LARGO - The Largo City Commission took its show on the road this week, holding a work session at the library. Obviously, it was time to get out of city hall where the heat is reaching a very high temperature.
Not the commission so much, but the administration - City Manager Steve Stanton and the high priced part time city lawyer, Alan Zimmet - are getting hammered on a regular basis.
So the move was to retreat to a modus operandi that was undertaken a couple of years ago. Which is, take a meeting to the people. That's quite a task in the city where apathy reigns supreme.
But the thinking behind this is so muddled as to create a buzz among observers of the government and political scene in the city.
It is well known that most commission members are on the verge of going ahead with an investigation of charges that have been publicly made by a former employee.
That employee, Patrick Bennett, has hit a sore spot in the high city echelon that undoubtedly requires a look and that is the symbiotic relationship between Stanton and Zimmet in which Zimmet and Company haul out of city about three quarters of a million dollars a year.
There is evidence to believe that Bennett lost his job because, while employed by the city, he questioned billings and procedures by Zimmet.
The meeting that took place Tuesday was held at the library because the commission supposedly wanted "community involvement and feedback."
The community involvement that does exist, week after week, with concerned and careful citizens going to the citizens comment microphone is largely ignored. So a different breed of citizen will be found at the library?
A report in the Big Paper, which does not report on any of the news that is going on in Largo because the paper has a loyalty apparently to Stanton that no one can quite fathom, kissed off the "regulars" who are involved in the community as "handful of nobodies" in effect.
As it is, those citizen who are involved and show up regularly at city hall meetings are usually stifled by time constraints. A new clock has been installed in the commission chamber which has earned commission meetings the sobriquet "The Gong Show."
If any citizen dares speak one single solitary second beyond three minutes the gong clangs and the microphone is shut down. Community involvement? Are they kidding?
The work session Tuesday allowed public input (a departure from usual work shop rules) but the event was not televised.
Are you getting the idea that this has an "Alice in Wonderland" ambience to it?
Evidently, the public input is for the amusement of the commission members and those folks who might be present.
And, of course, there is an election in March so this gives some of the Gong Show participants a chance to get out in the community.
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