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Today's Letters: Antics do harm to Largo's image

Published March 23, 2007


I have been a resident of Largo for 12 years. I am very proud of the beautiful library, our code enforcement, our cultural center, and the dedication and professionalism of our police and firefighters that I have witnessed firsthand.

Unfortunately, our city does not enjoy a good public image, and our children are constantly tormented by children of other towns as they refer to our town as "Larghetto."

City Manager Steve Stanton's recent antics further hurt our image. Commissioner Rodney Woods pushing an MLK Street on us - a street that will attract only people who will lower our school standards and raise our crime rate (thanks, Rodney) - also did damage to our image.

While they are in their positions for the city of Largo, they have an obligation to forgo their personal agendas and have their actions enhance, not denigrate, the image of our wonderful city.

Frank Ciencin, Largo


Seems to be a double standard

The resolution regarding the issue with Largo City Manager Steve Stanton is a simple one. The City Commission should not waver in its decision to terminate Mr. Stanton. He is an arrogant, self-centered, selfish individual who has not considered his wife, son or the citizens of Largo.

If his only concern was becoming "his other self," then why was a public announcement necessary with him flanked by the fire chief and police chief? He could have chosen to resign his position and quietly exit this area.

Within the last few years, a highly respected veteran female firefighter was fired because she uttered a socially unacceptable word. Did the Largo fire chief or our elected officials stand up beside this firefighter and support her? Why should Mr. Stanton's position warrant any more consideration than this firefighter? Is it my imagination, or is there a double standard here in Largo?

If Mr. Stanton refuses to resign, then our city officials should terminate him immediately. Hopefully, our city officials can then return to the leadership positions for which they were elected, instead of their preoccupation with Steve Stanton's personal issues.

Carol Ansel, Largo


Let Stanton live the way he wants

It is an outrage what these people are saying and doing to Largo City Manager Steve Stanton. We had a president who smoked pot, another president who had sex with an intern, and did we fire them? No. But we want to fire someone who has done the city of Largo nothing but good, all because he wants to wear a dress and have long hair.

If people would mind their own business, it wouldn't be affecting them. If it isn't affecting their lives, why are they so concerned? They are hypocrites, period. I am willing to bet that at least a third of the people complaining have gay or lesbian family members or an alternative lifestyle of some sort.

Funny how he did such a wonderful job while wearing dress pants and such, but now he can't do his job in a skirt. This is just pathetic. I am not gay or transgender or any of the above; however, I am a firm believer in letting people live their lives as they see fit.

They say he is pushing his views onto us. Well, aren't we doing the same thing to him when we expect him to live according to our ways?

He has a right to prove himself, as a woman or as a man. We are in no position as Americans to make such a horrid judgment on someone.

Renee A. Stough, Clearwater


Stanton's courage sets fine example

Congratulations to Largo City Manager Steve Stanton on his public stand, announcing his decision to change his gender. I am very impressed by the strength, courage and determination he is extending to address his "circumstance of life," a quote that the St. Petersburg Times attributed to former St. Paul Deputy Mayor Susan Kimberly in its well-presented article by Lorri Helfand (Largo official plans sex change, Feb. 22).

Stanton has provided outstanding leadership to the city of Largo, and surely he will weather whatever storm of consequence comes as a result of his decision. He should also know that there are those from his extended community (and employee group) who support him in this effort. He is an example for many who are challenged with circumstances and differences that make them misunderstood and shunned by others.

Whatever weight his personal reasons may carry, please know that his example is of great importance for society as a whole in its continuing efforts to rise above itself, and that there are many - probably the "silent majority" - who support him. I hope they will let their support be heard.

Nancy Kelly, Belleair

[Last modified March 22, 2007, 23:00:42]

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