Editor’s note: Recently, a now-former Tump Administration official, Anthony Scaramucci, and current presidential advisor, Steve Bannon, gave reporters what they claim were to be off-the-record interviews. The full transcripts of both interviews soon became public. Neither Scaramucci nor Bannon appear to understand the rules under which journalist agree to receive off-the record comments. Locally, civic activist Phyllis Frey wrote an email to Press Journal columnist unilaterally declaring her comments to be “off the record.” There is no indication, though, that Reisman made public Fry’s wacky email. It seems more likely Fry decided her rant too clever to keep private, and so shared it with others, perhaps with Vero Beach City Councilwoman Laura Moss. What we do know is that Moss read from Frey’s comments during a City Council meeting, thus making the email to Reisman a part of the public record. Below is the full text of Frey’s message to Reisman. Given Frey’s bizarre comments, that Moss seems to be on the same page with her is a bit troubling.
Correction: The original version of this story posted August 17, 2017 at 8:01 p.m. indicated that Vero Beach Mayor Laura Moss opened the August 10 Special Call meeting of the Vero Beach City Council with a statement that included excerpts from an email Phyllis Frey sent to Press Journal columnist Larry Reisman. While some of Moss’ opening statement reflects Frey’s views, it did not directly quote Frey’s email. One commenter to InsideVero, Susan Mehiel, cnfirmed that Frey’s email was sent to Moss and “was sent to 4 or 5 people after the meeting…”
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Sent: Friday, August 11, 2017 8:55 AM
Subject: Fw: Follow up to the Special Call workshop: A star performance
Good morning Larry,
Before I get down to a serious strategy, I thought I would impart a few private thoughts—off the record, about yesterday’s star performance by an all-star cast.
I set about my early morning reflections upon the charade that posed as a city council meeting yesterday. If all the world’s a stage, even Shakespeare would have been impressed by the parade of entertainers that strutted, pranced and danced their hour upon the stage, swirling like dervishes before the camera, entertaining all those “wonderful people out there in the dark” in true Norma Desmond fashion.
It was a five star performance by the art village. There were jesters hypnotizing the politicians who sat behind the dais, taken to their own final act of trolling for votes. The original purpose of researching and evaluating the Comprehensive Land Use 2035 POLICY Plan turned into a shadow puppet show then was shown the nearest exit. It was a document too boring, too filled with facts, much too sobering for such a giddy-faced crowd worked into a froth, lined up at the podium to extol the virtues of the arts. When the snake charmer brought the cobra from the basket, Councilman Winger was so entertained he said he would pass the Comp Plan on the spot as is! Bravo, bravo, another Zinger from Winger who was eager for the next act billed as “Salome’s Dance of the Seven Veils.”
Depending on your definition of sanity, there was ONE sane person on scene, Mayor Moss, whose opening statements were stunning in their truths. She was the ONE person who addressed the importance of the Comp Plan and its implications upon our community. She was the ONE person who understood the serious need to give the document its due attention. If there is one thing I love it is an underdog and she was certainly dead last on this totem pole. I also love irony and this is the best part—she was an art major! Doesn’t that just bubble your champagne?
The other council members breezed right past her, busy rolling out the red carpet as Hollywood protocol demanded for the actors who, by their presence were on cue to deliver a carefully orchestrated performance. It was a cast born of drama doing what actors do best, creating illusions with greasepaint and special effects. Everyone was eligible for an Oscar. There wouldn’t be a dry eye in the house by act
III. Everyone was a Sarah Bernhardt.
When the final act was delivered, four members of the council sat starry-eyed, glazed over in a sugar coating of fairy dust, blissful and compliant enough to put away that pesky Comp Plan. They clicked their heels together three times and basked in the knowledge that there’s no place like an art village. It’s a Utopian warren where citizens can roam, bathed in colored lights, a place where one can lose one’s self in dreamy murals, a place where the Emperor can parade among the crowds in his new clothes. It a place where the Potemkin Village can grow into Tomorrow Land on the flow of taxpayer dollars from that magic source in the town square, the bottomless money well where sugar plum fairies twinkle and the grin of the Cheshire cat hangs like a crescent moon on its back in the night.
Who can help but rave in the afterglow of such a star performance and rosy promise of the future? My primrose path certainly received the all clear yesterday. Why deal with burdensome facts in an atmosphere that was staged to be all light and fancy?
Today the chamber sits cold and dark, quiet as a tomb. The punishment of surprise—a packet of white papers with a title, “Comprehensive Land Use 2035 Policy Plan. Who left this? Why is it here, this out-of-place tome of jibberish? It serves no purpose in this theater of the absurd. It might as well be written in Korean Nobody understands it. Nor do they wish to. Some janitor will send it to its proper place, a trash bin then on to an incinerator, that hellish pit called reality. Yesterday was a close call. Council nearly had to deal with it. For Shakespeare, that would have been a fete worse than death. Let’s praise the actors and their troupe for sparing us all.