32963 Homepage

Want to purchase reprints of your favorite 32963 or photos?

Copies of Vero Beach 32963 can be obtained at the following locations:


Our office HQ: (located at 4855 North A1A)
1. Corey's Pharmacy
2. 7-Eleven

(South A1A)
3. Major Real Estate Offices


1. Vero Beach Book

2. Classic Car Wash
3. Divine Animal
4. Sunshine Furniture

5. Many Medical

Brackett lauded as ‘excellent choice’ as Vero Beach mayor

STORY BY LISA ZAHNER (Week of November 19, 2020)
Photo: Vero Beach’s new Mayor Robert Brackett takes his place to preside over the rest of the City Council meeting.

It was no shock when the Vero Beach City Council elected Robbie Brackett mayor Monday to lead meetings for the next year, but it’s harder to predict whether the results of the Nov. 3 election will have any drastic impact on the political bent of the council in terms of fiscal policy, handling the pandemic or plotting the future of the city’s two riverfront utility sites.

Brackett said Monday he thinks the City Council has been doing a great job, but that he’d like to infuse more creativity and ingenuity into solving some of the lingering issues like beachside parking and stormwater runoff.

“I’d like for us to work more efficiently, to get the most out of what we have and to always keep in mind who we are serving and what their needs are. The city staff does a terrific job, but we need everybody to keep in mind that they work for the city residents and for the taxpayers,” Brackett said. 

At his weekly meetings with City Manager Monte Falls, Brackett said he tries to brainstorm innovative ways of doing things that don’t cost a lot of money.

“In government there’s a tendency to throw money at problems and just throwing money at something doesn’t mean you will get good results,” Brackett said.

“Instead of throwing money at things we would better serve the city by thinking outside the box.”

Since the Vero electric sale, the city has been using “soft landing” reserves to cushion the loss of nearly $6 million per year in transfers from the electric utility into the general fund.

That period will come to an end when the proceeds of the sale are exhausted, Brackett said, and in the interim city staff should be preparing to maintain all vital city services and stay on budget.

Former mayor Harry Howle said he expects great things from Mayor Brackett.

“Mr. Brackett is an excellent choice for the position of Vero Beach’s new mayor. He’s proven himself to be a pragmatic and detail-oriented thinker who keeps the best interest of all our residents in mind with every decision. I’m absolutely certain Mr. Brackett will prove to be one of the best leaders we’ve had in our wonderful town,” Howle said on Monday.

Among the many challenges Brackett faces is one likely never previously contemplated by a Vero mayor – making sure the council stays healthy enough to have a quorum at all of its meetings in the age of COVID-19.

As of Nov. 1, all elected bodies in Florida must have a quorum physically present to hold a meeting.

Fortunately, by Monday, Brackett had finished his 14-day quarantine from testing positive for COVID-19 and Councilman Joe Graves had finished his prescribed quarantine after traveling internationally, so all five members were present in chambers.

As case counts rise in Vero and the rest of the county, Brackett said the city has a vital role to play, beyond setting a good example.

“Most people have been wearing a mask, most people want to do the right thing. We need to help educate people,” Brackett said.