When you have an issue you don't really want to deal with, keep it alive until people are tired and disgusted with it, fuzz it up, throw in a generous amount of confusion, turn it over to the gutless and you wind up with fudge.
Thus our discussion today -- and it may be hardly worth it, because Largo is now a city governed by whimsy, its elected officials (with the exception of one) lacking enough intestinal fortitude to stand for law.
In fact, with the exception of one at the May 24 meeting, the commissioners failed to uphold the oath they took.
Only Mary Black showed the courage and integrity that we prize in elected officials. All too rare. Sad. Very sad.
There was one issue on the table; to wit, what to do with allegations made against two sitting commissioners, that is, that they had violated a provision of the city charter in giving money to candidates in the March election.
Instead of addressing that, Commissioner Gay Gentry, whether out of confusion and ignorance on how to properly proceed (most likely) or to further sow confusion, launched into a 15-minute monologue of suggestions on how to deal with the future.
Doctor Gentry, a former school marm, who apparently thinks she has the upper hand over the commission and public as she had for countless years over a bunch of moppets, had one job that Tuesday night.
That was to vote to proceed against the culprits on the allegations or vote to drop the whole issue. That escaped her.
But she can't resist instucting us all on the marvelous thoughts that course through her busy cranium.
Her bloviating was enough to set the commission off on a sail around the lagoon (not a difficult thing to do) and Mayor Bob Jackson, instead of getting the proceedings on course, let Gentry's ruminations go on for 15 minutes and never did get the commission's collective nose to the grindstone of duty.
That, of course, was what he assiduously wanted to avoid, evidently not having the stomach to deal with the miscreants who violated the charter.
Only Black kept to the subject, but she, through her proper diligence and attention to business, has so alienated her colleagues (who don't take all this government stuff all that seriously, as witness their almost total lack of knowledge on what their roles are), is . . . well, to be very frank, anathema.
On the other hand, she has cornered the market on courage and integrity on that commission.
Despite all the attempts here at an eleemosynary view of these shenanigans, truth telling is by far the better virtue.
Largo is in big trouble.
It is a government of whimsy, not of laws.
Old bitterness and resentments rise to the surface. The warfare between Jackson and the city manager, Steve Stanton, is pretty much out in the open now.
Jackson was highly critical of Stanton (and Alan Zimmet, the part time city attorney who is paid about $2,000 a week) at the meeting where he failed to do his duty. (He said he would have supported censure of the two accused which is right out of left field because the charter says removal and does not offer a panoply of choices under the dictum of "disciplinary action').
Jackson allowed as to how he has dissatisfactions with both of these hired guns.
Under the Largo system of government, the mayor is not the capo de tutti capi but is primus inter pares. In short, he should (but doesn't) exercise a leadership role.
Rather than muttering about Stanton's inadequacies the mayor should offer a motion to fire the guy whether or not the votes are there (and Jackson is a vote counter, bet on it; after 30 years or so of politicking, one becomes a vote counter).
But that would take integrity and courage.
I guess it gives him the crabblies to think that everyone would not love him.
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