Largo Mayors Race Could Use A Fresh Face
I've lived in Largo most of my life, but have spent the past couple of years in Pinellas Park. Having read Leo Coughin and past issues of the Clearwater Gazette recently, I'm disappointed that the 2009 Largo mayoral elections appears slated for a 2006 rematch between Bob Jackson and the incumbent, Pat Gerard.
Gerard has been essentially a mayor in title only since the coup d'etat of city manager of Steve/Susan Stanton in 2007 by commissioners who only had the fortitude to voice their displeasure when Stanton decided to change genders. Gerard made sure any investigation as to who leaked the story to the St. Pete Times was quickly and quietly quashed, and has proven ineffective in her mayoral role at best.
While the former mayor, Bob Jackson, now looks much better in comparison, remember that he is also someone with a political machine behind him, just as in the case of Gerard's "Hive," Jackson appears to have an "old boy network" backing him, led by Fred Thomas. Old boy networks are a necessary evil in politics, I suppose. But I submit that old boy networks are also much better for their people when they are broken up and stay as such.
If it is not too late, may I suggest that we need another candidate to throw their hat into the ring? The current problems of the city are not going to be solved by old, failed solutions. One such person who could shake Largo out of it's apathy is Commissioner Mary Black, who has been an isolated figure many due to her attention to detail, as odd as that sounds. Mrs. Black would be risking her seat of course, but she proved in last year's election that she can beat "The Hive," which probably makes her a perfect compromise choice between the sects that fight for power in the so called "City Of Progress."
- Paul J. Blom, Jr.
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