LARGO - Mayor Pat Gerard's power train appeared to have gone off the tracks at Tuesday night's Largo City Commission meeting where she lost all support from her colleagues on the commission.
At issue was the question of recruiting a new city manager to replace the departed Steve Stanton for whom Gerard was a great champion, gender change or not.
For those who are counting, it is now Gerard 0, Commission 2.
Susan Sinz, director of Human Resources, began the agenda item Tuesday by outlining how the staff would seek applicants through a head hunter with an outlay of $20,000 to $30,000.
But Vice Mayor Harriet Crozier got the floor and said, in effect, nothing doing. "We still don't know what the Legislature is going to do with the tax situation, so I think we should give Mac Craig a two year contract."
Craig is the Acting City Manager and was the assistant usually put in charge when Stanton was away.
Commissioner after commissioner then joined that chorus, with Rodney Woods agreeing with Crozier, Gay Gentry doing likewise, and Gigi Arntzen following suit.
Mary Black demurred, saying that she thought the post should go to Henry Schubert, assistant city manager, who has a long history with the city.
Andy Guyette agreed that the job should go to either Craig or Schubert.
That left Gerard sitting there with an empty bag of marbles but nevertheless, she pointed out the obvious that she was in the minority (indeed, by 7-1) and then proceeded to launch a seat squirming speech that extended for about 10 minutes.
When those billows of hot air had dissipated in the air conditioned commission chamber, Crozier brought everything back to reality and the staff was instructed to set up interviews with Craig and Schubert for the commission's delectation.
Then it was on to other business on the work session's agenda but by then Gerard had packed it in for the night for reasons not yet explained and Crozier took over.
Those present in the chamber and watching on television might have had a preview glimpse of the future with that.