The People Of Largo Speak On King Statue - Loud And Clear
by Leo Coughlin
LARGO - The long-standing and seldom disputed idea that Largo's citizenry is apathetic and not inclined to get involved in matters affecting their city was turned on its head beginning last week.
That is when a tidal wave of e-mails started gushing into Largo City Hall keeping Shirley Frick, secretary to the City Commission, busy fielding this mass outpouring of sentiment.
It is eminently clear that the citizens do not want a statue of Martin Luther King, costing $60,000, erected in their city.
Perhaps the flood of e-mails opposing the idea was triggered by Commissioner Andy Guyette who reported at the August 21 commission meeting that he was getting strong sentiment against the King idea.
That was only the beginning, because for the rest of the week the e-mails kept flooding in.
Here is a sampling, edited for space reasons, of what has been directed to the City Commission on the matter of $60,000 for the King statue -
Everything that is said or done is not based on racism. I, a white, voted for Mr. Woods. Which is more appropiate - to spend money on a plaza dedicated to one man or sidewalks that have been needed for a long time? I thank Commissioner (Andy) Guyette for speaking out! Elaine Keifer.
I am very disappointed in Commissioner Woods's remarks regarding people who oppose the MLK memorial as racists. There are 3 percent black citizens in Largo and yet Woods received 68 percent of the vote, one of which was mine! How does that show that the citizens of Largo are racists? I think it's time Commissioner Woods dropped his "personal agenda" and the "race card." I am absolutely furious that he would imply that anyone, who does not want to spend $60,000 for a MLK Memorial is racist. Barbara Wostbrock.
I am a Largo resident and don't want $60,000 of my tax money spent on a monument to MLK and for the record, I am NOT a racist. In these times of tax cuts, I truly believe that you have to really use the money available to do what NEEDS to be done and what will benefit ALL residents. Please do not give into a demand simply because the race card is played. It seems everytime that people do not get exactly what they want, the race card is played. Lisa Hardesty.
I think it is a waste of our precious tax money to build another monument to anyone right now. Please, let's use our taxes for essential services instead. Barbara Cutsinger.
I am writing you in regards to MLK memorial. First I want to say that I am not a racist as Mr. Woods implied, just because I think that the money would be better spent elsewhere does not make me a racist. I resent the the fact the Mr. Woods is using the racist comment to get want he wants, it is very low and an obvious act of a desperate man. Ross Walker.
Largo needs steets repaved and sidewalks. Put an end to this memorial - it's a waste of money, time and energy. Christine Hughes.
I am opposed to the construction of a memorial statue for anyone at this time. What is going to happen if the tax proposal passes in January? Are you going to tell the citizens of Largo, that we can build statues, but we will have to cut back on library hours, close parks and layoff employees? Bill.
I agree with most of Largo's residents that the $60,000 needs to for public safety before any statue. It is not a question of racism. It is a question of safety. Donna Norman.
At this time of budget cuts it is totally inappropriate for Largo to build a memorial to MLK with public money. If there are private citizens or private organisations that wish to pay for a memorial it would be appropriate for the city to provide a space for that memorial. Christel Hunsicker.
Of course, safe sidewalks for our children take precedence over a statue. Barbara A. Stephens.
Return to Home Page
Return to Current Edition