City Council candidates Linda Hillman and Brian Heady were both disqualified yesterday. In Hillman’s case, she says she was devastated to learn that her disqualification resulted from filling out all the forms but neglecting to sign one of them. “I filed to run on July 9, 62 days ago, paid the fee, took the oath and have already filed two campaign contribution reports, not to mention that I have spent every waking hour in my effort to win. You can imagine my shock on receiving the news.”
This was Hillman’s first run for office, whereas Heady, the other disqualified candidate, has run often. Hillman adds, “But I am not making any excuses. I will continue to explore my options because I feel this year’s election is the most critical in our collective memory.”
The current City Council majority has been responsible for a string of actions that many in the community fear is endangering the City’s future. The remaining candidates including incumbents Laura Moss and Tony Young as well as newcomers to the race, Robbie Brackett and Robert McCabe.
Three positions are open on City Council. Vice Mayor Lange Sykes is not seeking reelection. Tony Young and Laura Moss are incumbents running for another term. Moss has been a controversial figure as mayor but is opposed to the current Council majority ( Mayor Harry Howle, Sykes and Val Zudans) in its efforts to monetize the City’s assets. Those efforts included attempts to lease the River House community meeting facility to a brewery, selling the landmark downtown post office property to a developer and currently attempting to sell the former Dodgertown Golf Course to a Lakeland residential builder. These decisions and more have met with stiff resistance from the public and from Moss. Tony Young is the grandson of Vero’s first mayor and often sides with Moss on these issues.
Robbie Brackett is the son of longtime Vero businessman, Robert Brackett. The Brackett family is well known for its support and investment in downtown Vero Beach as well as philanthropic efforts. Robert McCabe is president of the Vero Beach Chamber of Commerce, which is unaffiliated with the longtime Indian River County Chamber of Commerce.
The election is on November 6.