Shallow reporting lets Zudans off the hook

COMMENTARY

MARK SCHUMANN

Check their Facebook page? Reisman, apparently devoid of any measure of journalistic skepticism, seems to believe politicians can be counted on for straight answers.

Running interference for Vero Beach City Council candidate Val Zudans, Press Journal opinion columnist Larry Reisman recently repeated without question the candidate’s evasive, shifting answers to what should be serious questions. Beyond selling Vero Electric, what is Zudans’ vision for Vero Beach, and how does he propose to raise revenues and/or cut spending following the sale of the electric utility?

Based on guest columns Zudans wrote for the island weekly, it is reasonable to conclude he would, if elected, likely follow the sale of Vero Electric with a renewed push to hand the City’s water and sewer system over to the County. The loss of revenues from both the electric utility and the water and sewer system would leave the City hard pressed to continue to provide basic services such as police protection.

Zudans – Changing colors like a chameleon on plaid.

In a column published in the island weekly on April 13 of this year Zudans wrote, “Get government out of every business where they have no business…Government has no business in the marina business when others can do it much better at lower cost. City government should not be in the water and sewer business if the county can do it better at lower cost.”

Despite Zudans’ published positions, Reisman let the City Council candidate get way with claiming he only wants to “see government run like a business.”  Well, that may be Zudans’ newest position, but it is far from what he wrote last spring.

After repeating Zudans’ shifting positions without question, Reisman opined, “Unfortunately, scare tactics always increase during election season. Be wary of what you read. If in doubt, call or email candidates. Most of them can be reached through their websites or Facebook pages.” (Check their Facebook page? Reisman, apparently devoid of any measure of journalistic skepticism, seems to believe politicians can be counted on for straight answers.)

Indeed, people should be wary of what they read, starting with Reisman’s opinion columns in the Press Journal “newspaper.” If Reisman ever was ever a serious journalist, he has come a long way since.

6 comments

  1. But will the voters take time to question candidates before tomorrow (Election Day)? So many choose not to look past selling of power system to FPL. There is more to Vero Beach than THAT….and hopefully there will always be.

  2. From the o/all slant of his writing, Mr. Schumann seems to prefer that the captive customers of Vero Beach Electric continue to pay the extra expenses of city retirement and other non-tax based outlays without regard to whether these customers are in the city or not. Seems to me that the taxpayers of the city should bear the expenses of the city without burdening those outside the city limits.
    Fortunately I am on FPL and just an observer.

  3. If you are a content FPL customer, you must be looking forward to the additional storm charge the company is seeking, and you are probably jumping out of your shoes with excitement over FPL’s coming January rate increase.

    Almost surely, the biggest mistake city leaders ever made was to extend utility service to ungrateful residents in the unincorporated areas. It should be remember that initial development in those areas would otherwise have been impossible, unless, of course, people would have been content burning candles and using outhouses. What I find illogical is your implicit assertion that the City should be providing you utility services at cost, or that the reasonable profits earned as a return on investment should be used for some porpoise other than to help provide basic municipal services. If you argue that the City’s rates are too high, how do you account for the fact that several of the state’s investor owned utilities have been approved by the Florida Public Service Commission to charge higher rates than those of Vero Electric?

  4. You want to know what the future looks like if the County takes over the Water and Sewer? Look no further than 3rd Court in Rockridge, which flooded after hurricane Maria. The County refused to pick up storm debris. Only after a month when it became a public relations nightmare did they finally get around to doing anything. Garbage for service, which is exactly what you’ll get if you vote for Howle and Zudan…….

  5. Mr. Schumann; Good afternoon. Trying to answer yours of 0923 this date, and thank you for the response. I’m not a fully content FPL customer. I have lived in several places with better services than this area, electric, water, sewer, etc., not all better at the same time but generally better. What we have is what we have, but it could be better. FPL is not the highest priced provider in FL by a very large margin, and their service is not the absolute best, either.

    What I have not seen is the noticeable rate difference in nearby areas from the more local provider to the major area provider, i.e. Vero Electric to FPL and the unwillingness of the more local provider (to captive customers) to match service rates or explain the differential. “Well, that is the way it is.”
    And your reference to candlepower is pretty funny, much like the “ungrateful customers” note.

    I am sure there are other utilities with higher rates, there were where we came from. But the differential was not so glaring and the rate areas were much much larger, without little pockets of higher prices.

    Thank you for speaking out on behalf of what you think is “the right thing to do”.

  6. Mr Zudans is on the City Planning and Zoning Commission. How is his attendance record at the meetings?

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