Save our city. The barbarians are at the door.

COMMENTARY

“The future of our city is at risk!”

RICHARD WINGER

Richard Winger

The contract for the sale of the electric system is signed.

Let us all pray the full sale will be accomplished, this time!

What is critical now is the City being served by Council members who are knowledgeable, who will work together, and who will focus on the huge post-sale financial challenges.

Think back to the prior Councils and the work that we accomplished: modernized and restructured the City, its Finances, its Pension, its Fixed Assets/Parks, and its Management. That was important to secure the City’s future.

By sharp contrast, the current Council majority tossed out the long-term financial planning, silenced Finance and Utility advisory commissions, and demonized the Planning and Zoning Board for their honest hard work.  They have done absolutely nothing constructive, beyond the Electric Sale, and that contract was only signed recently.  What did they do all year long?

The Council majority has been Howle, Sykes and Moss.  They determined our course, and it is no accident we have been labelled the do-nothing Council.  I used to work at least 10 hours preparing for the next Council meeting.  With this Council majority, the preparation time is down to 10 minutes, because there is nothing to prepare for. And note:

  • The storm water run-off into the Lagoon was not fixed despite their many promises,
  • Their budget left an $8.5 million deficit for the next 5 years,
  • The problems at the Marina were neglected.

For eleven months Howle and Sykes sat in their seats bowing to the self-proclaimed “queen,” who enjoyed giving long, laudatory speeches about herself.  They insulted other members of the Council and the public.  They demanded civility from the public, but did not conduct themselves in a civil manner.

I cannot support anyone whose campaign is supported by the Political Action Committee, “Clean Sweep for a Brighter Tomorrow“.  It is primarily funded by people and businesses (FPL) who don’t live here, and have little to no interest in our City’s future. The other four candidates do seem to care about the City, and seem willing to roll up their sleeves and go to work for us.  Two of them stand out.

Jay Kramer and Randy Old have the Financial Experience now lacking from the current Council majority. That experience will be critical to pick up the pieces after the potentially devastating 24% annual ($5,400,000) revenue loss after the Electric Sale.

You have always told us the quality of life we have is important: Our Police, Parks, Airport, Recreation, Marina, etc. It is important that we do not lose services and we must keep taxes low.

To that end, we should not be deficit spending. We cannot afford to kick the can down the road.  The current Council majority is already doing that with the $8.5 million I mentioned above.   Will they just spend the cash from the Electric Sale and leave the City in the hole, or will it be wisely invested or used to prefund existing obligations?

Voters, please understand which people look out for our future, and which people look out for outside interests.  It is easy to tell.  Just look at all those glossy postcards, smearing other candidates and paid for by the outsiders that are filling up our mailboxes every day.

The future of our City is at risk! Vote for those with experience and civility.  Vote against the use of smear tactics.  That is not Vero Beach!

Your vote is critical to that future.

Editor’s note: Richard Winger is a member of the Vero Beach City Council.

3 comments

  1. If the full sale does not go through – for whatever reason – it is Vero Beach which will suffer. The City will, if the contract reads as we understand it, forfeit the Indian River Shores customers to FPL! This is a good reminder never to get into a poker game or make any kind of wager or contract with FPL (without thoroughly reading it).

  2. When and if the full contract goes through and IF(highly questionable) FP & L’s rates are much lower,the savings will soon be forgotten when any electrical service is needed. Those good guys who work for the City of Vero Beach and respond promptly to problems will be but a memory

  3. It never seize to amaze me
    How council has been working on electric since 1998 to have Fpl buy it
    I’ve heard this dame blame game over the last two decades
    Get over yourselves Dick
    Laura is doing a great job
    It’s no longer a mans world woman can and have and willake the changes necessary
    Stop badgering use your intelligence your know how to lend a helping hand to build rather than tear down all the time
    It’s time to work together not against each other

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