LARGO -- Largo's City Commission stumbled through a work session meeting Tuesday that included no subject of any significance.
That was after the commission opened proceedings by approving $559,816 in concessions to the developer of Belleair Place who will build housing units there.
The location was a former shopping center and is situated on the corner of Clearwater-Largo Road (a prime re-development site in the city) and Ponce de Leon Road that leads one into the posh environs of Belleair.
When the work session got underway the commission -- minus Mayor Bob Jackson and Commissioner Harriet Crozier, who were in parts unknown -- heard Susan Latvala, chairperson of the County Commission, discussing county charter review matters.
As is her wont, Latvala cautioned one commissioner not to use words like "taking power away for the cities."
She pronounced that little more than an hour after leaving her own county commission meeting where she admonished one of her colleagues in the use of his language. Running the world is a tough job.
Observers familiar with the sword play that goes on between the county and notably Largo could sense the hostility seething beneath the surface during Latvala's visit where she formulated such cautionaries that the county was not -- assuredly not -- "seeking metro government" or "trying to take over the cities."
In short, the five charter amendments that will appear on the ballot 19 days from now don't amount to much, but behind all that is the notion that the county's charter review committee is going to stay in business.
Commissioners also heard from the Library Advisory Committee which performs no discernible function but manufactures some lovely bromides for the commission to savor.
Then it was on to the police department's request to charge more for its services when it rents out its finest to local private interests.
Chief Lester Aradi pointed out that a revenue shortage being suffered in this arrangement was exacerbated by a contract the department has with the Largo Medical Center which wants a cop in its emergency room 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to handle drunks, nuts and others who might get obstreperous while awaiting treatment for wounds suffered in various watering spots in the surrounding countryside.
In figures supplied by the top cop, it turns out there have been 26 scrimmages at the emergency room over the past 104 days so things have not reached savage and dangerous levels.
Of course, the commission, after some careful questioning and probing and mulling over the proposition went along with the idea of the city having more money cascading into its coffers.
Things got very confusing with the presentation of the idea of having an architectural review board in the city to make every building look inviting and, in fact, to make downtown Largo look like Key West.
Why cities miles away from that den of iniquity want to look like it escapes many, nevertheless, there you have it -- the Key West look is propagated far and wide. Why not take a page out of the other end of the state and go for a Pensacola "historic Hispanic" look?
When time rolled around for a discussion of a sign ordinance, one weary observer shook vigorously like a very wet St. Bernard and wondered, "haven't we been here before?"
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