Florida law requires governing bodies, such as the Vero Beach City Council, to publish in advance agendas of their meeting. The purpose of this required notification is to give the public sufficient opportunity to prepare to address their elected officials on matters of the people’s business.
In the interest of transparency, members of the Vero Beach City Council have until recently also followed a practice of providing available backup information, as well as sufficient description of each agenda item to be discussed and or considered for a vote.
As in Washington, also in Vero Beach norms seem to be changing. Two weeks ago, for example, Councilman Val Zudans essentially slipped onto the Council agenda an item described as a “discussion” of a concession at the Riverhouse by Alden Bing.
Zudans left unclear the fact that Bing is the owner of Orchid Island Brewery. Describing what is being proposed as “a concession,” is at best misleading, for all along what Zudans had in mind was to offer the brewery a long-term lease of the Riverhouse. Finally, Zudans’ agenda item offers no notice that he intended to call for a vote on his proposal to hand over public lands for long-term lease/concession for commercial use, despite Charter provisions prohibiting such a move.
Apparently, with the Howle-Sykes-Zudans majority anything goes.