Did you see the news? Largo is creating some homeless folks.
Yup, by buying the old Largo hotel in the oldest center of the city, up to 20 or so people who have nowhere else to go are being dumped on the street.
One way this came to light is that one very senior citizen resident in that building encountered the former mayor and outlined his plight and the plight of others in a similar situation.
Bob Jackson's successor, Pat Gerard, and Commissioner Andy Guyette are up to their earlobes in backing and funding the Pinellas County program for the homeless (didn't we used to unceremoniously call most of these people bums?).
So it's sort of a situation of creating your own self-fulfilling prophecy on the part of the city. Adding to the problem and then having a ready way at hand to solve it is pretty neat.
Hey, you can't underestimate this crew that is running Largo these days.
Which reminds me - why is the Largo City Commission scared to death (brrrrrrrr!!) of the public?
Commission members do not want - repeat do not want - to hear from the public. Why? Because you slobs out there don't know anything - let them alone, trust them, they will take care of everything. Plus, there is a lot of fear there (for good reason).
In a recent meeting the ludicrous scene evolved where a responsible citizen, addressing their holinesses, had his time run out and the clock was called on him. We don't know where gas prices are going, we don't know how to get the h-e-and-two sticks out of Iraq, but we do know - you can bet your last farthing on it - that the clock will be called on you at Largo meetings.
Another citizen graciously yielded to the citizen the time he would have used.
"No rule on that," the city lawyer, A. Zimmet, enunciated in sepulchral tones.
Then came the dictum that the commission would have to vote to allow this exception to the rules of which there were none to apply.
(Yielding of time, citizen to citizen, is common at commission meetings in, for example, Pinellas Park, a city similar to Largo, but with more class.)
When said citizen ran out of time again, another fellow resident yielded time he would have used. Once again, a vote, out of necessity, was decreed in order to fulfill all legal requirements which may have been, may now or may henceforth come into play with said deponents and their heirs, issue and assigns all other aspects ordinary and extraordinary to the contrary notwithstanding.
Approval was given and the process, in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order, went on. But one commission member, schooled in such things by her close attendance to Florida League of Cities customs and habits, warned that this must not become a precedent.
Well, you can't be too careful.
Those endeavoring at Largo commission meetings to address their duly elected officials have to undergo a set of rules carefully contrived to ensure some measure of intimidation and certainly full blown measures of control, in the order of such security and safety as laid down by the late A. Hitler of benighted memory.
Full and complete name must be filled out on a special card along with full home address (no abbrvs., please) and telephone number. Then, upon gaining access to the podium, the lucky interlocutor must recite name and full home address.
Why? Why? Why, the populace asks. Control and intimidation my friends.
What is out of phase is that when - some several years ago - the question of citizen comments came up behind closed doors, aforesaid Dr. Zimmet allowed as to how the citizen should be allowed to say pretty much what he or she wanted to.
But the parlous events recited here were no time for Zimmet to speak up in any way that would confound the commission.
Renewal of his contract and an increase in the $2,000-plus a week he gets, were just around the corner.
Don't rock the boat (extracted from Lawyer and Client Relationships 101).
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