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.