Craig Manages to Muddle Point of the Idea of Drug Testing
by Leo Coughlin
LARGO - Acting City Manager Mac Craig at the Largo City Commission meeting June 19 further confused and muddled the drug testing suggestion made by a citizen.
Curtis Holmes, who made the suggestion that top officials of Largo voluntarily undergo drug testing as an example of leadership, says he knows full well that the city has a drug testing policy.
Henry Schubert, assistant city manager, spelled it out last week when he volunteered to undergo testing.
Schubert pointed out that police personnel, drivers and some executives are subject to random tests. Everybody knows that.
Craig pedantically pontificated on the subject last week in saying that he wanted the "citizens to know that we have a hand on that."
"That" - drug testing - was never in question.
Holmes' suggestion was made as a device to show Largo officials - particularly elected officials - ahead of the curve and demonstrating an example in leadership to other jurisdictions.
When members of the commission were queried on their reaction to Holmes' idea, Mary Black, Gigi Arntzen and Gay Gentry immediately said they were for it.
Schubert checked in a week later with his statement.
Craig, by his own testimony, is subject to random testing.
Unheard from are Mayor Pat Gerard, Andy Guyette, Rodney Woods, and Harriet Crozier.
No conclusions have been drawn from their reluctance to volunteer to be tested.
Gentry confirmed at the June 19 meeting what was reported in the Gazette in the edition of June 14 - that she would not be a candidate for re-election.
Guyette said her announcement surprised him which raised the question with some outspoken observers about what else he might be missing out on.
Gentry was originally appointed by the commission to fill the seat left empty by Marty Shelby who resigned in January, 2003, to unsuccessfully challenge Mayor Bob Jackson.
She was then re-elected without opposition in 2004. Whatever her decisions, she earned the reputation for open-mindedness and fairness and performed her job without rancor, unlike some of her colleagues.
In a statement she read at the meeting, Gentry said that she and her husband want to travel. She added, "He and I both question the appropriateness of accepting a paycheck of over $700 every two weeks and then turn around and be gone for a month's time."
She left the door open for possible future involvement in the city saying, "If I believe I can make a positive contribution I will step forward and say I am willing to serve."
The June 19 meeting had an interval of comedy in the citizen comment portion when one citizen carefully explained to the commissioners the difference between commercial signs (they are for business, he said) and political signs (they are for people running for office, he said). Duh.
He followed that up be defining what an "incumbent" is. "You members of the commission are incumbents," he said. Again, duh.
Someone said there was a rumor that the individual planned to run for office.
"He seems well qualified, and would fit right in," one wag said.
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