LARGO - Andy Guyette clearly wants to be mayor of Largo one day. He has made no overt move, but his actions belie that ambition and he shows a leadership streak that came to the fore at the City Commission's May 15 meeting.
Had he not brought up the subject of an investigation demanded in a citizens' petition it may have gone unspoken.
After all, it came at the end of the meeting during comments
by members of the commission and before the mayor could, with a loud hiccup, belch out, "meeting adjourned."
Somehow she does not understand that meetings are not adjourned at the command of the presiding officer but are brought about by inviting such a motion.
But this is just one flaw of ignorance in a group of seven of which few, if any, appear to have much knowledge beyond what their occupations are or were required.
Fortunately, there was no "idiot screaming out point of order" (as one citizen comment maker adroitly pointed out) to hobble Guyette's forthright demand that the citizens' petition needed to be complied with.
The petition was submitted to the commission May 1 by a citizen, Curtis Holmes, representing himself and others, and asks that the ". . . Largo City Commission launch an immediate investigation (into) violations of the city Charter, and other rules of government, as outlined in this petition . . ."
What brought it about was a "circle of insiders" the former city manager surrounded himself with in advising them that he was planning a transgender switch that would make him a woman.
According to the "eight-page plan," revealed by the city manager at the time of his "outing," city officials, including the mayor, were apprised of the individual's intention.
Section 2.06 (b) of the city Charter says "The mayor or a city commissioner shall report to the city commission all violations or neglect of duty or any misfeasance, malfeasance or nonfeasance in office, or improper conduct on the part of any elected or appointed official that may come to his or her knowledge."
Because the former city manager admitted to some behavior while he was in office that allegedly comes under the no-no's in Section 2.06 (b) that behavior should have been reported.
Again - had Guyette not brought it up the idea could still be lying in limbo but when he did it was quickly responded to by his colleagues on the commission.
Gigi Arntzen supported it strongly, Harriet Crozier is all for it (but a little mixed up in thinking that a Sheriff's Office criminal unit should do it), Mary Black supports it, too, and Gay Gentry - no doubt feeling on the spot because she is mentioned in the petition - wants to go ahead with it.
Gentry was up tight about it at last week's meeting. She was in on the transgender plan but wailed at the May 15 meeting "What was I to do? I couldn't come to this chamber and tell it to all of you. If I had drawn each of you aside I would have violated the Sunshine Law."
Well, of course, there was a very simple process she could have taken. It is this -
She could have sent an e-mail to her colleagues, on the public record, saying words something like this - "Information has come to me concerning the city manager that he needs to talk to us about publicly. I notify all of you of this in accordance with the provisions of Section 2.06 (b) if the city Charter."
And then let the chips fall where they may.
But the betting is, as one observer noted, "they (commissioners) probably didn't even know about Section 2.06 until they saw it in the petition."