LARGO -- The Largo City Commission got a preview of what is scheduled at its work session May 10 with a clash of rival entities in the development of Crossroads Mall.
Fred Thomas, long time businessman in the area how owns Pinch a Penny company, spoke of how he was invited some time ago by City Manager Steve Stanton to bring his business to that area.
"Now we are being thrown out by a bunch of planners," Thomas said in a fiery speech to the commission.
He distributed a suggested motion to the commission that, he said, "supports me or tells me to get the h--- out of Largo."
Thomas had cited his long involvement in the community.
John Szabo, of Boulder Venture, who represents a rival developer who wants to put an integrated residential, retail and office town center in the area at East Bay and U.S. 19.
The principal in Boulder Venture is Bob Schmidt, who is a Belleair Shore commissioner. His company is developing the new Parkside Mall in Pinellas Park.
Commissioner Andrew Guyette said he did not like to be put in a position of picking one developer over the other. "It would be better for all to sit down and work together and come up with something."
Commissioner Gay Gentry urged that the issue be deferred until the scheduled May 10 presentations.
Commissioner Mary Black said that she did not like to proceed on plans without having all the information involved in the projects.
The clash between the rivals Tuesday night were exemplar of the battle that has been waged behind closed doors at the city hall between Mayor Bob Jackson and Steve Stanton, the city manager.
Jackson critized views Stanton -- who was absent from Tuesday's meeting -- had included in the memo distributed to the commission at the meeting.
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