South Florida Regional Planning Council’s FPL Meeting


Last night was the South Florida Regional Planning Council FPL meeting at the University of Miami’s BankUnited Center. As you all know, I have been involved in this debate over the transmission lines since March. Last night’s meeting had the most insulting and condescending tone of any interaction I’ve had with FPL by far. From my count, there were roughly 150 people there, 20 employees of FPL, and a half-dozen elected officials.

The meeting started off with a presentation by Mike Halpin, from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s “Siting Coordination Office.” He revealed himself as basically being a puppet for FPL. If he is one of the lines of defense between the phases of “proposal” and “certification,” then we are really done for.

After that came a presentation by FPL’s Henrietta McBee, a director of some sort. Her speech was read directly from something written by their PR department I assume, and the inflection she was using in her voice should have been reserved for a kindergarten class. Yet again, the public was forced to sit through another one of FPL’s biased and statistic-filled nonsensical psycho-babbles. The presentation given by Ms. McBee changed the entire mood of the room in just a few minutes, having the exact opposite effect than I think FPL had hoped for.

Next up it was time for “Questions and Comments.” This really was just a chance for the public to talk at a podium in front of a dais with four unmanned microphones. Questions were not answered and comments fell upon deaf ears. The whole time, I couldn’t help but think of the saying about a tree falling in the forest. We were told after the first couple questions that FPL refused to answer in public, and were going to be cowardly answering questions “one-on-one” in the back of the room. This made it very clear that FPL does not want to have a dialogue with the public about this line because they know that we are unequivocally opposed to it.

Some notable contributors to the one-way conversation were:

  • Philip Stoddard from FIU, who gave some counter-evidence to the health argument
  • Michelle Niemeyer, Coconut Grove Village Council, who asked them a record amount of questions in a span of three minutes
  • Brian Beasley, Vice Mayor of South Miami
  • Timothy Meerbott, Councilman of Cutler Bay, who gave a brilliant bait and hook question to Mike Halpin

About two dozen people spoke before I had a chance to get up there, and by that time I was frustrated and tired. I talked for about two minutes, mostly reiterating what had been said before to just make sure FPL knew that every single person in that room was leaving angrier than they had been when they arrived.

As usual, thank you for nothing FPL.

-Stephen Murray

(Photo credit Eye On Miami blogger GeniusofDespair)

2 Responses to “South Florida Regional Planning Council’s FPL Meeting”
  1. Anonymous says:

    Great job last night! It was so refreshing to see how many citizens were there.

    Hopefully – our elected officials and media will force FPL to answer questions that the public has the right to know.

  2. Nice looking guy in that photo you have at top….

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  • Disclaimer

    The contents of this blog do not reflect the opinions of the Coconut Grove Village Council, the Democratic National Committee, the Florida Democratic Party, the Miami-Dade Democratic Party, or any elected official or organization referenced herein.

    All opinions are exclusively those of Stephen Murray.

    All content (c) 2010 Stephen Murray

  • Credit

    Blog Layout and Design: Cassie Oswald (

    Banner Photo Credit: Lindsay Brown for The Miami Hurricane

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