LARGO - "Is that a City Commission, or an eighth grade sorority?" asked the prominent Largo citizen who, for obvious reasons, begs to remain anonymous.
Good question if you stop and think about the May 8 work session of the group when in a "just so, itsy-bitsy" way the suggestion was to have the interviews of a prospective new city manager in private.
"Can't do that," said Henry Schubert, assistant city manager, who was sitting in for the absent acting city manager, Mac Craig, and who is, along with Craig, a candidate for the manager job.
So a limited amendment was made to that idea. The interviews can be in public . . . but no television.
Again, Schubert chipped in with a thought. Being totally public "is part of the profession," he said.
The thought that wells up is what kind of anti-sophistication goes on in the minds of these elected officials?
It is, to answer the citizen's question, like an eighth grade sorority.
Maybe it is because there are at least three people who have such a burning desire to be plunked into the mayor's chair that "let's-offend-no-one" stupidity occupies their minds.
Those three are Pat Gerard, who wants to stay there (but will be no doubt bounced by the voters based on her record and performance), Harriet Crozier (just panting, panting for the job) and Andy Guyette (who just might fill the bill).
Commissioner Gay Gentry raised a good point in reference to Schubert and Craig, both long time city employees in leadership jobs.
"Why," she wanted to know, "after all these years would we have to interview them to find out what they are all about? We should certainly know about them."
"Ah, but you can't tell," Guyette said. "We see the best face here. We don't know what they are like under pressure, in meetings out of the public eye, et cetera."
So will fellow workers and employees be asked about this? "No," Guyette allowed. "There are ways of asking questions to find out these kinds of things," he said, giving one intimations that maybe ole Andy has done some time with the CIA or other fact finding organizations like, f'rinstance, the Gehime Staatspolizei ("Ve haf vays of mekking you talk.").
At the same meeting, after all the talk that reminded one of Junior Commando days and secret handshakes and so forth, it turns out that the Big Project at what used to be the Crossroads is not dead. It is alive-o, alive-o.
In its previous incarnation, Boulder Venture had plans to develop there and then came the controversy with Fred Thomas's company that was going to occupy a portion of the space and then that got all straightened out and then things went silent and everybody thought there had been a funeral for the whole project.
But no. It is alive and John Sabow, spokesman for Boulder Venture, which is run by Bob Schmidt, a great guy and commissioner in Belleair Shore and an eminently successful businessman, described the plans.
The project has a completion date in a little more than two years, and will be a combination mall and residential development with an outdoor ampitheater as the centerpiece.
Altogether, the development would include lots of retail space, office space and 255 homes.