Home Rule empowers towns and cities to chart their own course Reply


“Talk of unified local government may feed at least a few egos longing to rule over larger fiefdoms, but consolidation of local government within Indian River County would do nothing to improve the quality of life for the residents of Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, the Town of Orchid, Sebastian or Fellsmere.”


Within Indian River County there are five incorporated municipalities: Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, the Town of Orchid, Sebastian and Fellsmere. Why these “extra” layers of government, collecting taxes, imposing regulations and providing services some argue are not essential? Wouldn’t it be more efficient and less expensive for the Indian River County Commission to administer the basic, essential services mandated by the state?

To advocates of so-called limited government, that may sound like a compelling, rational argument, but the case for consolidation crumbles under the weight of reality. In his 2103 book,“If Mayors Ruled the World,” Benjamin R. Barber argues that national and state leaders, and county leaders as well, could govern move effectively and responsibly if they would take a lesson or two from mayors serving cities large and small. More…

Fellsmere leaders focused on economic development, historic preservation, and eco-recreation/tourism 3



Editor’s note: Jason Nunemakers is the City Manager of Fellsmere.

Jason Nunemaker

Jason Nunemaker

Ten years – depending on your perspective that may seem like a trivial length of time. But as a city manager that is a term of service in a single city that is unusual in Florida and frankly a milestone I was not sure I would achieve based on my early experiences in the profession. Rarer still is the opportunity to work with people as genuine, caring, and proactive as I have found in a succession of City Councils in the City of Fellsmere. Against the backdrop of this milestone, ten years as City Manager, coupled with a New Year and a recent large-scale annexation it seems appropriate to reflect on where we have been and where we are going.

The City Council changed their charter from a strong-mayor form of government to a council-manager form in 2005. I was humbled to be selected as the first city manager subsequent to this change, albeit the second choice as Councilman Tyson likes to jokingly remind me. This significant change was predicated in large part on the City’s desire to manage and facilitate quality growth. Several years prior the Pine Grove annexation and associated land use amendments were completed and City leaders recognized the need to professionally manage the implementation of the eventual development. More…

Rushing through Vero: The fast train to elsewhere Reply



As we entered 2014, the IRNA Land Use Committee meetings were dominated by concerns arising from the high-speed train proposed by All Aboard Florida (AAF). The train would run from Miami to Orlando through Vero Beach with intermediate stops only at Ft. Lauderdale and Palm Beach without stopping at Vero. We wanted only the facts about the project – not the fluff.

At the same time, the Indian River Chamber of Commerce was facing a similar situation, seeking information about the proposed train that would speed through the community without servicing its residents – not railroad propaganda. More…

Changing our name, expanding our mission 3

Inside-Vero-Logo-Press-Outlines [Converted]


Two years ago, Milt Thomas and I began publishing InsideVero, a community news magazine dedicated to offering balanced reporting on issues of importance to the residents of Vero Beach and southern Indian River County. Beginning in January, with an issue to be released January 15, we will expand our coverage to include news and features of importance and interest throughout Indian River County. At the same time, we will increase our circulation from 15,000 to 33,000. To reflect our expanded mission, we have changed the name of our news magazine to Inside Indian River. More…

Exchange Club of Fellsmere donates toys to the Fellsmere Police Department Reply


Fellsmere Exchange Club 12-16-14Recently, the Fellsmere Police Department announced to the public that it was initiating a toy drive to collect toys for local youth this Holiday Season. The Exchange Club of Fellsmere partners with organizations in the community each year on various occasions, but makes a special attempt during the Holidays for just such a purpose. This year the Club adopted the Police Departments’ cause as their own. MORE...