Tuesday, March 3, 2009

South Miami Mayor links to FPL questioned

Things may be heating up for Mayor Horace Feliu of South Miami, who apparently was caught off-guard last night during a packed hearing on FPL Turkey Point 6 & 7 Transmission line routes up US-1 and through South Miami.

A reader writes in to tell Stop FPL that Feliu stuttered, stammered and momentarily lost his cool when one member of the audience questioned the link between Turkey Point 6 & 7 transmission lines coming through South Miami and his voluntary January 2008 testimony in favor of Turkey Point at a Florida Public Service Commission meeting at Miami-Dade College.

But, that may not be the half of it ... a coy "Anonymous" comment appeared at Eye on Miami late yesterday linking FPL to campaign contributions to Feliu's 2008 re-election campaign, which was ongoing right at the the time of his pro-Turkey Point testimony to the FPSC at Miami-Dade College. According to the Eye on Miami tipster:
Turns out that South Miami Mayor Feliu's 2008 Campaign Finance Report is a rather interesting read. Other than being chock full of Baptist Health/South Miami Hospital officers and directors who felt compelled to pony up huge campaign contributions to His Honor, there are an unusually large number of folks whose listed addresses are within a stone's throw of FPL's north Palm Beach headquarters (courtesy of MS Virtual Earth) who had the overwhelming urge to send large campaign contributions 90 miles south into the Mayor's bulging campaign coffers.
Feliu apparently took it upon himself to testify at the January 2008 MDC hearing on Turkey Point 6 & 7, where he told commissioners that the two additional nuclear reactors are ""right in line with exactly what we had in mind. We know it's a clearn energy source. FP&L has been an environmentally-friendly corporate neighbor to all of us, and I'm here just to speak on that and just basically let you know how we feel about it ... I'm in favor of this project."

When asked directly if his stance was backed by his constituents, Feliu said that lack of any vocal opposition to Turkey Point from the citizens of South Miami (20 miles to the north of Turkey Point), he told the FPSC that "we've always had public discussions at the commission meetings, and no one has ever spoken against this project. And we're very close to that Turkey Point location. We're in South Miami."

Just two months later (as detailed in a Miami Herald report, here) in March 2008, the FPSC approved the Turkey Point 6 & 7 reactors project.

Credit to Eye on Miami for having noted Feliu's presence at the MDC hearing back in Jan. '08.

The full Feliu testimony is contained in minutes of the FPSC hearing at MDC, online here.

And, we've also excerpted the Feliu testimony below, for those who don't care for the sometimes slow PDF download of the full minutes:
CHAIRMAN CARTER: Next we'll ask Horace Feliu, the Mayor of South Miami. And please forgive me if I mispronounce your name. It wasn't my pronouncing. It as the writing that I saw before.

MR. FELIU: You were very close. It's Feliu. Thank you, Mr. Chair and esteemed Commissioners. Thank you for coming down here and taking time from your busy schedules to listen to the public.

About two years ago I sponsored a Resolution in the City of South Miami, which basically is the Freedom From Fossil Fuels Acts. We requested from our county officials, our state legislators and our federal government to do their part in freeing ourselves from the use of fossil fuels and at the same time create a type of situation or incentives whereby we eliminate the greenhouse effects and carbon-based products that contaminate our environment. So this is right in line with exactly what we had in mind. We know it's a clean energy source. FP&L has been an environmentally-friendly corporate neighbor to all of us, and I'm here just to speak on that and just basically let you know how we feel about it.

We realize that there's issues regarding the use of water and everything else, but that is being addressed. FP&L has done their homework. I've listened carefully to their presentation at the county level, which was passed pretty much unanimously, and I'm in favor of this product -- of this project. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN CARTER: Thank you. One moment, please. Commissioner Argenziano.

COMMISSIONER ARGENZIANO: Same question, have you heard from the citizens of your city of South Miami?

MR. FELIU: Basically when I found out about it it was in the paper. And we always have public discussions at the commission meetings, and no one has ever spoken against this project. And we're very close to that Turkey Point location. We're in South Miami.

COMMISSIONER ARGENZIANO: Thank you.

MR. FELIU: You're welcome.
UPDATE: Residents want to stop FPL high-voltage lines along US 1, Florida East Coast Railroad

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is hilarious! Sad, but hilarious ... Google this guy and there are nothing but ethics questions and charges and he continues to wriggle out of every one of them. Now, you're telling us he's in FPL's pocket?!

Who knew? or better, shouldn't we have known!!!

Stop FPL said...

Looks like there are actually two related comments over at Eye on Miami ... who is "you betcha" ? and what else does he/she know about that hearing?

Come on "anonymous" and/or "you betcha" ... cough it up? Who's got that campaign finance report mapped against MS Visual Earth ... that needs to be shared!!!

Anonymous said...

More important, what was the outcome of that FPL meeting in South Miami last night? Why has nobody reported that yet ... what's up with that? did nobody show?

Stop FPL said...

Of course there was a meeting, otherwise how the first sentence of this post! ... get with the program!

If you mean, how many were there and what else happened, still checking but don't know yet. Nothing in Herald, nuttin' nowhere ...

Hey South Miami, still sleeping it off down there! Wake up ...

Anonymous said...

So, where is the Herald? Anybody left in the newsroom over there? Or, off on a pulitzer hunt and a story about FPL ramming 100-fot towers right up South Dixie doesn't merit coverage?

NextGenPolitico said...

Give the Herald a break. There'll be a story coming shortly ... they're under big economic pressure over there and the newsroom has shrunk. Any way, the focus needs to stay on FPL and we shouldn't get diverted into attacking the media ...

Anonymous said...

South Miami's meeting was a standing room only meeting. There were residents concerned about having power lines over their homes on US1 as well as the former railways. One gentleman spoke about his wife and daughter who are both battling with cancer. His daughter seemed at most 10 or 11 years old. And then we had Mayor Feliu state that he would prefer the lines through south miami instead of along the expressway where he would be in his car for 20 minutes.

I said to myself what is worst living under these power lines or briefly driving under them into what I once thought as the safety of my home.

Now I see that he was in support of this FPL project over a year ago. That explains why he did not want this workshop at all.

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