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© St. Petersburg Times, published March 16, 2001
Re: Shelby to city: Stanton should go, March 14 story.
Once again I find an article in the Times regarding Largo City Manager Steven Stanton's previous application for employment to a position in a Colorado city. There are a few things that appall me about the recent string of articles surrounding this situation.
First, I was amazed to see the newspaper reporting about an official looking for employment elsewhere. What is the newsworthiness of this piece? In the business world, such a situation is normal and routine, and frankly, a smart one. If you don't look for other employment while currently employed, you will end up unemployed for a period of time. Where is the sense in that?
Second, it sounds like Commissioner Marty Shelby has some sort of personal, vested interest in Stanton's situation. Has Shelby never been in a position to look for a job while currently employed? Did his employer claim that he was unjustly using his job search as leverage for a better financial situation? It sounds like Shelby is the one who should leave and allow the city to concentrate on real business, rather than this petty show of local/provincial politics.
Please report on news that really matters to the citizens of Largo and Pinellas County -- school improvement, traffic and congestion solutions (have you driven Ulmerton Road lately?), urban sprawl. Whatever Shelby and Stanton have between them needs to stay that way and be resolved in a quiet and dignified manner so that Largo can move forward.
-- Rebecca Ackerman, Largo
During this election campaign period in Tarpon Springs, there has been a lot of misinformation circulating, and I encourage our residents to question these rumors.
There are claims out there that this is a do-nothing City Commission, and that we have had our backs to the community. This is far from the truth.
This commission has completed more construction projects in the last two years than were completed, in total, in a number of years prior to this time. Everywhere that you look, the city is looking cleaner and far more attractive than at any time in the past.
We have listened to the residents and business owners and have taken a very proactive, positive stand on those issues that directly affect them. Due to the current leadership on the Board of Commissioners and our dedicated staff, we have been able to resolve the hospital issue, endorsing its affiliation with University Community Hospital.
Above all, we have been able to lower taxes, the first reduction in more than 15 years, while at the same time increasing services to the residents.
Having served as a city commissioner from 1992 to 1998 and from 1999 to the present, I have had the opportunity to sit with a variety of personalities on the Board of Commissioners. I can say with all honesty that the current board is the most professional, productive and proactive board that I have had the pleasure to serve with. This commission has performed its duties in a very admirable and ethical manner. We have established a professional and respectable relationship with each other as well as with the county, other cities, state and federal officials.
We have all been encouraged to represent the city on county, state and federal committees, while in the past, only a select few were given that opportunity. We are all open-minded to each other's suggestions, and we have all "agreed to disagree," never holding grudges or publicly chastising each other. This is due, in part, to fine leadership by the current mayor and the professional demeanor of our current city manager.
-- Cindy Domino, Tarpon Springs City Commissioner
We have lived in this lovely town of Clearwater for 45 years, where we could find tempting restaurants, movie theaters, exciting shops and a very visible beach.
Then came progress! Now downtown belongs to Scientology, the beach belongs to tourism. What do we "Clearwater-ites" who pay a lot of taxes have?
-- Vivian A.L. Erickson, Clearwater