Vero Beach Council not sold on mayor’s ‘Plan B’ to keep electric business

VERO BEACH – Members of the Vero Beach City Council, both past and present, did not appear ready to support Vero Beach Mayor Jay Kramer’s “Plan B” – a partial sale of the city’s electric utility.

Citing too many “ifs” in the model and assumptions that information was correct, the council said more investigation needs to be done.

Mayor Kramer agreed.

“Confidence in the numbers is everything,” he told his fellow council members during a lengthy workshop Tuesday afternoon, later adding that he made his assumptions based on numbers he researched and on materials attained from staff he did not believe they could manipulate.

Former Vero Beach City Councilman Charlie Wilson addressed the council, visibly upset about the possibility of the city staying in the electric business.

“This is a deception,” Wilson said, later adding, “You’re being manipulated.”

Wilson equated the Plan B to the Democrats in Washington, D.C., who were thrown out of office, saying they didn’t understand the message

Vero Beach voters, Wilson said, spoke clearly: Sell – Sell to FPL.

“Do what the people told you to do,” Wilson said.

Kramer said during the workshop that FPL isn’t much interested in a partial sale of the city’s electric utility. However, due to legal issues surrounding the city’s power investments, a complete sale might not be possible.

The city might have to keep a small portion of its electric utility and hold onto those investments if they cannot be brokered to another municipality.

By drawing back, according to Kramer’s model, the city could serve a much smaller area just on the power derived from its investments – the St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant and the Stanton I and II coal plants – which is cheaper than that produced by the city’s own electric plant.

“We’ve got options,” Kramer said. “I’m looking for the best answer.”

Fellow members of council said that the first question that needs to be answered is what the city can and cannot do with its shares of the St. Lucie Power Plant and Stanton I and II.

Councilwoman Tracy Carroll said that they need those answers and then they would have real numbers to work with within the model.

The council discussed getting the city’s Finance and Utility commissions together to review the options once more information becomes available.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment