“Nothing is easier than spending the public’s money; it does not appear to belong to anybody. The temptation is overwhelming to bestow it on somebody.” —Calvin Coolidge
Presentation to the Vero Beach City Council, May 3rd, 2016 by Phyllis Frey*
“It comes as no surprise that the Treasure Coast Regional Planing Council has returned to Vero Beach to implement their Seven 50 plan, using a taxpayer-funded housing and transportation project under the guise of an art village. But don’t take my word for it. Do your own homework. Visit the Seven 50 website. http://seven50.org/ It begins with art villages.
It says, ‘Communities in Florida are using cultural arts and arts- entertainment districts to energize downtowns….implementing zoning overlays to encourage the arts to allow live-and-work-space in the same unit, utilizing street signage, street lighting and landscaping, complete streets, lower vehicular speed, emphasizing pedestrian and bike traffic, with a mixed-use plan for low income housing under Transit Oriented Development (T.O.D.).’
Sound familiar? It should. That is exactly what the TCRPC’s urban planner Dana Little, said about Vero’s art village project, reading from the Seven 50 playbook. Executive Director of the TCRPC Michael Busha writes that the project will encourage compact, mixed-use development that promotes high density and intensity of growth under T.O.D.
(Publishers Note: Please see December 3, 2012 letter below where Mr. Busha wrote to the Federal Railroad Administration in support of All Aboard Florida.)
“Regionalism One Neighborhood At A Time”
We have already acknowledged that the housing and transportation project will be funded using taxpayer’s money. The president of AAF’s sister company FEC, a keynote speaker at the TCRPC forum said quote, “All Aboard Florida is a real estate play that allows us to move into urban areas and improve our portfolios.” End quote.
With the TCRPC promoting the housing and transportation plan, it’s paving the way through re-zoning and promotion of grants, creating more debt. Fortress Land Holdings and a few affiliated developers will be pushing from the top to dominate our local real estate markets deciding which businesses live or die, using Public-Private Partnerships, where taxpayers bear 90% of the costs and create more debt.
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will be pushing up from the bottom with terms and conditions attached to its grants. These policies do NOT represent the principles of Indian River County for fiscal responsibility, smaller government and local decision-making.
Because of this, taxpayer-funded All Aboard Florida, Seven 50 and the TCRPC were rejected in three counties and cities including Vero Beach. If this council continues to support these projects, you are not representing our core values or the taxpayers best interests. We ask that you consider this.”
* Phyllis Frey
(FAA Safety Check Airman and line Captain for Comair, the largest Regional Airline in the U.S. in the 1980’s, the Delta connection.)