider this year is whether they have had enough of wealthy Indian River Shores interests seeking to buy control of the Vero Beach City Council.

An email fundraising letter sent today by Indian River Shores residents Bill Grealis and John McCord on behalf of Vero Beach City Council candidate Laura Moss falsely accuses Vice Mayor Randy Old of “publicly disparaging” the Utilities Commission and of serving as a “veritable cheerleader for the Florida Municipal Power Agency.”

These accusations against Old have no basis in fact, and serve as further evidence Shores leaders are willing to abandon truth and decency in pursuit of their political objectives.

Grealis and McCord continued their personal attacks against Old by falsely asserting the Vice Mayor has “no intention of ever selling Vero’s utility system either in part or in whole…”

In truth, Old joined Mayor Jay Kramer and Councilman Richard Winger in offering to sell Vero Electric’s Indian River Shores customer base and infrastructure to Florida Power & Light for $47 million, the price a team of five utility experts calculated the City would need to receive to ensure the sale would not negatively impact the City’s taxpayers and the remaining customers of Vero Electric.

Old has publicly explained that to sell at the $30 million FPL offered, given the predictable negative consequences,  would constitute a breach of his fiduciary responsibility to the people of Vero Beach.

Seeking advantage for the Shores over Vero Beach, Grealis and McCord seem to dismiss the importance of Vero Beach City Council members fulfilling their fiduciary responsibilities. Rather, what seems to matter to them is that  Moss will better represent the interests of Shores residents, for they presume she will, if elected, agree to sell Vero Electric’s Shores business for $30 million, thus disadvantaging her own constituents by $17 million. Given that a partial sale of Vero Electric’s Shores customers at FPL’s proposed price would benefit only Shores residents, while disadvantaging the remaining customers, what Grealis and McCord have begun with their email solicitation for Moss is a “Welfare for the Wealthy” campaign.

In their email solicitation on Moss’ behalf, the two Shores “gentleman” also wrote, “If FPL’s offer is approved, Shores residents would safely see a 15% rate reduction in the first 3 years, and a 30% rate reduction after that.” (Grealis and McCord did not mention FPL’s proposed $1.3 billion rate increase, or the fact that the rate differential is already well below 30 percent.)

“Now is the time we must take a stand,” Grealis and McCord wrote, adding, “There are 3 candidates who support this offer. They are Norman Wells, Lange Sykes, and Laura Moss. These candidates would join Harry Howle on the (Vero Beach) City Council to constitute a majority in favor of the (partial) sale. You can help to get the right candidates elected. We are asking each of you to donate $1000 to the Laura Moss Campaign.”

In advising their fellow Indian River Shores residents which candidates to support in Vero Beach’s municipal election, Moss’ Shores fundraisers apparently gave no consideration to work experience, leadership skills, prior service to the community, or to the country for that matter. For Grealis and McCord, the singular focus is to find three puppets who will do the Shores’ bidding on the Vero Beach City Council.

If wealthy Shores leaders like Grealis and McCord believe Wells, Sykes and Moss will agree to a deal that would lead to higher taxes in Vero Beach and higher electric rates for the remainder of the City’s customers, then perhaps it follows that the other three candidates, Sharon Gorry, Randy Old and Tony Young, are more likely to stand up for Vero Beach.

 

 

 

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