“Stump’s personal attack on Old is so laden with distain for a committed public servant, so disrespectful of Old’s open-mindedness and his efforts at bridge building, and so dismissive of Old’s sterling resume as a retired banker, that it needs no further commentary. Stump’s is the voice of an angry man.”
Vero Beach City Council candidate, incumbent and Vice Mayor Randy Old, has received more than $30,000 in campaign contributions from mainlanders and islanders alike, including from John’s Island residents. Given that Old has been targeted by Shores leaders and by the Shores-FPL funded political action committee, “Operation Flip Switch,” why is the Vice Mayor receiving support even from some Shores residents?
The answer is simple. Old is well-respected throughout the community, and is widely seen as competent, which is a lot more than can be said for Dan Stump, who recently penned a truly mean-spirited attack on Old. (see below)
Stump’s personal attack on Old is so laden with distain for a committed public servant, so disrespectful of Old’s open-mindedness and his efforts at bridge building, and so dismissive of Old’s sterling resume as a retired banker, that it needs no further commentary. Stump’s is the voice of an angry man.
Essentially, Stump argues that rather than heed the advice of a team of five utility consultants, the Vero Beach City Council should have instead following the advice of the Shores’ representative on the Utilities Commission. Stump’s advocacy on behalf of the Shores begs the question. What loyalty does he have have to the people of Vero Beach? Apparently, none.
Anyone curious to know what Stump, head of Operation Flip Switch, is really made of and where he is coming from need only read the following. Printed below is the full text of an email Stump sent out attacking Old.
Vero Beach City Councilmembers Randy Old, Dick Winger, and Jay Kramer – “The Committee of No” – recently rejected a $30 million cash offer from Florida Power & Light to purchase Vero Beach Electric’s Indian River Shores customers. That offer would have ended an expensive legal battle that may go on for years, and it would have allowed Vero to upgrade our electric system and place millions of dollars into a rate stabilization fund that would reduce our electric rates for years to come.
Why did Old, Winger, and Kramer say no? Because the City’s out-of-town consultants and attorneys told them to. That’s what Councilman and Candidate Randy Old said. Old also declined to sit on the board of the Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) because it was “too complicated” to understand the City’s electric utility business. We need leaders with an understanding of local issues. Warren Buffet says, “If you don’t understand a business, you need to get out of that business.” If Randy Old doesn’t understand the electric business, then why is he on the Vero Beach City Council and why is he running again?
Let’s look a little closer at Vero’s out-of-town consultants who convinced Old to reject FPL’s $30 million cash offer. They’re all tied to the FMPA – that’s the same FMPA that has Vero captured, charging us over 20% higher electric bills than our neighbors with FPL. So, just who are Vero’s consultants? There’s Jerry Warren, an FMPA Board Member; and Bill Harrington who has collaborated with FMPA on projects for years; and let’s not forget attorney Schef Wright who was handpicked by the FMPA to head up Vero’s negotiations to sell Vero Electric to FPL. There’s no getting around it – Vero’s consultants have strong ties to the FMPA, and we’re paying them to give us bad advice. If Randy Old wanted to uphold his fiduciary duty, he would not allow the FMPA dictate his decisions. In addition, he would have been in favor of a full sale, and he wouldn’t have raised our taxes 2 years in a row.
The next logical question is: why would those out-of-town consultants want Vero Beach to reject a $30 million offer and put an end to litigation? Follow the money and it’s an easy answer. The longer this legal mess continues the more fees that flow into the pockets of the City’s consultants and attorneys. Vero Beach’s Utility Commission conducted the only unbiased and independent evaluation, and they voted 5-0 to accept the $30 million from FPL. In fact, Vero’s Utility Commission concluded that the $30 million offer actually exceeded the true value of the system by more than $5 million.
Out-of-town consultants and attorneys have no allegiance to Vero Beach and they’ve played their games for far too long. $30 million will absolutely allow the City to reduce its electric rates. Thumbing our noses at that offer only benefits the consultants, not the residents. Let’s support some real leaders who will protect Vero’s residents rather than our biased consultants and attorneys. For that reason, it’s important to get behind Laura Moss, Lange Sykes, and Norman Wells who are not beholden to the FMPA. Let’s take our City back!
Chair – Clean Sweep For A Brighter Tomorrow