Electric Referendum

VERO BEACH — The Vero Beach City Council, except for Mayor Jay Kramer who opposed the measure, approved on a first reading of an ordinance to place a referendum on the ballot regarding the electric sale.

The question being put to the voters relates to a restriction in the city charter as to how it uses the riverfront land on which the Vero Beach Power Plant sits.

After much discussion and a few different versions being tossed about, the language approved Tuesday states:

“Do you approve of the lease of the City of Vero Beach Power Plant site north of the 17th Street bridge, west of the Indian River and east of Indian River Boulevard with the city retaining ownership of the land for the purpose of selling the electric utility if the City Council finds that such sale is beneficial to the citizens of Vero Beach?”

Former Vero Beach Councilman Charlie Wilson, who helped lead a referendum effort last year about the electric sale, cautioned the city council that the proposed referendum addresses too many issues in one item.

When asked about the legality of the proposed language, acting City Attorney Wayne Comment said he “thought” it would be okay.

The second hearing of the referendum will be in early September in order to get the item to Supervisor of Elections Leslie Swan by Sept. 12 for placement on the Nov. 8 ballot.

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