LARGO - Despite all the jitterbug jumping jack routine of Joan Byrne and the smooth and oily assurances of Henry Schubert, the deal to slide in a concessionaire at the revivified Largo golf course appears to be as crooked as a dog's leg.
That may be the chief reason the deal is dead for now.
In a scrimmage of confusion last week, City Commission members did not know if there was to be further discussion at a special meeting this week, whether everything was on hold, what did a "bid protest" mean and on and on.
Bottom line - the project is on the back burner for now. And remain there for some time. In fact, the unofficial word from back channels is that everything will go back to square one.
Still, a putrid odor floats in the air over the whole thing. It is reminiscent of the crony deal that put a coffee shop in the new library.
That was smoothly accomplished when a former commissioner approached an influential city employee and suggested that coffee shop be allowed and run by a friend.
That is what happened.
Now it appears with the golf course deal another buddy-buddy operation was being attempted.
The commission first addressed the subject at its meeting more than two weeks ago. The administration presented a vendor, Lisa A. Enteprises, Inc., as the one to take over the food and liquor sales at the golf course.
The trouble is, there was no such corporate entity as of that date. Plus, there was no contract available for commission members to examine, no prior information was given to the commission, scant background information was available on the applicant.
Later, a request for information on other bidders was never responded to by the city administration.
Throw in the stray report that the proposed operator had a brother who worked at the golf course and the plot thickens...er, sickens.
It turns out later that the brother no longer works for the city but along the way the report bounced around some weeks ago that when he was working for the city (yes, that recently) he mentioned to someone that "we got the contract." That's unconfirmed, but had a certain ring of truth to it.
When the commission got to it again last week, it was a ragged mess. It was after the meeting, in the milling around at city hall in the following days that it was decided to scrap the whole thing for now.
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