A person will generally reflect in their demeanor what they are used to experiencing in their everyday work life.
When that person is accustomed to years of dealing with the relatively uneducated, the poor, the downtrodden; i.e., the have nots, then that person is always in the superior position.
Those in need don't make demands (usually). Those in need are humble and alert to any crumbs that may fall from the table.
On the other hand, the "giver" of largesse which usually comes from other people (read taxpayers) is imperious, authoritative, not to be disputed and is accustomed to talking down to inferior beings.
Eventually, through the operation of human nature, the mass of people become inferior - especially if one has been elected to public office.
Citizen comments at Largo commission meetings have become occasions to abuse the public and deny fundamental rights to individuals.
Meet the mayor of Largo.
One would expect a lady. Instead, we have a rude, crude dictatoress.
And a lucky one at that. She goes unscathed despite her clear, blatant, obvious and outrageous violations of the rules.
Pat Gerard presides over a commission where she is the clear leader of the gang of four. A commission that blathers on all the time about "diversity" (we'll get to its peculiar meaning in Largo later) needs a little of that ingredient itself.
Gerard and Commissioners Harriet Crozier, Gay Gentry and Gigi Arntzen form a close-knit, tight group of women who have been friends for years.
Another member of their group, now missing from the commission, is Pat Burke, but you can bet she is still in the picture, coaching from the sidelines, looking for opportunities with her pals.
Andy Guyette, who has been on the commission for a year, deftly does his footwork and would make Fred Astaire nervous as a rival for fancy steps and keeping balance. He is smart and sees the power group and neatly does not oppose.
Newcomer Rodney Woods means well, but they still haven't yet told the poor chap where the men's room is located. He is a cheerful fellow in public and knows how to put on the good face, praising one and all with his winning ways, but don't catch him in private, especially if he is rooting up a rival's election signs.
Mary Black is the one sensible voice crying in the wilderness, asking (otherwise) forbidden questions, being interrupted by Madame la mayor. But she's a tough veteran of city politics and she hangs in there - ever polite, ever calm.
Diversity is a word that is always in the background in Largo. Has been for several years now. It is tied in with a "human rights" ordinance, that once again will wend its way into public consciousness.
What is meant by these two expressions - buzz words, code words, signifying words, or whatever you want to describe them is "let's make Largo a community super friendly to homosexuals."
The proposition was roundly and soundly shot down a couple of years ago - Largo folks just don't want their city to be Key West north or Provincetown south; Dunedin seems to be filling that bill well enough for now.
Well, live and let live is my motto, and let's all join in a friendly barcarole. No one should be deprived of any right or privilege based on skin color, what church is attended, what political attachment is preferred, gender preference, etc.
But we already have federal, state and county laws to cover this. You simply cannot violate someone's rights. The law says so. No extra laws are needed.
As to diversity, it seems to exist everywhere in Largo - except on the City Commission.
Diversity is fine, even if it makes some folks a little tense when an individual with arms and legs like a dock walloper adopts a female given name and dresses in a blouse and skirt.
Hard to overcome the risibility of that, and it's one of those things you can't stop by law. Folks are going to laugh or be repelled by the grotesque and unusual, out of nervousness if nothing else.
In the meantime, a bombshell detector has picked up vibrations out of Festung Largo that indicate things may get very messy, very soon.
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