LARGO -- If the Congress under the Articles of Confederation had chosen the committee to review those articles, the United States as we know it would never have come into being.
The Largo City Commission, laboring under the misapprehension that the city Charter is its creation, rather than it being a creature of the Charter, approved a resolution for charter review that left out any role for the citizens of the city.
Any revisions in the Charter will be the product of the City Commission. Many observers say it makes no difference anyway, because the Charter is only adhered to if it is to someone's particular temporary advantage.
As general, overarching law it is ignored, giving Largo the reputation as the city that is run by whimsy instead of law.
Anyone watching the atrocious performance of the commission on May 17 would have no doubt that their city's elected officials' competence is validly called into question.
The discussion of the violation of the charter by two sitting commission members went nowhere because of the orchestrated confusion created by City Manager Steve Stanton and Largo's $2,000 a week part time city attorney, Alan Zimmet, but it did produce some vituperative exchanges.
It smacked of an old-fashioned family fight with old resentments and hatreds rising go the surface.
The sentiment for having the charter review in the hands of citizens alone without any commission involvement got the backing of, not surpringly, Ernie Bach of the Largo Civic Association, Jim Hannon, and George Feaster.
"The commission should have hands off," Feaster said, echoing Bach. "No one wants to work on the review if it just comes back to the commission and you turn ideas down. The whole review should go to the voters."
In the end, the commission decided to keep the citizens' hands off the charter review and put everything in place so that the commission members would exercise total control over anything that is produced.
"That's in keeping with this city now," one observer said. "This is not a government of laws."
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