Details of power sale still dribbling in to City Hall – Council set to vote Tuesday


At six minutes to 5:00 yesterday, the City Clerk’s Office received still more documents related to the purchase and sale agreement between Vero Beach and Florida Power and Light for the sale of Vero Electric. At this point, it is all but impossible to believe the members of the Vero Beach City Council will have time to thoroughly review the details of the $185 million deal before the meet next Tuesday at 9:30 in a special call meeting.

Council members Harry Howle, Laura Moss and Lange Sykes, who are rushing to sign the deal before the Nov. 7 municipal election, have forbidden the Finance and Utilities Commissions from meeting to review the several-hundred-page contract.

Latest email from City’s outside attorney:

From: Swigler, Jacqueline Pace []
Sent: Thursday, October 19, 2017 4:54 PM
To: Bursick, Tammy; O’Connor, Jim; Coment, Wayne; Lande, Charles
Cc: Doliner, Nathaniel L.; DeCubellis, Daniel L.
Subject: Vero – FPL Documents – Substation Equipment Operating and Dismantling Agreement


Attached is the Substation Equipment Operating and Dismantling Agreement for next week’s agenda.



Jacqueline Pace Swigler
Attorney at Law

4221 W. Boy Scout Blvd., Ste. 1000
Tampa, Florida  33607-5780
Direct:  813.229.4375 | Fax:  813.229.4133 |

Carlton Fields is ISO 27001:2013 certified.

Confidential: This e-mail contains a communication protected by the attorney-client privilege or constitutes work product.  If you do not expect such a communication please delete this message without reading it or any attachment and then notify the sender of this inadvertent delivery.

Please Note: Florida has a very broad Public Records Law. Most written communications to or from State and Local Officials and agencies regarding State or Local business are public records available to the public and media upon request. Your email communications, including your email address, may therefore be subject to public disclosure.


  1. Long, long overdue. I look forward to the thousands of dollars I will save with FP&L every year. I realize this statement does not make me very popular with some City residents, but I have learned that unless we want change, we sometimes have to rely on ourselves to make things happen. Popularity is a decent swap for truth and the realization that some win and some loose, and that situations do not always remain the same! This Nation is a perfect example of change, however that is another story. Please also understand my feelings for the City, I only want the best for everyone living there, however as a resident of The Shores, it is time we had a break from the high electricity rates of the City.

  2. Larry you are so misguided. Let explain some cold hard facts. I am rounding the numbers for simplicity. FPL $102 per 1000 kw Vero $116 that’s $14 per month. But because you are a massive user. FPL goes up by $10 for the next 1000 and beyond. So your savings beyond that is $4 month. So in order for a residential customer to save thousands a year you would have to use over 22,000 kw a month. Wow you must have a big house.

  3. Larry, I would be happy for you if those thousands of dollars were true. The average electric bill in Vero is around $200 per month. If you are average, you might save $20/mo. initially. But, Vero’s rates have been coming down and FPLs rates have been going up and will continue to do so for at least a couple more years (already approved or in the pipeline). If you live in the city, your taxes are likely to increase by at least the savings on your electric. Sorry, there is no free lunch on this program. FPL has been giving you the smoke and mirrors experience.

  4. Vic and Marty, I am paying the bills so I do know. Indian River residents would certainly agree with me, but the issue here is also bringing the equipment up to date, pensions and the fact that IRS residents have been great contributors to Vero with their “overcharged” dollars. Any saving per month at $12 still equals $144.00 a year and that to some can purchase a number of things or be a decent donation to a 501C3. Incidentally my average electric bill is close to $500 per month so that $12 per month would equate to over $300 per year.

  5. I didn’t want to see you be disappointed while waiting for the thousands of savings. With the antics going on at FPL, you will be lucky to get any significant savings. Good luck with the service when you need it.

  6. Larry, let me get this straight.You would rather send $488 a month to a out of town for profit corporation,than $500 to a local owned and operated company. Corporations only answer to stockholders not customers. You are giving up so much, never will you see those massive poles on A1A gone now. Corporations simply can’t and will not provide the service that Vero customers are used too. Jobs will be lost. Sad. Remember to press 1 for English.

  7. Larry! You’re so naïve to think you’ll save money? Wait till FPL tacks on another $8 to 10 to their customers bill for Irma’s damage. Yes it will happen. Customers are still paying fees for Matthew. You think the press or council will bring up that important note? HELL NO!

  8. At the rate they’ve been raising rates and fees, by the time FPL rates kick in, the difference between FPL and COVB will save the median residential customer in the City just under 50 cents per month (median = 888kWh / mo.

    To compensate for lost revenue, (net of expense reduction and a new franchise fee on FPL revenues in the city), City property taxes will have to go up 50%. (Or some combination equal to this amount in other taxes and increased fees).

    In conclusion, most constituents in the city will actually pay more. They’re either not voting their pocketbook, or they never understood the facts, or they were misled or some combination.

    It’s a very good deal for people in Indian River Shores and South Beach, where I live. My house consumes 4000 kilowatt hours a month and I will save a lot of money, and being outside the city’s jurisdiction my taxes will not change.

  9. Okay, Okay, Okay….It is time to pray, please let FP&L rates be lower in the final resolution, hopefully the City council will be wiser than all of us with their votes, and that finally everyone will live happily ever after, I shall always remember that there are those worse off than me, say the North Koreans.
    Everyone, thank you for your responses, I am sure someone out there is right. Good luck to all of us and lets fill the “swamp” with great ideas and working together.

  10. Larry, according to records obtained from the City Clerks’ office through a public records request, your electric bill for the month of August was $337.92 for 2655 kilowatts of power, or 12.7 per kilowatt hour. In 2013, you paid Vero Electric $385.92 for 2760 kilowatts of power, or 14 cents per kilowatt hour. In 2009, the year everyone wants to claim is still with us, you paid $540.94 for 3363 kilowatts of power, or 16 cents per kilowatt hour.

    August 2009 – $540.94

    August 2013 – $385.92

    August 2017 – $337.76

    Currently, Vero Electric’s rate for 2500 kWh is $317.02. FPL’s BASE rate is $268.33. However, FPL assesses peaking charges, so you rate may be higher with FPL depending on when you use your power. Also, FPL’s rates will be going up soon based on approvals the company has already received from the Florida Public Service Commission. Additionally, as a customer of FPL you will have the opportunity to pay storm recovery charges resulting from Hurricanes Matthew and Irma, and for who knows what else might come along.

    By this time next year, the rate difference between Vero Electric and FPL for 2500 kWh will likely be closer to $317.02 vs. $285, for a difference of $32 per month – and that assumes you will not be using any of your power during peak times. At a difference of $32 per month, you stand to save more like $384.24 a year. Interestingly, if you lived in the unincorporated area of the south barrier island, where Stephen Flaherty lives, you would pay an additional $20 or so a month as a franchise fee to the County. That would leave you with a savings of $12 a month, or $144 a year, for a customer using 2500 kWh of power. That comes to a savings of just 3.8 percent.

    Larry, you know quite well FPL is currently funding a political action committee that is placing advertising claiming the rates savings will be 20 percent. Quite simply, those claims are outright lies.

    I have now requested Stephen Flaherty’s utility bills for the same time periods. When I get that information, I’ll share with you what he will likely save as a customer of FPL. Surely the amount will be far, far, far less than he claim in his absurd, monthly “Utility Update.”

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