John’s Islanders attempt ‘hostile takeover’ of Vero Beach’s municipal government

$75,849 in Indian River Shores and FPL money pours into Vero Beach City Council election.

COMMENTARY
MARK SCHUMANN
Together with wealthy Shores interests, FPL is funding a takeover of the Vero Beach City Council.
Together with wealthy Shores interests, FPL is funding a takeover of the Vero Beach City Council.

Supporting a slate of three candidates they expect will sell Vero Electric’s Shores customer base to Florida Power and Light at a $17 million discount, Shores residents, aided by a $20,000 contribution from FPL, have to date made campaign contributions totaling $75,849.

Ironically, Shores leaders claim their legal struggle with Vero Beach, which has gone on more than a year and has cost Shores taxpayers some $1 million in attorney’s fees, is all about protecting the “sovereignty” of the Shores. Given the alarming level of engagement Shores residents seem willing to have in controlling the outcome of a neighboring city’s municipal election, the larger issue appears to be whether Vero Beach will continue to be an independent municipality, governed by a city counsel answerable to the people of Vero Beach.

If Shores leaders and the Town’s residents who are so heavily contributing to the Moss, Sykes and Shores campaigns have their way, or more accurately buy their way, they will control a majority of the votes on the Vero Beach city council.  This effort by Shores residents, nearly all of them John’s Islanders, is nothing short of an attempted takeover of a neighboring municipal government, and all for the purpose of financially benefiting themselves.

Per capita, Indian River Shores is the wealthiest community in Florida, and John’s Island is an even wealthier enclave within the Shores. John’s Islanders control four of five seats on the Shores Town Council. Now they appear to want to control at least three seats on the Vero Beach City Council.

Consider this.  Including the money raised by a political action committee supporting Moss, Sykes and Wells, 93 percent of the money collected on their behalf has come from FPL and Shores interests – 93 percent!  This is noting short of an attempted hostile takeover of Vero Beach’s municipal government.

Below are the names and addresses of Shores residents who have contributed to the campaigns of Laura Moss, Lange Sykes and Norman Wells, and to a political action committee supporting the Shores slate of candidates running for the Vero Beach City Council. With only a few exceptions, the contributors live in John’s Island.

Moss Barbara Bruch 850 Beach Road 350
Moss Charles Moritz 260 Coconut Palm Road 500
Moss Gerry Weick 20 South Ampton Terrace 100
Moss Gordon Runner 105 Island Creek Drive 1000
Moss John Dicken 233 Island Creek Drive 1000
Moss Lee & Lois Miller 636 Ocean Road 500
Moss Malcolm Katt 1708 Lake Club Court 500
Moss Paul Nezi 337 Island Creek Drive 1000
Moss Stephen & Jane Coley 246 Island Creek Drive 500
5450
Sykes Barbara Brugh 850 Beach Road 325
Sykes Barry Sullivan 320 Island Creek Drive 150
Sykes Charles Long 781 Manatee Cove 1000
Sykes Charlez Moritz 260 Coconut Palm Road 250
Sykes Edward Dayton 90 Oyster Court 500
Sykes Francis Teller 285 Coconut Palm Road 250
Sykes John Hull Dobbs 91 Dove Plum Road 1000
Sykes John Keen 176 North Shore Point 500
Sykes Lee Miller 636 Ocean Road 500
Sykes Linn Bealke 470 Sea Oak Road 100
Sykes Paul Becker 111 Dove Plum Road 500
Sykes Richard Dewolfe 750 Beach Road 303 1000
Sykes Robert Smith 320 Coconut Palm Road 150
Sykes Teresa Winslow 100 Paget Court 1000
7225
Wells Barbara Brugh 850 Beach Road 325
Wells Bruce Hammonds 606 Ocean Road 1000
Wells Charles Moritz 260 Coconut Palm Road 250
Wells Charles Shoemate 180 Loggerhead Point 1000
Wells James Schnelthorst 721 Manatee Court 250
Wells John Dicken 233 Island Creek Drive 1000
Wells John Kean 176 North Shore Point 500
Wells Lee Miller 636 Ocean Road 500
Wells Linn Bealke 470 Sea Oak Road 100
Wells Lucie Tamoney 121 Stingaree Point 1000
Wells Paul Becker 111 Dove Plum Road 500
6425
PAC Albert Horton 201 Sandpiper Point 1000
PAC Alfred Decrane 30 Waxmyrtle Way 1000
PAC Allen Jones 301 Indian Harbor Road 1000
PAC Barbara Hotchkiss 361 Island Creek Drive 600
PAC David Berghorst 130 South Shores Circle 1000
PAC David Pyles 620 Ocean Drive 1000
PAC Dennis Ferro 21 Sago Palm Road 1000
PAC Edward Barr 600 Beach Road 1000
PAC Edward Hauser 21 Dove Palm Road 1000
PAC Edwin Gibson 440 Cocount Palm Road 999
PAC Eric Billings 800 Beach Road 3000
PAC Frederick Kasten, Jr. 160 Loggerhead Point 1000
PAC George Phillips 331 Sea Oak Drive 150
PAC Glenn Desimone 361 Indian Harbor Drive 1000
PAC James Cotter 720 Manatee Cove 1000
PAC James Hance 101 Gem Island Drive 1000
PAC James Johnson 401 Indian Harbor Drive 1000
PAC James Penrose 61 Cowry Lane 1000
PAC John Brennan 596 Ocean Road 1000
PAC John Dillon 171 Island Creek Drive 500
PAC John Lowenberg 650 Coconut Palm Road 1000
PAC John York 280 Pelican Way 1000
PAC Luke Fitchhorn 430 Coconut Palm Road 1000
PAC Michael White 800 Manatee Inlet 1000
PAC Robert Puff 731 Manatee Cove 1000
PAC Stephen Anderson 600 Beach Road 1000
PAC Stephen Coley 246 Island Creek Drive 500
PAC Stephen Dubord 654 Ocean Road 1000
PAC Ted Frith 215 Coconut Palm Road 1000
PAC Thomas Farnsworth 50 Gem Island Drive 1000
PAC Thomas Ryder 658 Ocean Road 1000
PAC Thompson Holdings, LLC 251 Island Creek Drive 1000
PAC William Frick 660 Coconut Palm Road 1000
PAC William Scully 771 Manatee Cove 1000
PAC William Tobin 640 Coconut Palm Road 1000
PAC Florida Power & Light 700 Universe Blvd. – Juno Beach 20000
PAC Andrew Fellow 3 Overbrook Road – KY 1000
PAC Michael Rhodes 516 Great Springs Road – MD 1000
56749

One comment

  1. As usual, it seems the real citizens of the City of Vero Beach (who are only authorized voters in the upcoming election for City Council) are still unaware of the stealth efforts of the FPL and Indian River Shores (Johns Island cadre) to take over our fair city. They are fielding 3 candidates, who are admitting to be on Shore’s Mayor Barefoot’s ‘team’. How can candidates for OUR city government, be on another Town government’s team? As Mark clearly points out, they are being financed by Johns Island millionaires and FPL slush funds. I hope our City of Vero Beach residents wake up and realize that their city government may be stolen from them by ‘outside interests’ perhaps aiming to dismantle our City and rezone it for Miami style high rise buildings? In the meantime, they will starve our government of funds needed to maintain good city services, further cut staffing levels (already down over 150 slots), overturn restrictions on short term transient rentals by day or week in residential areas, all to drive out our remaining citizens and leave lovely Vero in hands of the real estate investors and speculators. Stand up Vero voters, don’t let ‘outside interests’ buy this election.

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