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These are my priorities as a City Council member and my positions on current issues: 

  • INDIAN RIVER LAGOON REMEDIATION PROJECTS
    • ​​​​​​Continue to support the funding for Stormwater Utility and its capital projects

      • Work with City staff to:

        • ​​​Apply for grants to implement stormwater management projects

        • Update City's building codes to permit and encourage use of permeable pavers rather than concrete or asphalt for driveways,parking areas, pool decks, sidewalks, etc.

        • Revise Stormwater Utility regulations to provide a clear process for residents and businesses to obtain a credit for actions taken to reduce impervious surface areas or reduce rainwater runoff

    • Work to accelerate the conversion from septic systems to the STEP system. Need to reintroduce incentives and simplify process for homeowners to utilize City financing repaid through the Indian River Tax Collector and backed by liens. 

    • Follow the City's Main Relief canal diversion project to remove up to 3 million gallons per day from entering the lagoon. The City will treat the water and supply it to John's Island for irrigation use, replacing water currently sourced from aquifers. John's Island is largely funding the project.

    • On a personal level, I will strongly support the Indian River County's November referendum for a $50 million bond issue to acquire and permanently preserve environmentally significant lands to help restore the lagoon.

  • OPPOSE THE BALLOT REFERENDUM SUBMITTED BY THE VERO BEACH PRESERVATION ALLIANCE BECAUSE IT HAS EVOLVED INTO A COMPLEX TWO PART EFFORT WHICH WOULD CONSTRAIN FUTURE CITY COUNCIL AND CITY MENAGERS FROMPERFORMING THEIR DUTIES UNDER THE CITY CHARTER. 
    • Replacing the dry boat storage building is but one portion of the City's mulit-year Marina's modernization plan, and I would continue to work with the Marina's neighbors, including the Vero Beach Yacht Club, and interested parties to find mutually agreeable improvement initiatives. 
  • CONTINUE TO OPPOSE THE BALLOR REFERENDUM TO REMOVE THE "THREE CORNERS" PROPERTIES FROM THE CITY CHARTER PROTECTION WHICH WOLD PERMIT A PROPOSED LARGE SCALE COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT ON THE LAGOON. I WAS THE LONE COUNCIL MEMBER TO VOTE AGAINST PUTTING THIS REFERENDUM ON THE BALLOT.
    • Firstly, it must be recognized that these properties were put under City Charter protection from commercial development in 2007 by a vote of 86% in a ballot referendum solely for that purpose.
    • My strongest opposition is to a hotel or any residential units. This City-owned land on the lagoon has been set aside as public property and should be retained as open to the general public. 
      • A public survey taken as part of the design consultant-driven planning process ranked any residential use of the property among the lowest priorities; however, the consultant's plan has a hotel and related residential units as the key focal point for the entire site
      • The "Three Corners" Master Pan as approved by the City Council comprehends both the hotel and related residential units as permissible uses for a developer. The four developers responding thus far have each included a hotel as the centerpiece for their proposals. The approved Master plan has no constraints on the size of a hotel or related residential units. 
      • It should be noted that the City's independent financial consultant Hank Fishkin, retained to assess the financial viability of the Master Plan indicated that the site could support a hotel of up to some 600 rooms. Furthermore, this consultant suggested that the financial viability of a hotel would be enhanced if it had an affiliated beach house at the Charter protected South Beach Park. Could the function of such beach house possibly be construed as a public use and not require a ballot referendum?
      • Another major concern is the proposed granting of a 99 year lease to the selected developer for this entire site.
        • Without Charter protection, for almost a century a developer need only convince some future City Council to approve whatever uses might be proposed for the site.
        • Whatever the value of this land is determined/negotiated to be, spreading the associated lease payments over a 99 year period would be very unusual and would essentially mean the City Taxpayers would be subsidizing the developer compared with more normal lease payment terms. 
      • An additional concern, the voters are being asked to approve a project before any traffic studies have been completed, and before any Lagoon and stormwater management impacts have been assessed. 
      • It should also be noted that of the 37 features identified as permitted for this property as comprehended in the Master Plan, implementation of only three principle uses would require referendum approval - the hotel, a restaurant and a retail establishment. The City Council cold move forward with most of the other ones now. 
      • The state of the decommissioned electrical power generating plant is also a major concern. It has been abandoned since 2015 and such poured - in- place concrete structures deteriorate rapidly especially when located on the banks of a salt water tidal lagoon. After on-site assessments by Indian River County building inspectors and fire prevention personnel, the building is considered unsafe and any public access is prohibited. 
        • Despite some romantic notions about the beauty and historical value of this structure, it should be demolished as soon as feasible and the land environmentally remediated as necessary.
        • I would oppose a roof top restaurant on the existing power plant. Even if feasible, as being incongruous with the spirit of the City's long standing building height restrictions.
      • If this current referendum is defeated, I would propose that the next City Council develop a much more modest plan to establish a full service restaurant near the Lagoon and draft a referendum to comprehend taking only the land necessary for this endeavor out of the Charter. The aforementioned public survey noted that a restaurant was one of the more popular uses for this property. 
        • The lease payments from such a restaurant would undoubtedly cover the incremental costs to the City for maintaining the public use of this property, especially since the City has been mowing the grass around the plant within its budget since 2015. 
    • CONTINUE TO WORK WITH INDIAN RIVER COUNTY TO BRING JOBS AND ECONOMIC GROWTH TO OUR AREA
      • As the Vero Beach City Council Representative on the Indian River County Economic Development Council and the Chair of the Vero Beach Chamber of Commerce, I will continue to support this activity.