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Inside T H U R S D A Y  O C T O B E R 2 7 , 2 0 1 1  V O L . 1 , I S S U E 3 0 EDITORIAL Power referendum is not a straw poll Frightening formals Guests raided closets for their most hideous formal wear at Heritage Center fundraiserPage 21 Voters should understand implications of approving referendum In a choice that is deceptively simple, the Vero Beach electorate is being asked to allow the City Council to lease the power plant property. Far from clear to many voters, though, are the full implications of approving the Nov. 8 referendum. Contrary to what many are leading the public to believe, the Vero Beach City Council already has authority to negotiate with Florida Power and Light. This referendum is not necessary in order for the Council to pursue negotiations. What the City Council is not authorized to do without voter approval is to lease the power plant property as part of a sale of the utility. That permission is what the Council now seeks, even though, with negotiations still in the early stages, important details of the lease and the sale are yet unknown. With increasing persuasiveness, some are making the case that a “no” vote on the Nov. 8 referendum is the only means voters have of paving the way for a second referendum, one that might be held in early 2012, when negotiations between the City and FP&L have concluded. Voters will then be in a better position to make a more informed and considered decision. If the City Council is able through the Nov. 8 referendum to secure permission to lease the power plant site, that governing body, apart from Mayor Jay Kramer, appears determined to sell the city’s electric utility without ever coming back to voters for their consent to a fully and finally negotiated agreement. To date, the City Council has not been willing to pass even a non-binding resolution expressing support for a second referendum. If they would take that simple step, many who now question the wisdom of this referendum would be more inclined to support it. With the Nov. 8 decision less than two weeks away, here are a few points to consider: Tripping the light fantastic The pairings are set for Dancing with Vero’s Stars to benefit the Healthy Start CoalitionPage 23 CONTINUES ON PAGE 11 All for education The Education Foundation celebrates 20 years of helping studentsPage 18  Massive layoffs loom as Piper suspends jet programPage 3 LETTERS 12 22  CALENDAR  ENTERTAINMENT 26 TO ADVERTISE CALL MARTINE FECTEAU 772.696.2004 MARK SCHUMANN 772.696.5233

Vero Beach News Weekly

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