Here are some random thoughts instead of a full report.
I get the distinct impression that Ken Ward doesn't like me. What do you think?
Electric rates for Vero Residents and County users are said to be going down in February. Even if we make it to February we will still be paying 30% more than your neighbor who is served by FPL. Competitive? Not by my definition. But there is an alternative. Next Monday, October 5th I will be hosting the Rhett Palmer Show and we will discuss the solution. Tune in.
The long term future of the water/wastewater system in Vero Beach is not bright. After meetings this week with engineers and financial planners I have learned that residents may be in for paying double or even triple the rates of their county neighbors if brave steps are not taken immediately.
Commissioner Peter O'Bryan stopped me in the hall and rightly chastised me for not giving him credit for efforts to encourage jobs. In recent weeks the County has awarded a significant jobs grant and made a special exception to allow a new concrete company to produce products for an economic stimulus funded public works program.
It was called the R.I.G.H.T. program. It was a plan to help stimulate business in Indian River County. It stood for Reform...Impact fee reduction...Grow existing business, High target new business and Tax abatement.
The innovative program was first proposed by Commissioner Wesley Davis. Commissioner Joe Flescher then took the lead to Grow existing business with his efforts to "buy local". Peter O'Bryan carried the torch for Tax Abatement's to be voted on next year. Commissioner Bob Solari hosted an economic summit to get things moving.
The last of the measures, an effort to Reform bureaucracy, will be before the Commission in mid October. A powerful political group, however, has mounted an effort to stop the reform from happening. The group has indicated their position to two Commissioners who will now oppose the last piece of the puzzle.
With unemployment settling in at 15% plus it is hard to imagine that any responsible political leader would continue to make it difficult for business to open in Indian River County and employee hard pressed citizens. Watch the County Commission in mid October and see for yourself.
Piper has announced plans to open a flight school in Brunei. Don't be surprised when Piper moves more of its operations overseas. But why not. Two months ago Sebastian City Council member and candidate for reelection told members that "we need jobs but we don't want flight schools. They create too much noise."
Be careful what you wish for Miss Coy.
Board of Realtors
The Indian River County Board of Realtors have reported an improvement in local real estate sales. Realtors have shouldered a great deal of hardship during the recession. Realtors are the vanguard for individual effort and self improvement. It is time they got a break.
Even Russ Lemmon realizes that it is tough to get anything done in Indian River County if you want to start a business. Lemmon wrote this week about a vegetable stand that was having a hard time with red tape. Welcome to Indian River County.
Attorney to Sue
It has come to light that long term Assistant County Attorney Marianne Fell is said to be planning legal action as a result of her dismissal noting that she is over 40 and female.
Imagine Schools plans to appeal its application that was denied by the school board on a three to two vote last week. Board Chair Carole Johnson cast the deciding vote saying it was a vote to support the superintendents decision.
The district staff recommended against a new Charter 7th and 8th grade forcing kids to return to the traditional public schools instead of remaining in the Charter school system. Additional construction by the district costing more than 40 million dollars and declining enrollment has resulted in nearly 2,000 empty seats which may not be filled for 10 to 20 years.
In case you haven't heard I have a new residence. I am hosting an open house for volunteers on Wednesday September 30 from 5:30 to 9. I have also invited the press, the state attorney, the Vero Beach Police department and anyone else obsessed with where I sleep to stop by. Maybe then we can get to the real issue at hand, "inexcusably high electric rates".