Vero Beach Mayor Laura Moss’ attempt to exercise authority not assigned to her by the City Charter has lead two council members to submit related agenda items for next Tuesday’s Council meeting. Given the recent offer by the Florida Municipal Power Agency to clear the way for Vero Beach to sell its electric system to Florida Power and Light, Moss’ behavior, and her dogged insistence on passing ahead with with Indian River Shores’ request for a partial sale, has some continuing to wonder about where the mayor’s loyalties lie.
Perhaps the answer can be found in, as they say, following the money. During the recent municipal election, Moss was supported by a political action committee funded entirely by contributions from Shores residents and from FPL. The PAC, chaired by Dan Stump, raised $106,249, with $55,000 given by FPL. Additionally, seventy percent of the campaign funds raised directly by Moss came from Shores residents.
This unprecedented level of outside influence in a Vero Beach municipal election, though newsworthy, was never reported by the Press Journal, or by the John-Island-centered island weekly. (Press Journal publisher, Bob Brunjes, is married to a key FPL executive involved in the company’s effort to acquire municipal utilities.)
Not only was the PAC that supported Moss funded entirely with outside money, it used those considerably funds to mislead voters with what have no be proven to be false claims about the supposed benefits of the partial sale.
Below is a full accounting of the contributions to the PAC that supposed Moss. Other than the $55,000 given by FPL, all the remaining contributions were from individuals with homes in Indian River Shores.