One Sentence to Sum Up Lakeland Leadership

It ran in The Ledger this morning:

City commissioners likely will soon discuss a plan to conduct a morale survey for employees at City Hall and the Lakeland Police Department.

Dear God. How long ago did we start talking about that survey?

Props to Keith Merritt for finally doing the right thing and withdrawing support for the chief. And for a good reason. The city leadership is paralyzed. But pay and benefits are great balm for paralysis. So they’re not going to make it easy for you, Justin and Jim. You’re the people who can end this. (Edie and Phillip are lost causes.) And you know it.

Justin, I know you want to be mayor in four years. The longer you dawdle on this, the less likely you are to have my support, for whatever that’s worth. Probably not much.

Ending the paralysis and putting us all out of our misery will make some people mad and hurt other people’s feelings. People you know. But that’s the job. The knee-jerk tendency for good people to crawl into the fetal position and pretend they’re being judicious is the number one problem facing the community’s government.

4 thoughts on “One Sentence to Sum Up Lakeland Leadership

  1. If you refuse to act long enough, maybe it will all just blow over, and everyone can get back to the usual highjinks and continue to slop at the public trough. Right?

  2. One sentence? I thought that the inaction from Commissioners Troller, Yates, Walker and Malless could be summed up in one word. And nobody says that word better than Charles Evans, the 9-year-old boy who survived Hurricane Katrina and was interviewed in the aftermath by Brian Williams.


    Here’s the link (at 0:27):

    But a great report, as always. And hopefully people won’t forget the role Doug Thomas played in the entire fiasco. He should be fired.

  3. Fields and Walker raised the point that Womack’s dismissal is attributable to sexism. They also alluded to racism, cronyism and class stratification as being pervasive in City Hall and the LPD. I am reminded of Clarence Thomas’s indignation re Anita Hill’s accusations. The ensuing media and political brouhaha devolved into a tawdry pulp-fiction playbook. Thomas fought back: “This is a circus. It’s a national disgrace. And from my standpoint, as a black American, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you. You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the U.S. Senate rather than hung from a tree.”

    I see parallels between Thomas’s assessment and appears to be going on in Lakeland, a town south of the South.

    You gotta love Lakeland’s virgin commissioner. Today’s Ledger quotes Jim Malless: “I can’t comment whether she (Womack)was a victim of sexism or not. … I don’t know. I haven’t witnessed that.”

    Do you recall The Ledger article in last Saturday’s issue? On the front page, it quotes Walker’s controversial (and correct) assessment and then segues to Jim Malless’s suggestion to survey City Hall and the LPD about morale. If this survey is conducted, I hope Malless agrees to finance the process. Perhaps he could donate the compensation he received from brokering the sale of the AOP building while he sitting on its board. Incidentally, he still sits on that board.

    A digression: AOP members are up in arms about the membership dues they paid in good faith. Most would like a prorated refund. After all, AOP has not added value to the local art seen since it announced that it was putting the building up for sale.

  4. Please excuse my typos. I make lots of mistakes while typing in comment fields.

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