Editor’s note: Honey Minuse is Chair of the Indian River Neighborhood Association.
Note: As you read “Perhaps” please be reminded the only IRNA position on this Vero Beach Electric issue was support of placing the matter to a referendum. That was done and a contract for sale to FP&L was signed.
Two long-serving Council Members are leaving their seats, having chosen to no longer serve the people of Vero Beach. A sincere thank you is extended to both Pilar Turner and Jay Kramer for their unwavering dedication and for serving during a time of bitter divide. Well wishes are extended to them as they return to their personal lives with their families.
Perhaps their departure at this time is no coincidence. Perhaps reality set in when it was known the City’s contract for the sale of the Electric Utility to FP&L could not be executed.
Perhaps Mrs. Turner had nothing further she could do to complete the sale and perhaps Mayor Kramer exhausted his efforts trying to find a creative solution to advance a sale or a partial sale. And perhaps Contract Law and Florida Supreme Court rulings prevailed over wishful thinking and agitating behaviors.
The divisive activists have vanished.
Perhaps the Electric issue is no longer the reigning controversy.
Perhaps a new day is upon us.
People are once again affirming a city called Vero Beach is a wonderful place to live and work. Optimism is rising.
It is seen in Randy Old who has chosen to run for re-election: his commitment to the future of Vero Beach can be traced back to that day when he proposed to his future wife here in 1966 at her parent’s home.
And it is why Tony Young has become a candidate for City Council: he had a fine example set for him by the City’s first Mayor, his grandfather.
It is also the reason Sharon Gorry is a candidate for City Council; her grandparents built Vero Beach’s first motel and she wants to preserve, protect and prosper the City where she was born and grew up.
Perhaps that new day is represented by the commitment of these three candidates. They are invested in their community. They intend to work for the future of their City where business grows and thrives and where people live in a friendly, healthy environment. They want to resolve conflicts, to end division and bitterness.
They are intelligent candidates, very experienced in community service. And each has a solid ethic about public service.
But a dark cloud is trying to cast its shadow over Vero Beach.
Once again there are outside influences seeking to control the city government, to gain a political advantage for their own agenda.
The inflammatory rhetoric, the misinformation and the hateful accusations have already started. It is a remnant of the recent past when ugly voices spewed hateful comments trying to force the sale of the City’s Electric Utility.
Those ugly voices spurred years of controversy leading to steep budget cuts, demonization of city workers and a diminished workforce. The demoralization was manifested throughout the City. An attempt at outsourcing failed miserably.
To appease that rhetoric millions of dollars were spent in the futile pursuit of a sale of the Electric Utility to FP&L and more millions were spent successfully defending the City’s Electric Utility from legal actions initiated by elected officials in Indian River County and Indian River Shores.
Perhaps the dark cloud need not settle over Vero Beach.
Perhaps people will actually hear that Vero Beach is lowering its rates and FP&L is seeking to raise theirs.
Perhaps people will know Vero Beach has offered to have its’ rates reviewed by the Public Service Commission.
Perhaps people are tired of lawsuits, acrimony, animosity.
Perhaps the solution as to who provides electric service can only be found at the State or Federal legislative levels.
Perhaps honesty and decency will prevail this election season. At home. Vero Beach.
Perhaps people will recognize Randy Old, Sharon Gorry and Tony Young are the candidates who will bring about that new day. Their dedication to their hometown, their abilities and experiences uniquely qualify each of them to serve on the City Council.
Perhaps the City voters will know who best will serve the city and not outside interests.
As you read “Perhaps” please be reminded the only IRNA position on this Vero Beach Electric issue was to place the matter to a referendum. That was done and a contract for sale to FP&L was signed.