Had our sainted forefathers, in 1787, been appointed and then worked in the fashion followed by the current Largo Charter Review Committee there never would have been a United States under the Constitution as we know it.
This process in Largo was flawed from the beginning, fundamentally, with no apparent thought (most likely out of ignorance) given to the jurisprudence of forming a basic governmental charter.
The charter review process had and has no more substance than Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland in one of those musicals getting all the kids together and chirping about “we can put on our own show.”
This was the saddest and most inadequate collection of minds ever to assemble anywhere in the Western world.
The language of the revised charter that will be presented to the Largo City Commission next Tuesday is screwed up and nonsensical from the git-go.
Take the Preamble. It consists of 118 words, 78 of which are superfluous and totally unnecessary. What the collection of 15 people, most of them ninmcompoops, came up with is this:
“We the people of the City of Largo, in the centennial year of the City and recognizing the growth of Largo from a town of 200 people to a city of approximately 75,000 in 2005, under the constitution and laws of the state of Florida, in order to secure the benefits of local self-government and to provide for an honest and accountable commission-manager government, do hereby adopt this charter and confer upon the City the following powers, subject to the following restrictions, and prescribed by the following procedures and governmental structure. By this action, we secure the benefits of home rule and affirm the values of representative democracy, professional management, strong political leadership, citizen participation, and regional cooperation.”
The unnecessary, yea, verily, silly words are in bold type.
How much cleaner it would have been to read like this:
“We the people of the City of Largo, under the constitution and laws of the state of Florida, in order to secure the benefits of local self-government, do hereby adopt this charter and confer upon the City the following powers.”
All the extra gibberish was a measure more of the aggregate intellectual failings of the committee than anything else. In all fairness, it was done in the early going, before the dim wits were fully known and defined.
But all of this so far, is just casual comment.
The genesis of this operation was flawed from the beginning. Had the meeting of those men in 1787 in Philadelphia been the creature of the Continental Congress only failure would have resulted.
Fundamentally, a City Commission should be the creature of a charter. Instead, in Largo (not surprisingly because it is a city that has decided not to operate by the rule of law) the charter is the creature of the City Commission.
The product of the Charter Review Committee goes to the commission for review next Tuesday. At that time, the commission can accept it in toto, can tweak it, can dump stuff out, can dump the whole thing, etc. and so forth.
Why is the commission even participating in this?
Is there no one on the commission who knows how fundamental government is formed? There is a total lack of knowledge in this area in all respects.
Look to the formation of the U.S. Constitution. An assemblage from 13 states locked themselves into a room in Philadelphia and, in secret, invented a new government, the first of its kind in the world and it still exists, with few changes, 217 years later.
Everything we know in our government – the presidency, the Congress, the judiciary – is a creature of that Constitution.
And likewise the Charter of the City of Largo should be a creature of the people of Largo, not the City Commission.
It is not.
And that is why it was flawed from the beginning.
Thank heavens, it makes no difference to the people.
They don’t care.
And now we understand why.
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