In her March 26 letter, Florida’s pollution, South Miami resident Antoinette Fischer is misinformed about the South Miami Franchise agreement with FPL, but, in a way it’s worse than she suggests.
South Miami was faced with an awkward choice: (a) live under the county’s FPL franchise agreement allowing the county to pocket $1.1 million a year in FPL franchise fees paid by South Miami residents or (b) sign our own FPL franchise agreement with better terms and keep the $1.1 million in South Miami. But the system is rigged such that Fischer’s preferred option (c) was unavailable: Our city could not opt out altogether, and thus our residents are forced to pay a monthly electric franchise fee one way or another.
So given that choice, over 18 months South Miami negotiated the best franchise agreement in the FPL service area and our commission voted to keep our residents’ franchise fees in South Miami to provide better municipal services. In fairness, municipalities should have better choices available, but many years ago the county co-opted the municipalities’ freedom to decide whether electricity franchise agreements and payments are in the best interests of our residents or not.
To give residents a meaningful way to lower their electricity payments while at the same time benefiting the environment, South Miami has arranged competitive pricing for solar panels, available to every homeowner in Miami-Dade County. Find details at tinyURL.com/SouthMiamiSolar2016.
Philip K. Stoddard, mayor, South Miami