That’s what the city commissioners of Largo, Florida said after they finalized the dismissal of City Manager Steve Stanton today in a six-hour meeting. After Stanton announced he was planning to live his life as a woman, the commission voted to dismiss him last month. The mayor and one commissioner voted to keep Stanton, but the other five members of the commission voted to fire him.
“I think we’re pretty well convinced,” said Commissioner Gay Gentry. “You have to believe us, you have to trust us, it is not about transgenderism.”
What, then, you might ask, is it about? According to the commissioners, they “lost confidence in him.” There was some talk about his having “bullied” employees, but the commission had not only given Stanton good reviews–they had given him a very large raise. The real reason for the lost confidence is best expressed by commissioner Jimmy Dean: “This little thing has made Largo the laughingstock of the whole country. It’s a disgrace.” Now that the city has been “cast in a negative light,” the commission can no longer feel confident about Stanton’s performance.
Got it? Stanton can no longer perform his duties acceptably because the city is embarrassed.
Stanton’s contract says he can be fired without cause, and he hasn’t decided whether to file a lawsuit against the commission.