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Potent Politics: Malicious act

DAN DOWD
Contributing Columnist
dowd@lbknews.com

Fourteen years of diligent, responsible, loyal and excellent service means nothing to the recipients of that service. The work performed by Bruce St. Denis, the town manager of Longboat Key, has been washed down the drain by five commissioners who can’t appreciate what they already have, but who want to assume complete control of all facets of the government of Longboat Key.

Their malice and malignant attitude has forced me to reappear in this column. It is only fair to tell the true story of the malevolent actions of those commissioners who have rendered a serious blow to the operation and well being of Longboat Key.

The commissioners deeply involved deserve an evaluation, much more so than the town manager. Bear in mind that three concerned sitting commissioners were not even elected by the voters — they were appointed by their own cronies, sitting commissioners. I want the public to know what has transpired so that they will have the knowledge necessary to unseat those commissioners and return the Longboat Key legislature to its rightful place.

Phill Younger was defeated in an election by Hal Lenobel. Lenobel didn’t raise one cent and did not campaign, nevertheless he won the election over his opponent. That didn’t matter to his fellow cronies on the commission. They appointed him to a seat on the commission the moment one became available. Losing an election, it seemed, turned out to be an asset. His tenure on the commission has been filled with negative opinions, change for the sake of change and fear of losing another election next March. His vociferate attitude constantly is misguided, vague and non-vital.

Lynn Larson also bears responsibility in the loss of St. Denis. In her time on the commission she has posed many, many, many questions…most of which are meaningless and silly. She is taken lightly by her fellow commissioners, and her respect wanes by the meeting. It is the hope of many voters that she loses the next election, regardless of who opposes her. It surprises me that her opinion has been formed of the town manager without ever entering his office to confer with him.

David Brenner is the loud voice of the commission, albeit of little value. He takes the floor on almost every subject and with deep concern for his own opinion. Meetings would be shorter and surely more productive if Brenner would listen more and speak less. He wants to have a voice in everything that comes before the commission. He is a member of the vicious five and a very active one.

Jack Duncan, another new member of the commission, was also appointed by his friends already sitting on the commission and not elected. He was solicited by a sitting commissioner. Duncan has much to say and is most concerned with trying to change that which has worked so successfully for so these many years. He has little respect for the work that has made Longboat Key the paradise in which we live.

Pat Zunz is an unknown quantity having been appointed as well. Hopefully she will see the light and join Hal Lenobel, the last remaining vestige of propriety, righteousness and appropriateness. Those very same adjectives fit departing Town Manager Bruce St. Denis.

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7 Responses for “Potent Politics: Malicious act”

  1. Ross P. Alander says:

    Please no strong mayor system! That would result in a popularity contest amongst many egos who have their own agendas and probably have no idea how to lead or the public sector laws. To be successful they would have to employ an administrator. Why add to the bureaucracy with another layer? For a town our size let us stay with the professional town/city manager system.
    Ross

  2. Spencer Ross says:

    It’s time to change to a strong mayor system so that one elected official can serve the needs of the people. Instead, we have seven pompous misfits, many of whom were not even elected, who can not agree on anything and fail to accomplish any sigficant progress for this wonderful town.

  3. Dave Baughman says:

    I have differred with some of Mr. St. Denis’s comments in the past but always with respect, I acknowledge his experience and the thickness of his skin in dealing with others of less substance.

    I think we have lost a valuable resource with vast knowledge of our home.
    I’ve seen comments about how long he served and how that is rare for a town manager. I think it was rare because the manager usually gets fed up much sooner, not because the commisioners became more efficient.

  4. Ross P. Alander says:

    I have been most upset by the way some of the commissioners evaluated Mr. St. Denis in the paper in the last week or so via sound bites. That was very unprofessional and disrespectful. I have worked with Mr. St. Denis. He is a good and thoughtful man and deserved better.
    Ross

  5. Georgie McFarland says:

    The problem is that nobody wants to run for election against these clowns. Commission meetings are too long and very little is accomplished. Pomposity reigns.

  6. Peter O'Connor says:

    Dan, Whomever you are…
    Thanks for your short insightful coverage of our Town’s latest fiasco.
    Would that the rest of us could put the story as accurately and succinctly.
    Hopefully this latest error will not go without cost to the perpetrators.
    Bruce will do just fine.
    PO’C

  7. Glenn Peterson says:

    Could not agree more.

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