Someone at “Operation Flip Switch” has indeed flipped a switch

COMMENTARY

“What Shores leaders are pushing for is not a partial sale, but a partial steal. In the simplest of terms, some of the wealthiest people of the planet are willing to shaft the people of Vero Beach and the remaining customers of Vero Electric simply to benefit themselves.”

“Vero Beach City Councilman Randy Old, a retired banker with extensive financial experience, has said he believes it would have been a violation of his fiduciary responsibility to the people of Vero Beach to agree to carve up Vero Electric for anything less than the $47 million price recommended by the City’s consultants.”

Related Story: FPL’s offer doubled, but still far short of City’s ‘keep whole’ number

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.
Dan Stump
Dan Stump

The political action committee Operation Flip Switch, which is supporting Vero Beach City Council candidates, Laura Moss, Lange Sykes and Norman Wells, is headed by Dan Stump, famous for having participated in a political action committee that once attacked Jay Kramer for his loyalties to the Republican Party. At the time, Stump was a member of the Indian River County Republican Executive Committee.

Headed by a political activists known for going low, the PAC has at its disposal nearly $60,000 in contributions from wealthy Indian River Shores residents and from Florida Power & Light.  Given the PAC’s financial resources and the background of its chairman, Vero Beach voters are sure to face a barrage of misleading political advertising presenting outlandish claims about why FPL’s $30 million dollar offer to buy Vero Electric’s Shores customer base is a good deal.

“Operation Flip Switch” has already rolled out a website full of misleading claims. What readers will not find there is any explanation of the fact that a team of five utility experts determined it would take $47 million, not $30 million, to carve up Vero Electric without the move causing higher taxes and higher electric rates for everyone outside the Shores. Vero Beach City Councilman Randy Old, a retired banker with extensive financial experience, has said he believes it would have been a violation of his fiduciary responsibility to the people of Vero Beach to agree to carve up Vero Electric for anything less than the $47 million price recommended by the City’s consultants.

Even if Vero Electric’s Shores customers are sold to FPL for $47 million, the money will need to be husbanded carefully and used for its intended purposes, such as satisfying debt obligations and bracing for contingent liabilities.  If the money is used foolishly, at Operation Flip Switch proposes, electric rates and taxes in Vero Beach will rise.

To spend the money as Stump’s “Operation Flip Switch” has suggested would be not only foolish, but also a breach of responsibility to the taxpayers of Vero Beach and the customers of Vero Electric.  Further, to suggest, as Operation Flip Switch’s” website does, that the proceeds from a partial sale could be simultaneously be used in more than half a dozen irresponsible ways is pure foolishness.

Operation Flip Switch’s wish must have been cooked up by a band of drunken sailors. If higher taxes and higher electric rates are to be avoided, the money cannot be used in any of the ways the FPL-Shores funded PAC is proposing.

This screen shot from Operation Flip Switch's website leads readers to believe Vero Beach could do all of the above, if only the City Council would ignore the advice of a team of five utility experts who have calculates at partial sale at anything less than $47 million will result in higher taxes and higher electric rates.
This screen shot from Operation Flip Switch’s website leads readers to believe Vero Beach could do all of the above, if only the City Council would ignore the advice of a team of five utility experts who have calculates at partial sale at anything less than $47 million will result in higher taxes and higher electric rates.

Council candidates Sharon Gorry, Randy Old and Tony Young have all said they will support a partial sale, but at $47 million.  They have said their priority regarding a partial sale is to ensure carving up of Vero Electric at the request of Shores leaders does not disadvantage everyone else. What Shores leaders are pushing for is not a partial sale, but a partial steal. In the simplest of terms, some of the wealthiest people of the planet are willing to shaft the people of Vero Beach and the remaining customers of Vero Electric simply to benefit themselves.

2 comments

  1. Fiscal responsibility is all we ask of our City government – Mr. Stump and his cohorts are not the ones to see that we can maintain our beaches, our parks, our right-of-ways, sidewalks, provide good water supply, sewers, police force, animal control, and anything else we’ve grown accustomed to expecting. Must not allow these jokers to cheapen our City while they reap the benefits – as OUTSIDERS!

  2. So we should disregard the five utility experts with their $47,000,000 price tag and listen to Stump, Heran and others who are political operatives .They have to be kidding. Remember Heran likes short term rentals, and Stump lost badly when he ran for city council. Take a guess where Stump got most of his campaign funds from when he ran and lost. It’s all politics, pure and simple. Lastly, we do not want Indian River Shores endorsing and raising funds for any candidate running for office in Vero. Barefoot and friends should mind there own business and so should out of town Glenn Heran.

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