Sparks may fly at Monday’s meeting on Vero’s electric utility

VERO BEACH — This morning’s city council workshop is expected to bring to light much information regarding the City of Vero Beach Electric Utility that, up to now, has been passed around only through informal networks and gatherings of concerned citizens.

For the first time, activists Dr. Stephen Faherty and Glenn Heran will be presenting their entire proposal to get the city out of the electric business. Previously, Faherty and Heran were only permitted to make brief comments at the podium, according to the city’s three-minute rule for public input. Both sides of the negotiating team which hammered out the $2 billion electric contract — consultant Sue Hersey and a representative from Orlando Utilities Commission — will be on hand to answer questions and explain the contract. The contract would require the city to maintain ownership of the power plant during the 20-year duration and provides for an early-out penalty of up to $50 million should the city not be satisfied with the rates or service provided by OUC.


Of the sitting council, Vice Mayor Sabe Abell and Councilman Tom White are the only two remaining who authorized the contract in April 2007. The details were then kept secret from the public for two years and have recently been analyzed after citizens, council members and candidates obtained copies in October.

Newly elected City Councilman Charlie Wilson said he has numerous questions that he intends to ask of staff in open forum and he encourages citizens and ratepayers to do the same.

The City Council meets at 9:30 a.m. in the council chambers at City Hall.

The council will also meet on Tuesday to consider the proposed 12.5 percent increase in base electric rates to take effect on Jan. 1.

Related Articles

Comments are closed.