Moss elected mayor, Howle vice mayor


Laura Moss
Laura Moss
Harry Howle
Harry Howle

At an organization meeting of the Vero Beach City Council today newly elected members Laura Moss, Lange Sykes and Tony Young were sworn into office by City Clerk Tammy Bursick. The new Council then elected Moss mayor, and Howle vice mayor.  Though Moss is new to the Council, and Howle has already served a year, Howle nominated Moss for the position of mayor.

The Council will hold its first regular meeting tomorrow at 9:30. Moss has placed on the agenda a discussion of a partial sale of Vero Electric’s Indian River Shores customers to FPL. Moss and Sykes were both heavily supported by Shores residents and by FPL. Moss received 70% of her campaign contributions from Shores residents. Sykes took in 90% of his campaign cash from residents in the neighboring community. Both Moss and Sykes were also supported by a political action committee that raised $55,000 from FPL, and another $60,000 from Shores residents.

Moss and Sykes, along with Howle, have pledged to sell Vero Electric’s 3500 Shores customers for $30 million. A team of five independent utility experts concluded it will take, not $30 million, but $47 million to keep the move from leading to higher electric rates and higher taxes. Outgoing vice mayor, Randy Old, who lost to Sykes by 48 votes, has said he believes it would be a breach of a council members fiduciary responsibility to agree to a partial sale at $30 million.


  1. I would hope that the City Manager (and possibly the City Attorney) would actively, strongly and passionately oppose selling at the reduced price. There is no reason,except to repay IRS support , to go against a study made by experts and paid for by taxpayer money. Mr. Old is 100% correct. Take an oath to represent the best interests of City of Vero Beach taxpayers and then turn your back on logic must take a special type person. Don’t confuse me with facts- my mind’s made up! Pitiful!!! Politics at its lowest level!

  2. It all sounded pre-arranged to me. When does the Sunshine Law kick in, when the votes are counted or when they are sworn in ? With the Sunshine Law, can a spouse or partner of one council member call another council member with their spouses views or how they are going to vote ? Lange Sykes kept making 2nd motions when the City Attorney kept telling him they didn’t need a second and what did he do again made a second ! I guess he will be a name in minutes kind of guy !

  3. Betty, I was told last week this had been worked out. It may have required Indian River Shores Mayor Brian Barefoot’s approval. In answer to you Sunshine Law question, it is unlawful for someone to act as a conduit as a way of avoiding direct communication about matters covered by the Sunshine Law. Mayor Barefoot has already gotten into trouble once over Sunshine Law matters, so he could certainly be expected to advice the Shores’ three Vero Beach City Council members to not communicate directly with each other in writing, avoid putting in writing anything they do not want to have become a part of the public record. Though unlawful to do so, they can speak in person, by phone or use conduits to communicate with each other. If Moss, Sykes and Wells take on the attitude of the wealthy Shores residents who supported them, they may well come to consider themselves above the law.

  4. Laura Moss should know all about the Sunshine Law since she was on the utilities commission. It kicks in the minute you are elected.
    I feel sorry for Vero Beach, the people who elected Moss and Sykes have no idea what they have gotten us into.

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