Largo Picks a Known Quantity in Craig as City Manager
by Leo Coughlin
LARGO - In choosing Mac Craig as its city manager, the Largo City Commission decided to promote from within, in a near unanimous vote.
Only Commissioner Mary Black voted against the choice.
Mayor Pat Gerard, who originally wanted to go outside and launch a "nationwide search" to seek a successor for Steve Stanton, who was dismissed from the office among much uproar, went along with Craig.
Craig and Henry Schubert, the assistant city manager, were the candidates. Craig had been acting as city manager.
The trend among most cities these days is to hire professional city managers, a group that is self-monitoring, has exacting standards and prides itself on high professonalism as expressed through their International Association of City Managers organization.
Craig is a former military man who filtered into the municipal ranks and is not experienced - other than his acting role in the past four months - as a city manager.
The hopes in Largo is that the city has not made the mistake that Clearwater did which was to promote from within, a former military man and one without any experience as a city manager.
Commissioner Harriet Crozier initially pushed Craig as Stanton's successor and was joined by her colleagues with the exception of Gerard.
Commissioner Mary Black added in Schubert's name, a 27-year employee of the city who is a member of the ICMA.
Stanton's compensation was in the $150,000 range when everything is added in. And he was given this - a full year's compensation - when he was fired.
That, in itself, is unusual. Most jurisdictions give six months severance at best.
Craig will now be in contract negotiations which is really what the city authorized at its meeting last night.
The negotiation seems a little strange to some observers because the lawyer doing the negotiating will actually be an employee of the manager under the Largo set-up.
The City Commission has the final say on the contract and will review all its provisions.
Only Black disagreed with the commission's choice of Craig, who is a personable and popular fellow and appears to be highly competent.
Black thought that Schubert had the better credentials.
She pointed out that while Craig's education was in biology and history, Schubert studied political science and had a master's degree in public administration.
Return to Home Page
Return to Current Edition