LARGO -- A once familiar but long absent face was at Largo City Hall Monday night as the City Commission held a "town meeting" on getting citizen input on charter revisions.
Marty Shelby, former commissioner and unsuccessful mayoral candidate in 2003, urged the commission to modify a charter provision that allows the commission to okay the borrowing of money on the basis of a resolution.
"There should not be a policy of making borrowing easy for governments," Shelby said. He urged that the process require that borrowing be done by ordinance.
Done this way, notice must be given, there must be two hearings and the idea is relatively well exposed to the public.
With the commission empowered to borrow money under the authority of a resolution, the action could possibly go largely unnoticed.
One suggestion, that the commission and Alan Zimmet, the city attorney, who prepared the charter amendments, seemed open to was that the resolution be noticed and a public hearing held.
There were other suggestions, none startling, from the commission and the sparse audience of about 12 citizens.
Mayor Bob Jackson at one point suggested a requirement that department heads live within city limits, but that got no discussion. Another idea was that a review board would recommend the salaries of the mayor and commissioners. Again, there was no discussion of that.
Mayor and commissioner salaries are of some interest. Salaries for both categories have almost doubled over the past 10 years, averaging an increase of 8.4 percent annually. Not bad.
Commissioner Pat Burke, who has been more absent than not of late, was once again not in attendance.
One major change in the charter is for the commission to appoint an internal auditor who would report solely to the commisison.
With an opportunity for a town hall discussion of changes in the basic law of the city, once again the Largo citizenry responded with what has become its hallmark -- apathy.
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