Moss takes aim at revised Comp Plan, gets pushback

“We have heard what various people are against, but we haven’t heard very much about what you are for. If you don’t like what your Staff and your Zoning Board has prepared, where is your plan? Show us your plan.” – Carter Taylor

“And there is no merit to any statement that the Comp Plan provides for increased heights and densities throughout our city. Taking sentences out of context, giving them new meanings to justify some unknown theory is not acceptable.” – Honey Minuse

“In my opinion, opening the meeting with a negative statement was telling everyone in the audience who had come to support or speak on the Comp Plan, ‘Don’t even bother. I’ve already made up my mind, and I’m not going to listen to you. So, go ahead and talk, but it makes no difference to me.’ And that, to me, should not have occurred at any City Council meeting.” – Linda Hillman

NEWS ANALYSIS

MARK SCHUMANN

Laura Moss – Self-described “Queen of Vero Beach.”
Activist Phyllis Frey, seemingly sees the Devil in every detail.

Vero Beach is many years overdue in revisiting its 22-year-old Comp Plan. Now, after more than a year of work by City staff and the Planning and Zoning Board, the City finally has a draft of a revised comprehensive land use plan ready to be submitted to the state.  All that is needed now is for the City Council to amend the plan as it sees fit, and then forward it to the state.

That process has been slowed, if not stymied, by Mayor Laura Moss, who has publicly stated that she sees the plan as “a Trojan Horse,” “a death warrant on the city as we know it,” and “a threat to home rule.”

Moss’ attacks on the Comp Plan echo objections raised by local activist Phyllis Frey. (Moss and Frey live in the same six-story building on the barrier island, a structure that would not be allowed under todays’ building regulations.)

Though perhaps well-intentioned, Frey’s criticisms of the plan are rooted in fear, not in any positive vision for managing and accommodating inevitable growth. Worse, Frey’s objections are conspiratorial, fantastical, devoid of reason and fact, and are, quite simply, disconnected from reality. These unfounded concerns would be harmless, had they not been embraced and championed by Moss.

Councilmen Richard Winger and Tony Young have, in the strongest terms, expressed support for the work done by the Planning and Zoning Board. Both have said the time has come to approve the plan.

Stressing that the plan does not call for higher densities or intensities of land use, Young said this week, “I am against paralysis by analysis.” And no one, Young added, should doubt his commitment to “keeping Vero Vero.”

In a recently published column Winger wrote, “The conspiracy theorists are at it again, and this time they were joined by Vero Beach’s Mayor Moss. The occasion was a special call City Council meeting to address the updated Comprehensive Land Use Plan (Comp Plan). If you were to believe these individuals, the Plan is really a hidden plot to destroy all that we hold special in our City.”

“It is time to approve the Comp Plan,” Winger urged.

In requesting that a vote on the proposed revised Comp Plan be place on the next City Council agenda, Winger wrote the following to City Clerk Tammy Bursick, “I feel a responsibility to get this done in my term and really I cannot see why anyone could not sit down with staff for a couple hours this coming week and come to agreement. Our job is to do the people’s business.”

For their part, Councilmen Harry Howle and Lange Sykes clearly want to avoid the appearance of having embraced Moss’ and Fry’s irrationality. At the same time, they are being careful not to strain their alliance with Moss on other issues.  No doubt, Howle and Sykes would both approve the Comp Plan with only minor revisions, were not Moss standing in the way.

At Tuesday’s special call meeting, Moss received some sharp pushback for criticism she has made of the plan and of those who worked to develop it.

Speaking on behalf of the Indian River Neighborhood Association, Carter Taylor delivered these remarks:

“This term that we keep hearing, that this Comp Plan is a Trojan Horse, is, I think, terminology that should be withdrawn.

“Allegations have been made that the plan was the work of the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, an allegation that was later withdrawn with apology.

“We have heard that this comprenensive plan is ultimately a top-down portion of United National Agenda 21, and that Vero Beach is somehow a cog in the wheel of One World Government. I think those things are silly, and this use of the term “Trojan Horse” is irresponsible. It insults the work of the Staff of the City and the Planning and Zoning Board, and inpugnes their professional integrity, and makes, frankly, wild accusations as to their motives.

“Are we to believe that Mr. McGarry, who has served the City faithfully all these years, is really working for the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council or for One World Government? I think that’s silly. Mrs. Minuse and her Board are actually in cahoots with the United National? It’s ridiculous, but this is the underpinning of these claims.

“I think we should take the rhetoric down a bit and address the facts, because with each additional accusation, one accusation is surpassed by another accusation, and the discourse has become so inflated that is bears no resemblance to what we see going on down here on the ground.

“We have heard that Vero Beach is loosing its home rule, that we’ve got to ‘save’ Vero Beach. The IRNA has been fighting for home rule since the beginning, and frequently we were the only ones at the County Commission arguing for the regulation of short term rentals. The City, fortunately, has regulation of those. Where were these activists when that was going on? And, where were the activists when this Comp Plan was going through the zoning board?

“We need leadership on this matter. It is not sufficient simply to say what you are against when you are in a leadership position…It is very easy to tear down the work of other people. This body has an affirmative obligation to produce a comprehensive plan. You have to build a comprehensive plan that consists of ideas. We have heard what various people are against, but we haven’t heard very much about what you are for. If you don’t like what your Staff and your Zoning Board has prepared, where is your plan? Show us your plan. It is Council’s responsibility.”

Honey Minuse, Chair of the Planning Zoning Board, followed Taylor to the podium. Minuse stressed that the work of the Board was conducted over more than a year in open meetings noticed to the public.

She added: “Where we are right now is very unfortunate for our people and for our city. We have neighborhoods desperate for your protection. The Cultural Arts Village cannot start with their plans, and the new golf center cannot complete their 18-hole putting course, all because they need land use designations. And the process for that cannot even begin until the Comp Plan update is adopted by you.

“And there is something else I must add. It is very disturbing to hear the work of P&Z trivialized to the sum of the hours and minutes of those public meetings. Doing that is totally dismissive of our responsibility to come prepared to our meetings. I can assure you I spent hours and hours of study before meetings, and I know I am not alone. This study was necessary so we could have solid discussions on every draft of every element. And it was to fulfill our responsibility to reflect the City’s values and the City’s vision.

“There are certain misstatements being cast around. I am going to provide some facts here…There is a persistent accusation that the Regional Planning Council or one of their planners or some member of their staff wrote our update. Obviously, if you watched our meetings you are going to know that this is not true. This draft is clearly our product.

“And there is no merit to any statement that the Comp Plan provides for increased heights and densities throughout our city. Taking sentences out of context, giving them new meanings to justify some unknown theory is not acceptable.

“There are also further allegations that the intergovernmental coordination element threatens our home rule. Absolutely untrue. The City coordinates where there are issues of mutual concern, or when there are services we need but we don’t provide them directly. Think about some of them. We coordinate with the School Board. We coordinate with Emergency Management Services, which includes fire protection. We coordinate with Solid Waste, Recycling and Landfill. We don’t have our own landfill. We coordinate that. We also coordinate with the Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Planning Organization for our local, state and Federal roads that are in our city. We coordinate with the Health Department, sewage disposal, Mesquite Control.

“Buy coordinating and communicating we are not duplicating services or creating more levels of government. We are providing for efficient government with fiscal responsibility. And there are no regional bureaucrats usurping our home rule.

Referring to Moss’ opening remarks, which went on for some 15 minutes, Planning and Zoning Board Co-Chair Linda Hillman, said, “In my opinion, opening the meeting with a negative statement was telling everyone in the audience who had come to support or speak on the Comp Plan, ‘Don’t even bother. I’ve already made up my mind, and I’m not going to listen to you. So, go ahead and talk, but it makes no difference to me.’ And that, to me, should not have occurred at any City Council meeting.”

Former Councilman and current member of the Planning and Zoning Board, Ken Daige, dismissed the assertion that the Comp Plan will allow for higher density development. He pointed out that increases in height limitations and density levels cannot be changed by the Council without first holding a referendum of voters of Vero Beach. “Everything in the proposed Comp Plan has been discussed on multiple levels with multiple citizen participation through multiple workshops since 2005,” Daige added, as he urged adoption of the plan.

Unwilling to move forward with the Comp Plan with Moss in such adamant objection to it, Sykes and Howle instead proposed a “cooling off period.” They appointed Moss a committee of one to work with City Staff to revise the plan to her liking. Now that Moss has been authorized to act on behalf of the Council as a committee of one, it raises the question of whether her meetings with Staff on the subject of the Comp Plan should be noticed and be open to the public.

Frey saw the delay as “total victory.” In an email addressed to “Friends, Patriots and Defenders of Freedom,” she wrote, “The proposed Comprehensive Land Use 2035 POLICY Plan document is a shameful example of how the enemies of freedom work furtively and Progressively to embed their agenda in the very documents that seek to control every aspect our lives, beginning with land use. The loss of our rights came ‘this close’ to being lost.” (Below is the full text of Frey’s celebratory email.)

Moss’ concerns about preserving home rule for Vero Beach are more than ironic, given that she, along with Howle and Sykes, were elected after receiving the vast majority of their financial support from outside interests, namely Indian River Shores residents and Florida Power & Light.

Friends, Patriots and Defenders of Freedom, 

The victory achieved at the city council meeting in Vero Beach yesterday was clearly of your making. It was made possible ONLY because you were there. I saw such valor in your strong support as the task of unraveling the mess known as the Comprehensive Land Use 2035 POLICY Plan unfolded.  

First, a little history. As some of you may know, this epic battle began in the City Hall chambers ironically on June 6, 2017, the 73rd anniversary of D-Day, the invasion of Normandy. I stepped up to the podium and pre-empted Tim McGarry’s presentation to Council which would have precipitated the approval for the final draft of the document for transmittal to Tallahassee had I not intervened.  

But this is not a heroic tale. It is one of Divine intervention. It was only by happenstance that the document surfaced to me during my regular monitoring of city council meetings either in person or live streaming. All of my red flags flashed and alarm bell warnings sounded as I came to the realization that this 400-page tome would not only be the death of Vero Beach as we know it but would end Home Rule of Law.

Those of you who remember our united struggle to stop Seven 50 in 2012 would recognize the pernicious language in the proposed Comp Plan document as did I. I summoned our core group who immediately answered the call to attention and began spreading the word to our larger group. I shared my analysis and sent out the alert. As both Irma and the meeting date of September 20th approached, you focused on the importance of this mission and took action. Thanks to our combined efforts, we diverted the perfect storm, protected our community and restored home rule.

The proposed Comprehensive Land Use 2035 POLICY Plan document is a shameful example of how the enemies of freedom work furtively and Progressively to embed their agenda in the very documents that seek to control every aspect our lives, beginning with land use. The loss of our rights came “this close” to being lost.  

No matter how toothsome and laborious this process has been, I am grateful for its emergence. It is a valuable lesson on how quickly and quietly freedom can be taken away. We know that the threat is always upon us, top down, bottom up. While those of you who have fought so bravely on the national level, I have been keeping my focus on the local front. Together we will continue to stamp out the forest fires and assaults wherever they surface.    

It is when the hearts of patriots beat as one that all things are possible. It was in the spirit of our founders that we fought the good fight yesterday and extracted the reins from the hands of bureaucrats and returned them to those of our elected officials. How can I thank you enough?

I give thanks today to our Creator for the beautiful blessing of yesterday. Imagine how I felt as each one of you arrived. The first person I saw as I approached the front door was Betsy Dibenedetto sporting a sign with a beautiful message denouncing the Comp Plan. I turned around and saw Linda Teetz and troupe arriving. As I went inside the patriots kept coming, many familiar faces and new ones too. How exciting!  Many of you were there who fought Seven 50. Everyone recognized the need to stand up and speak out. Ellen Gower, praise be, you walked straight out of cataract surgery and into city hall. Good heavens! Others took the time from life’s daily demands and sat shoulder to shoulder. The doors were flung wide with those who kept arriving and took their places, firmly on our side.  

We filled half that chamber with resolve. And THAT my friends made ALL the difference. Thanks be too, to those who worked diligently behind the lines garnering attendance through emails, phone calls and letters to the Press Journal. Lamarre, Ellen, Susan, Stephanie, Melinda, Dorothy, Sharon, all who were All Aboard with nixing the train nightmare and regionalism pitched in. A special thanks to Rose and all members in the Republican Alliance for American Greatness. And let’s not forget those who came to learn from this experience, those who came to become informed in order to make an educated choice in the future of our community. If your name is not on this written page, please know that you are on my personal list and very much a priority.    

When elected officials are at the crux of a decision, they need to hear from the public to quantify their position. Ours was the voice of reason. Ours was the voice for freedom. Ours was the compilation of facts. And they listened.

Power has been restored, and I don’t mean the lightbulbs in your lamps at home. Yes, that too, but we returned the bright light of truth to our council and from that all things became possible. Even so, this is not the time to turn our backs on the process. You can be assured that I will be in touch with them and you, monitoring progress. The bureaucrats are still in the loop and they bear watching. There will be future hearings. We may be called upon once again to unite for the final discussion for a new draft approval. I will keep you updated.

For now please know how very grateful I am for your friendship, your support and your undying dedication to liberty. Our little town and our way of life may not amount to a hill of beans to those who encroach upon us, but I rest well knowing that whenever the threat is upon us, We the People heed the call.

To each and every one of you who were there, to each and every one of you on my mailing list and the expanded list of the group, please accept my eternal gratitude for your good works.

My utmost regards, 

Phyllis Frey

18 comments

  1. Increased density & intensity WAS all over this massive “overhaul” – how can people just ignore this? How is it that the old density crossed out and replaced with new density … is not an increase and strangely has now been removed according to Mr. McGarry … truth is the remedy here … taxpayers invested in Vero Beach for a reason … “Keeping Vero Vero” is an admirable goal and does not inhibit growth but assures “intelligent and beautiful” growth.

  2. Repeating false claims will not make them true. The problem here, for you, for Phyllis and for your cadre of conspiracy theorists, is that ignorance cannot be dispelled among those to retain arrogance and hubris. If no one else will say it, I will. Persisting in making wild claims disconnected from all reality, all while trying to safe Vero Beach from domination by One World Government, borders on unhinged. If you all have as much free time as you appear to have, why not spend it trying to do some good? Finally, just how many meeting of the Planning and Zoning Board did you attend when the Board was working on these revisions to the Comp Plan?

  3. Melinda, can you direct me to dates of the meetings of the P&Z Board at which you, Phyllis, and Laura Moss offered input as the Board did work? If so, I would be very interested to hear what you had to say at the time these revisions were being developed and considered. If you did not offer such input at the time, is that because it is more you preferred style to stand on the sidelines and criticize and denigrate the hard work of others? And, who are you, Phyllis and Laura to accuse the members of the P&Z of creating a “Trojan Horse” designed to “serve as a death warrant to the City of Vero Beach?” Making such accusations takes a lot of arrogance, a lot of hubris, and a lot of gall.

  4. Mark, some of these people need to learn how to read strikeout/underline. For example, in Table 2-1 Land Use Densities and Intensities.
    Residential Low (RL) old language “0 to 6 dwelling units”
    new language “up to 6 dwelling units” hard to find an increase there
    Residential Medium (RM) old language “6 to 10 dwelling units”
    new language “Up to 10 dwelling units” This actually allows for lower density, as the old language would have prevented a project at say 5 dwelling units, new language would allow for a number below 6.
    Only place where there could be considered an increase is under mixed use. Old language was “17 units”. New language is “up to 17 units” no change there, but new language added “Up to 21 dwelling units”. This may seem like an increase but if you read the footnote it is only allowed by transfer of 4 units of development rights. So yes, one project may have a higher density, but somewhere else would have lower densities, and therefore overall density of the City is unchanged.

  5. Of all the talk from both sides , true enlightenment came from Commissioner Peter O’Bryan. O’Bryan’s written comments get to the core of the issue and should resolve the issue completely and finally. Thanks for your comments Mr O’Bryan.

  6. Mr. Church, Surely you are familiar with the primary source of many of the false accusations, exaggerations, and inaccurate characterizations of the nature of the Comp Plan. Though Mr. O’Bryan’s comments are accurate and on point, the force of his argument will likely wither before the searing heat of Phyllis Frey’s and Laura Moss’ fiery logic. Seriously, there is little chance that irrefutable facts and solid reason can overcome Frey’s confirmation bias and Moss’ opportunism. Moss is a puppet of Indian River Shores Interests and Florida Power and Light. She is in her position simply to sell the electric system. Certainly, that was the Shores’ and FPL’s motivation for funding Moss’ campaign. When Moss ventures into other matters, she is immediately in over her head. Just this week, she insisted that she stands by “everything she has said,” regardless of how riddled her utterances have been with falsehoods. Moss is often wrong, but never in doubt, and, worst of all, she has no sense of how poorly informed she really is. The end of her term as mayor cannot come soon enough.

  7. FACT:

    Only .01 percent of the public has been involved in vetting the Comp Plan that will determine where and how we live, build, develop and travel for the next 18 years. If you haven’t read the Comp Plan you are speaking out of school.

    FACT:

    Consultant Dana Little, an urban planner with the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council was HIRED TO REDEVELOP OUR CITY. When asked why, our city manager replied, “Because they can get the grants.”

    FACT:

    Mr. Little summarized his work on the “Arts in Depth” video by saying, “My focus was on MIXED USE DEVELOPMENT. What it really amounts to is MODIFYING LOCAL CODES to move POLICY forward and CHANGING LAND USES to MANDATE MIXED USE ZONING POLICIES with INCREASES IN POPULATION DENSITY AND INTENSITY for the BENEFIT OF DEVELOPERS.”

    FACT:

    Tim McGarry, head of P & D stated, “I put some POLICIES in there telling them what they need to look at in the study done by the REGIONAL PLANNING COUNCIL. MIXED USE, THAT’S THE BIG PUSH. I’VE GOT PEOPLE LINED UP AT MY DOOR, CHOMPING AT THE BIT TO DO JUST THAT. The only problem is our CITY CHARTER.” (which limits building heights to two stories).

    FACT:

    MIXED USE DEVELOPMENT IS the designation for medium to LARGE SCALE urban development and intensities, COMBINING residential, commercial retail, restaurants, entertainment, institutional, cultural and industrial development on the ground floor with compact, compressed and clustered HIGH DENSITY POPULATION housing built above existing structures.

    FACT:

    The new Comp Plan calls for MIXED USE DEVELOPMENT in ALL NINE KEY AREAS of our city. Visualize how your neighborhood will look with two or more residential stories added to ALL existing business structures as mandated for ALL new construction (7.2, p. 2-19).

    The building in which I reside (+ the Village Spires) are shining examples of what happens when
    P & Z and City Councils go to sleep. Let both be a reminder every time you cross the bridge that when bureaucrats, developers, planners and politicians talk, THE PUBLIC SHOULD PAY CLOSE ATTENTION.

  8. Susan Mehiel
    Mr. McGarry told me himself (in writing) that the Mixed Use zoning designation had been increased.

    Carter Taylor: Here’s a plan for you…A number of people, including Councilman Sykes, suggested that the old plan simply be updated to the new state standards. I doubt the state requires narrowing state routes, promoting the arts or increasing Mixed Use and density.

    Councilmen Winger and Young: Do you support tax dollars used to incentivize builders? Do you support “flexibility” in zoning codes so set backs can be reduced and buildings at the street’s edge?

    Honey Manuse: WHO wrote the plan? I doubt it was written by committee. Who put everything in it but the kitchen sink compared to the old plan? Typically staff or consultants draft the plan and the board would edit it. Is there a requirement that anyone who has concerns about the Plan must attend a board meeting? Is there a law against commenting once a plan is finalized for approval?

    Let’s get back to basics: Mayor Moss read the scope of the P&Z Board and staff. It is obvious that somewhere, someone decided to expand that defined scope. Maybe we should be asking who and why?

  9. Phyllis:

    FACT: Over the course of more than a year, while revisions to the Comp Plan was being considered in a series of public meeting at which comment and input was welcomed, you and your fellow conspiracy theorists said and did nothing.

    Much of what you claim to be “fact” is, at best, a unintentional misrepresentation of the truth. At worst, many of your so-called facts are wildly delusional, and appear to rise out of a paranoia you seem to harbor that some unnamed United Nations bureaucrats will eventually force you to move out of your high-density dwelling on the barrier island into an even higher density tenement complex to be built near the railroad tracks in downtown Vero Beach, where you would be forced to use public transportation.

    We all have troubling dreams from time to time, but most of us don’t put our subconscious fears down on paper and present them during public comment time at City Council meetings. Finally, cloaking your unfounded accusations of City Staff and the Planning and Zoning Board in patriotic language does not make you a patriot. Though quite bizarre, this would all be harmless, were not Laura Moss gullible enough to mistake your delusions for reality.

  10. Mark, unless you are a psychoanalyist, you haven’t a clue. Your “diagnosis” of paranoia is laughable. Whenever facts are replaced with personal attacks, I submit that one’s priorities are misplaced.
    Your boilerplate link between me and Mayor Moss is pretty thin soup. My research started in 2010 when I began attending the TCRPC meetings, public forums, regional summits and design charrettes throughout every city in seven Southeast Florida counties. It is called research. I don’t recall seeing you there.
    Observation of planners who arrive with Blueprint Overlays and zoning code modifications to increase density for the benefit of developers in city after city is a matter of routine.
    It was no different in 2012 when the TCRPC slipped into our cities under “Consent Agenda” offering $4.2 in HUD grants for redevelopment and control of housing and transportation for the next 50 years. I have the contracts in black and white. They are not fabrications. Fortunately three counties were smart enough to vote NO.
    So the TCRPC has returned, this time with an 18-year redevelopment plan in their own words, to MODIFY LOCAL CODES TO MOVE POLICY FORWARD with increases in POPULATION DENSITY FOR THE BENEFIT OF DEVELOPERS.
    This too is part of their “Southeast Florida Transit Oriented Development Grant Program.” Google it. Give us your zoning rights and we will give you the grants. It’s pretty simple and available in black and white for those who read.
    What part of “Vero Beach is for sale” don’t you understand? Our town is being sold down the river to developers while everyone squabbles in the backgound. Our city marina is on the chopping block as part of the POLICY plan Part 7.2, p. 2-19. Wake up and smell the thorns.

  11. To claim that the proposed revisions to the Comp Plan are a “Trojan Horse” is not an attack on the plan, but on the people who developed it. To assert that the plan is “a death warrant on the city” also amounts to a personal attack on those who worked to develop it.

    At some point, Phyllis, someone needs to be willing to clear away the smokescreen you create with all your patriotic language and faux probity, and point out that much of your criticism of the Comp Plan is simply unhinged from reality.

  12. Correction to previous entry should read POLICY Part 6.2, not 7.2 which controls the future of our city marina. If you support the sale of our city marina then support the Comp plan. As McGarry said, “The Comp Plan is like the roadway to get there.”

  13. YOU are parading your patriotism and throwing it up as a smokescreen for your unfounded assault on those who are doing there very best to serve the city well.

  14. The Comp Plan has Mixed Use all over it. It is promoted throughout for the stated purpose “to increase density.” You can’t increase density, as the Plan calls for, by increasing single-family housing – you do it through multi-family housing.

    MU is not new; it’s been the darling of planners throughout the country for years. Go to the American Planning Association (APA) and search ‘Mixed Use’ and you get 33,220 hits. It wasn’t incentivized for nothing – it is the key component in Transit Oriented Development, the darling of the Regional Planning Councils and the State’s DOT. TOD is also called Smart Streets or Smart Growth – its goal is to confine new housing growth.

    It needs incentivizing because it’s not cheap – you need more and smaller housing units above the commercial space. It is usually implemented in larger cities with little buildable land and existing market demand. It is often REQUIRED when replacing aging structures.

    A future APA conference on MU includes a session on the problems Crested Butte and Aspen, CO have experienced implementing MU. “If the goal was vitality, an outcome to some degree has been STERILITY…the steps they are taking to stop the unintended consequences (include) BANNING FREE-MARKET DEVELOPMENT… https://www.planning.org/events/activity/9130468/

    Now why would Vero Beach decide it’s time to promote, through cash incentives, Mixed Use development? Is there great demand for new development and no land? Is there great demand for living over a restaurant or store? Or are there developers wanting to build and receive cash for doing so? If there is more growth planned for Vero Beach, why aren’t we encouraging more single family residents on smaller lots or town homes?

    If Phyllis is delusional for suggesting there’s a connection between the national planners’, regional planners’ and FDOT’s desires and the new Comp Plan, then call me delusional. Send me to the loony bin if I question the use of taxpayer dollars to finance this love child or don’t like the idea of the new buildings downtown or on the beach built up to the street’s edge. “I’m with her!”

  15. “Thank You” Mr. Schumann and Mr. O’Bryan for your clarity and concern regarded this confused and tangled web of half-truths created by Ms. Frey and her so-called christian patriots. The fact that Laura Moss supports such outrageous thoughts is equally disheartening. Is not the job of any mayor to represent and support the majority voice of his or her community, not the rantings of a select few? Most residents of Vero Beach are kind and considerate people. Most of us understand ‘growth’ as a fact of life, and that if we monitor ‘growth’ responsively, we can make productive changes to our community. Not all growth should be painted in a negative tone, as Ms. Frey appears to be doing. I don’t begin to understand the complexities of the Comp Plan, but I do trust the good people of this city to make responsible choices along the way. For those folks who push their own agenda through misleading facts and half-truths, to those who try to persuade me into believing them by using patriotic and godly words, I’m reminded of Mark Twain who said; “A patriot is a person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he (or she) is hollering about.”
    I’m hopeful rational minds will prevail. If not, God help us all.

  16. Whew. UN Blue Helmeted storm troopers invading Vero to build condos? Who’d a thunk it. Such imbecilic and absurd rhetoric would be funny were it not coming from folks who, given their elected position, should know better. This all echoes the same nonsense levied at the regional cooperative efforts of a few years ago. Same nonsense. Same characters. The chair of the county commission implicitly endorsed the conspiracy rhetoric and now the mayor goes all in on that nonsense. In this later case it may be only an attempt at deflecting from the damage the mayor and her cohorts seem intent on doing to Vero. The real risk to the City is a collapse of its finances and eventual absorption into the county. That’s the path that the Mayor and others seem bent on.

    Bob Swift

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