|BayPost Media 2021|
E. Eugene Webb PhD
This past week the Manatee County Commission appears to have come totally off the rails.
Like something, you might read in a paperback novel, George Kruse, Manatee County commissioner at large, openly admitted to an extramarital affair and accused the county's other at-large Commissioner Carol Whitmore of using that information to blackmail him.
Get the details in this post By Tiffany Razzano, Patch Staff Kruse Accuses Whitmore Of Blackmail, Renews Bid To Fire Coryea.
Things have been slowly unraveling in the Manatee County government since Cheri Coryea was appointed County administrator. Coryea’s lack of management skills and experience in managing a large organization is detailed in my post Manatee County Administrator – Time for a Change.
As you read the Tiffany Razzano Patch article, you will note that there was a lot of discussion about the nature of the meeting, the legality of the meeting, how the meeting was scheduled, and that sort of political speech that surrounds the Manatee County commission's total inability to conduct the people's business.
The toxicity of the Coryea administration extends throughout the organization and commissioner at large Kruse’s proposal to revisit Coryea’s termination, which was approved by a four to three vote, is a good move.
There are massive issues facing Manatee County given its rapid development, inability to manage infrastructure, and a growing lack of public-safety performance.
Political infighting and the struggle to maintain power or manipulate members of the County Commission is certainly counter opposed to what Manatee County needs.
Then there is also the question of the blackmail charge.
Even though it's just an accusation, I think it's time for an investigation of the operation and function of the County administration and the County Commission either by the Florida Ethics Commission or the State Department of Law Enforcement. And before anybody even suggests it, the Manatee County Sheriff's Department is totally incapable of conducting an unbiased investigation into these matters.
The humor and intrigue of a series of events such as this may entertain you for just a moment, but then look around. Manatee County is in a serious mess, and we just got a very good look at why.
If County Commissioner Whitmore’s quick dash to blackmail is any indication one can only guess at what else may be going on under the surface at the Manatee County Commission given the number of powerful players trying to quickly develop eastern Manatee County.
Regardless of his dalliances, Commissioner Kruse is right. It is time for a house cleaning in the Manatee County administration, and it needs to start right at the top with the County administrator. She needs to go, and she needs to go right now.
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