Statewide group files protest against power sale

Vero Beach Mayor Harry Howle – Taking shots as those who disagree with him, Howle says questioning government and redressing grievances is “idiotic.”

MARK SCHUMANN

Concerned over electric rate hikes to result from Florida Power and Light’s proposed acquisition of Vero Electric, the Florida Industrial Power Users Group late Monday filed a formal protest with the Florida Public Service Commission.

Last Thursday the Civic Association of Indian River County also filed a protest to the Commission’s approval of the sale. Lynne Larkin, president of the Civic Association, said the group’s goal in filing the protest is to “get information for the voters and have a referendum.”

Press reporting on the Civic Association’s petition suggested the action could lead to a delay in a closing on the sale beyond October 1. Now that the Florida Industrial Power Users Group is also asking the PSC to take a closer look at the deal, it will be a stretch to blame any delayed closing on the Civic Association.

Already, though, a campaign has been launched to attack the Civic Association. Bob Soos, who moderates a so-called “news” radio program but who says he is not a journalist, and who refers to himself as “Mayor of the Airwaves,” posted on his Facebook page an attack on members of the Association. Naming three members of the Association, Soos wrote, “COULD THESE THREE DERAIL THE SALE OF VERO ELECTRIC TO FLORIDA POWER AND LIGHT?”

Vero Beach Mayor Harry Howle has also attacked the Civic Association, describing the petition as “idiotic,” and accusing one member of “criminal” culpability.

The following report on the Florida Industrial Power Users Group petition was posted today on TCPALM.com.

COLLEEN WISON/TREASURE COAST NEWSPAPERS

VERO BEACH — Just under the wire Monday, a second protest has been filed to the sale of the Vero Beach electric system to Florida Power & Light Co. Continue reading…

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