Full Legal Name: Deborah (Debra) Scott Toole FromangDate of Birth: 2/7/1950 Place of Birth: Pensacola, FL Length of residence: in Indian River County 2001 in Vero Beach 2001 Occupation: Attorney Circuit/Civil Mediator Location of work: 19th Judicial Circuit Marital status: MarriedGrown Child: Sean David Experience you feel is most relevant to serving in public office and why. Mediator. This training allows me to listen to both sides without bias or reacting personally. Please list Civic and Volunteer Leadership Experience including title & position and Organization including dates and locations. Orchid Island RotaryIndian River Bar AssociationVero Beach City CouncilTreasure Coast Council of Local GovernmentsIndian River County Tourist Development CouncilIndian River County Economic Development Council
1. What do you feel is the most important issue facing the City of Vero Beach?
Utility issues. No doubt about it. Underlying all issues is the economic recession which has affected all of us.2. The City Council will be asked to vote on implementing changes to the rate structure of the electric utility within the next few weeks. For many residents, this will mean that electric charges will be increased even more. Would you vote in favor of these rate increases?
The increase in base rate was recommended by consultants, the finance commission and the utility commission. I will take these recommendations into account as well as public comment in making the decision to ensure that the electric utility is fiscally sound.3. The City of Vero Beach presently takes approximately $5.9 million dollars it generates from the electric utility and puts it in the City’s general fund. Would you vote to continue the practice of this transfer each year?Yes. This has been a policy decision by City Council for many years. However, all of the city’s enterprise funds need to be efficiently, productively and profitability managed before any monies should be transferred to the general fund. Many of these issues have come to ahead recently and if changes are to be made they must be addressed now. 4. City Administrators have stated that stepping away from the Florida Municipal Power Agency and joining the Orlando Utility Authority will drastically lower electric rates starting in January. Do you believe that are up for review, the electric utility rates will significantly be reduced after January 1, 2010? Yes, I do.5. What suggestions would you make to the City to curtail spending without hurting the present services the City residents currently enjoy?The budget needs to be trimmed no doubt. The City Council needs to look at the budget more carefully- including their own. Out of necessity, this must include a review of all employee benefits including City pensions and insurance. The finance commission should be utilized this budget year to ensure all budget problems are examined carefully. The City Council needs to be more creative in looking at the City’s benefits rather than thinking about cutting the benefits of the taxpaying public. 6. What do you think the City should do with the property on the corner of 17th street and Indian River Blvd. where the former postal annex was located?Right now it is being used for staging City vehicles for the water/sewer improvements. This property is potentially very important for either the electric or water/sewer plant. Until the economy improves it should remain in public use.7. Do you or would you rely more on your own independent research or would you rely more heavily on the opinion of City staff before taking a vote on a particular issue?
I rely on public opinion, my own research, professional opinion from City staff as well recommendations from the City’s advisory boards and commission
8. The City has brought up the idea of forming an independent Health Clinic for City employees. Would you vote for this initiative? (Please answer Yes or No).No.9. If you could change one thing about how the City is run, what would it be?
I would suggest the City implement a utility rate study every three to five years. There hasn’t been a rate study done in 10 years.In addition, there needs to be another Review of the City’s Charter. The change in the City Council election date needs to be ratified by the voters rather than by the City Council. If there is any ambiguity in charter wording the amendment changes must be voted on by the people.10. What about your background, experience or character has best prepared you to handle the day-to-day responsibilities, pressures and intense scrutiny of serving in public office?I always try to represent the Taxpayers when I vote on an issue affecting the City. I vote on the facts and endeavor to be informed, fair and unbiased.