LARGO – The Largo City Commission, at the behest of the city manager, tried to straighten out election procedures at its meeting November 1, but wound up with more confusion than ever.
Commissioners, every one of them a greedy self-aggrandizer, toyed with the rules and regulations obviously keeping in mind as individuals that they would be seeking re-election sooner or later.
When it came to petition cards the discussion became more confused than ever. “They’ve made it so complicated I wouldn’t sign a petition card,” one observer said.
In a city that already has indicated that it does not go by the rule of law and has an apathy level higher than any other city, the confusing rules will probably drive voters away from election procedures.
Commissioner Mary Black insisted that any such changes that were being discussed had to be incorporated into an ordinance.
Instead, Alan Zimmet, the city’s part time lawyer who is paid more than $2,000 a week, said that an ordinance was not necessary because the commission was engaged in giving direction to the staff.
There were violations in this years’s election that were neatly sidestepped. This led Steve Stanton, the city manager, to install Henry Schubert, an assistant city manager, in place of Diane Bruner, the city clerk, to supervise the election.
No reason was ever given for this change and led to a lot of speculation as to what was going on in a city already reeling with rampant corruption, cronyism and nepotism.
The more the commission delved into procedures last week, the more confusing issues became, with all seven on the board chiming in with every loony idea that could be created by the mind of human beings.
Procedures used to be simple. But the make-work exercise engaged in last week, coupled with the dismay citizens experience as they observe the roller-coaster ride the commission takes the public on every week, seems almost sure to drive voters away from the polls.
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