“The troika seems determined to make the best deal possible for FPL and for Shores interests.”
Imagine the suspicions that would be raised if a U.S. presidential candidate received 70 percent of their total campaign contributions from Russian oligarchs.
The Russians don’t care about public policy in Vero Beach, Florida, but Indian River Shores oligarchs sure do. They contributed heavily to the campaigns of Harry Howle, Laura Moss and Lange Sykes, and they joined Florida Power and Light in raising more than $100,000 to fund a political action committee to support Moss and Sykes in last fall’s municipal election. (Moss received 70 percent of her campaign funds from Shores residents. Sykes took in 90 percent of his campaign funds from the Shores.)
It should come as no surprise, then, that Howle, Moss and Sykes are shutting down citizen input and are muzzling the City’s advisory boards, refusing to allow consideration or review the proposed sale of Vero Electric, or to evaluate FPL’s offer. The troika seems determined to make the best deal possible for FPL and for Shores interests. You have got to believe Howle, Moss and Sykes assume the people of Vero Beach are not paying attention to what is happening in their local government.
Howle, Moss and Sykes are counting on voter apathy. That is why they are willing to accept FPL’s initial offer without negotiation. That is why they are pushing ahead to conclude the deal without review by the Utilities and Finance Commissions. And that is why they are willing to commit the City to a partial sale of just Vero Electric’s Indian River Shores customers, if a sale of the full system cannot be completed.
Quite simply, Howle, Moss and Sykes do not represent the interests of the people of Vero Beach. Rather, they are beholden to Shores patrons and to FPL. Given these conflicted motives, this deal cannot be considered an arms length transaction. A group of concerned citizens should ask the courts to consider whether Howle, Moss and Sykes are breaching their fiduciary responsibility to the City and to the residents of Vero Beach.