By Leo Coughlin
At first blush, it was startling.
The man who wants to be re-elected in November to the Largo City Commission has listed, in his required financial disclosure statement, that he has "no assets" and "no liabilities."
Think of that.
No matter one's station in life it is just about impossible to have no assets, no liabilities.
Those in prison might be in that status. Those on skid row may be in that status.
But Rodney Woods says he has no assets, no liabilities.
Of course, the claim is (as we shall demonstrate here) preposterous on its face and more important, totally false.
In so declaring that he has no assets, no liabilities, Woods, ineluctably, proves himself to be a prevaricator, and possibly a law breaker in respect to have given false information on a document that requires the truth.
Woods is the listed owner of a property at 1863 Georgianna Street in Largo. That automatically gives him an asset - not a good asset right now as will be demonstrated here, but nevertheless, an asset.
Woods borrowed $132,914 secured by a mortgage with Sun Trust Mortgage, Inc., to help come up with the purchase price of $135,000 for the property.
Woods obtained the mortgage on February 8, 2008. He concluded the sale of the property on February 12, 2008.
The mortgage debt is a liability.
Ipso facto, no assets, no liabilities is flat false.
The liability is further burdened because Woods is, as they say, "upside down" in the property. That is, he owes more than it is worth.
Pinellas County's Property Appraiser Office puts a current valuation of $81,389 on the property at 1863 Georgianna Street.
The point of all this?
By saying he has no assets and no liabilities Woods is in one of these positions -
If the first is true, as a matter of character, he should not hold public office. If the second is true, he should not hold public office based on a lack of ordinary knowledge.
As a subset of choice number one, if he is not telling the truth he is stupid because it is very easy to check out exactly what has been checked out and is being reported here.
Bottom line - Woods is not worthy of holding an office of public trust.
In contrast to this grim news, here's something a little brighter -
Give that man a big cigar!
The man is Jim Pierce, a Largo citizen, and he offered the following for public consumption anent the Largo election in November -
"First of all I believe that (yes) the staff is running the city and the elected officials just go along. After all the staff are the 'experts.' They share with us what they have learned in college and from working in other cities, not from living in Largo. After they mess up the West Bay area they'll move on to other opportunities.
"With that in mind, I believe that the city manager and assistant city managers and directors should be Largo residents. Also members of the police, fire and public works departments should have a radius living requirement.
"The City Clerk (Diane Bruner) should have gotten some time off for her part in the Jackson signature mess. Was all that part of a plan?"
These thoughts align with what Woods's opponent, Curtis Holmes, has been advocating, among other things.
The Woods situation is sad and personally there is a welling up of sympathy for him in this corner for the beating he has taken on that Georgianna Street property.
But, contrary to a contrived story last week in the Big Paper, there has been no mud slinging in this election.
There has been some slinging of mud.
It was done by Rodney Woods and he got it all over himself.
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