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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Former linebacker gets 1st taste of bureaucracy
Sheldon Quarles makes his debut as head of the new Regional Transportation Authority.
By MIKE BRASSFIELD, Times Staff Writer
Published October 27, 2007
TAMPA - Broad-shouldered in a dark suit jacket, former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Shelton Quarles methodically ran a meeting Friday with the mayors of St. Petersburg, Tampa and Clearwater, along with a host of other local politicians.
In his debut as chairman of the new Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority, the ex-linebacker got his first taste of the bureaucratic life.
He sat through a three-hour marathon of minutiae involving bylaws, subcommittees, Robert's Rules of Order, conflict resolution procedures, funding formulas and earnest remarks about "regional connectivity."
"Do we have criteria for the committee appointees?" he asked at one point - and he meant it.
But the 16 board members also talked about big stuff:changing the face of the Tampa Bay area by building a light rail network with densely populated development along its path.
They talked about what it would really take to give people a practical alternative to cars.
That's a lofty goal, but some public officials think it's time for dramatic steps to get ready for continuing growth.
The board's job is to come up with a long-term master plan for transportation for a seven-county region from Sarasota to Citrus. And to finish that plan by 2009.
And to figure out how to pay for it.
After the meeting, which about 100 people attended, the linebacker-turned-chairman graded his performance.
"One of the things we talk about in football is to not succumb to pressure," he said. "I think I did all right. I messed up a few times here and there, but I had good supporting players."