By Leo Coughlin
With all the revelations recently of taxpayer generosity in Largo, one wonders why multitudes from the populace have not shown up at City Hall, specifically at City Commission meetings, and taken a bow.
Or, worse yet, arrived with pitchforks and assorted firearms at the ready.
Perhaps those folks who keep shelling out the moolah so that others working for the city can prosper and have a good life do not realize what largesse they are dumping on those dedicated public servants.
Maybe they think the money the city of Largo passes out to one and all with big salaries, benefits, stupendous retirement packages, exorbitant health care benefits is picked off trees and is not picked out of their pockets.
One can only guess or imagine. There has been little solid evidence of the citizenry taking umbrage at the huge compensation packages bestowed on the city manager, assistant city managers and other hicockalorums in the city.
Surely, if they can read, they know about it because this newspaper has been full of such stories for weeks on end now, including one tale of a highly paid official whose spouse also toils at City Hall for a large salary. It could be nepotism; a legal ruling has yet to be made by competent authority.
It is only in this newspaper that such stories have appeared. For reasons known only to those who benefit from the wisdom of the Pointy-Headed Institute, the county's only daily newspaper has decided, from all available evidence, to eschew any real news that goes on in Largo.
The Big Paper has a little cousin down on Seminole Boulevard peopled by those who have no experience in the news gathering and news writing trade and its columns have been starkly bare, too, of any significant Largo news.
Their lack of experience and eptness in the business give reasons for forgiveness.
Ah, but across the desk just the other day came a missive. It was equal, in its way, to a voice crying in the wilderness.
The author of this compelling document must remain nameless here - Largo has the small town tincture of envy and meanness. Sacerdotal types open each meeting of the City Commission but those words and the spirit they convey quickly disappear in the air like the morning fog on the beach at the Meridian over on Sand Key.
Referring to a story that appeared here a couple of weeks ago (August 5), the correspondent writes - "I was flabbergasted at the salaries. In a time of fiscal crisis, the rich keep getting richer and the employees keep getting dumped on."
Then the writer raises a question - "Do you think that the commission keeps (expletive deleted) because they can push him around and accomplish their own agendas? Every person I talk to is totally disgusted and yet he keep just hemming and hawing his way to every pay check."
It must be noted at this point that there is one member of that commission whose agenda seems to have one purpose - picking up old and apparently long forgotten rocks, discovering interesting things and pushing for better things so Largo citizens can benefit.
For the first time in many a moon, an elected official is truly doing the job the voters hired the person for. Curtis Holmes said he would do things differently, and by gum, he has. The people benefit and hired hands, too long left to their own devices, are running for cover.
(In fact, it is Holmes's discoveries, all as a result of asking questions for the purpose of safeguarding the taxpayers' funds, that make it imperative that Harriet Crozier and Woody Brown, both running for re-election, be replaced in November. They have stood by - and like the others - done nothing; all that Holmes has done they could have done.)
Our correspondent (one of many, incidentally, hitting the same theme, more or less) finds Largo perhaps biting off more than it can chew in terms of expensive projects.
Many no doubt agree with this observation by the writer - "That new community center project is an affront to every taxpayer. Don't even get me started on the Cultural Center which should never have been built as it is. You either build a venue that can accommodate enough people to make money or you forget it."
You can bet that is one voice, speaking for many.
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