It would be nice - preferable, even - to drop all discussion about the repugnant and disgusting case in Largo we have been subjected to in recent weeks, but there are some loose ends that need to be, perforce, cleaned up.
Steve Stanton, Largo's city manager just fired, who says he is a woman in a man's skin and is soon going to take measures to effect a change (ugh!), was interviewed on an ultra liberal Washington, D.C., satellite radio outlet and made outrageous statements.
First off, the impression was created that gender change is as common and ordinary as collecting pennies and that it is taking place on a widespread basis and everybody accepts it.
To the average person it is mind boggling, strange, bizarre, weird and very odd. People are polite and take a live and let live attitude and don't condemn such deviant behavior.
Secondly, in saying that he had the support of Mayor Pat Gerard in his path to womanhood he also said he had "overwhelming support in the community."
Quite to the contrary. e-mails to city hall in Largo were overwhelming against keeping Stanton on the job and they were not based on the other false charge that the opposition to him came from wild-eyed, mouth breathing Bible thumpers.
More accurately, the ideas expressed in those e-mails were based on how the city could not function with a gender changed city manager. Too bizarre, too disruptive.
Keep in mind that the radio show was aimed at a nationwide audience with a full opportunity to spin the whole case without regard to accuracy and fact. And that is what happened.
There is a laundry list of dissatisfactions with Stanton, it turns out, that mounted up over the years.
Here is a sampling -
- A "crony" deal was made for the coffee shop franchise at the new library involving a former commissioner and her boy friend.
- A fence was constructed along Central Park Drive to please a former commissioner and crony (see immediately above) in direct disobedience to the direction of the City Commission.
- A proposed contract was brought before the commission for the eatery franchise at the golf course involving a company that, in fact, did not exist.
- A proposal was brought to the commission to buy a large chunk of land on West Bay but had the crippling aspect that one party involved had a long-term lease.
- A plan to develop the "Town Center" on Roosevelt and U.S. 19 has apparently gone down the tubes because of Stanton's twisting and turnings, leaving committed parties empty handed.
- An American soldier appeared before the City Commission in uniform and was roundly criticized by Stanton (who, himself, never served in the Armed Forces).
- A proposal for a Martin Luther King memorial in Central Park was approved by the commission with $15,000 earmarked. Stanton later boosted the amount to $250,000 (never approved, thank heavens).
There are other items - some going back years like the debacle of the music fest that cost the city more than $50,000; buying a property appraised at $78,000 but when all was said and done (legal fees, etc., ha ha ha) cost the city $350,000; rejecting the idea of obtaining police motorcycles on a low cost basis that later was implemented at great savings; ignored election violations by commissioners; conspired with an elected official who kept secret information that legally had to be transmitted to the commission. . . .and on and on and on.
Now concerned people are making a list of dissatisfactions with the mayor and they are many and serious and include gross duplicity.
So the story and its aftermath will continue. It must. There is still a lot to be cleaned up and changes will be made, we are
It's nasty business, but it must be dealt with.