Recently the Vero Beach City Council was asked to approve the sale of approximately 9% of Vero Beach Electric to Florida Power and Light for $30 million. The City Council effectively said, no, but it would consider an offer of $47 million. Where upon, Florida Power and Light said, we will stand by our offer of $30 million, which expires on the 25th of August.
I voted not to accept the offer of $30 million, but to consider $47 million.
The City has been working with utility experts for the last few years that include lawyers, rate and efficiency experts. Their advice, reports, and results have been invaluable for the City. They have earned my confidence, and respect. When the idea of a partial sale of our electric system to Florida Power and Light became a serious offer, the City asked our experts to determine what sales price would be required to keep our existing ratepayers whole, making sure their rates did not go up as a result of the sale. Their answer was $44.2 million in direct costs, plus an estimated $3-5 million in contingent liabilities. I have attended or listened to most meetings having to do with the pricing discussions of the partial sale. I have reviewed in depth a variety of calculations that suggest how the sales price should be set. As a result, I feel comfortable in my decision to decline the $30 million in favor of the $47 number.
The City Council position I fill carries with it the fiduciary duty to protect the citizens of Vero Beach that elected me. I felt that voting for any number less than our experts suggested brought risk to the remaining ratepayers, and for that reason could not vote to sell for less than $47 million.
Vote Randy Old for Vero Beach City Council!