Friday, May 25, 2018
News Roundup

In Treasure Island, a controversial name comes up for interim city manager: Shane Crawford

TREASURE ISLAND — Shane Crawford, the former city manager of Madeira Beach, might still have a place in city government, in the next town to the south.

Treasure Island City Commissioner Ralph Kennedy has requested that the topic of appointing Crawford as interim city manager be placed on the agenda for the July 18 commission workshop.

Commissioners, who are seeking applicants to fill the post vacated in May by Reid Silver­board, had voted 3-2 at their last meeting not to move Crawford into a finalist position for the post.

But Kennedy says that, of the 47 applicants for the job, Crawford was the top choice, despite controversy in the past few months that ended with him losing his job in Madeira Beach.

"He would be a good interim because he has addressed the issues we are facing — getting a new city hall, a possible bridge toll and developing public and private partnerships," Kennedy said. "I'm willing to take a chance on his ability. There are always two sides to each story."

Crawford was suspended and his wife, Cheryl, the city clerk, was fired shortly after an election that saw three new commissioners elected in Madeira Beach. He also lost his membership in the International City/County Management Association after an ethics complaint was filed against him when he married the city clerk. The couple settled with the city last week.

Kennedy's suggestion has the support of Vice Mayor Larry Lunn, who had tried unsuccessfully at the commission's last meeting to have Crawford interviewed for the job.

"He (Crawford) made a few errors in judgment but we all do that," said Lunn, who knows Crawford as a fellow Rotarian. "He has shown that he has all the skills we need as a city manager. I think that if you take a purist view, you'll never find anybody fit enough to be city manager. The kind of mistakes he made were not material to the job."

Currently, Finance Director Amy Davis is serving as interim city manager and has been praised for her work, but Lunn said it's not fair to keep her in both roles since the commission has decided to hire an executive search firm, which will lengthen the process.

"Amy stepped into it thinking it was a short-term assignment," Lunn said. "She has her hands full because we are going through the budget process."

Lunn also argued that having Crawford fill in as interim city manager "will give us a better opportunity to see how he will perform."

But at least one of the three other commissioners will need to be won over to vote for Crawford.

Mayor Robert Minning said he is opposed to the idea.

"I don't think it is appropriate to hire an interim who would be on the list (of applicants)," Minning said. "Since we are hiring for the top-most position in the city, I'm going to be very discreet with my comments."

Commissioner Ken Keys said at the last meeting that he liked Crawford personally but thought considering him for city manager would "be too much drama for the city." He declined to comment on whether he would support him as an interim city manager.

City Commissioner Deborah Toth said Crawford isn't a good fit for Treasure Island.

"The fact that his own organization deemed his actions unethical, that sums it up in a nutshell for me," she said. "We need a city manager with a strong ethical background."

Crawford, however, said he would consider the interim job.

"I'm definitely interested," he said. "We would have to sit down and have some discussion to find out what we expect from each other. Maybe they would think they've found their candidate without going out and spending $25,000."

Before becoming city manager in Madeira Beach, Crawford said he lived a year in Treasure Island and is aware of the issues the city is facing.

"I think I can hit the ground running," he said.

Comments
He is accused in 13 Gulfport vehicle burglaries. An ankle bracelet tipped police off.

He is accused in 13 Gulfport vehicle burglaries. An ankle bracelet tipped police off.

GULFPORT ó An 18-year-old man, wearing an ankle bracelet, was arrested Thursday after he was accused of breaking into 13 cars in a one-block radius over the last week.Benjamin Langkamp Jr. faces 13 charges of vehicle burglary ó each of which occurred...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Warrant issued for Tampa suspect in January slaying

Warrant issued for Tampa suspect in January slaying

TAMPA ó Hillsborough County deputies have identified the suspect in the fatal shooting of a man in January.Deputies are searching for 23-year-old Javon Rakeem Turner, who is wanted in the death of 22-year-old Elijah Moore on Jan. 17.According to depu...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
Willy Adames goes back to AAA, leaving Rays with ďa lot to be excited aboutí

Willy Adames goes back to AAA, leaving Rays with ďa lot to be excited aboutí

Willy Adames' first stint in the major leagues ended as planned Thursday night when he was optioned back to Triple-A Durham at the end of his planned three-game cameo filling in for new father Joey Wendle.Adames said going back down was "tough" even ...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
Steve Yzermanís summer plans: Make the Lightning better

Steve Yzermanís summer plans: Make the Lightning better

TAMPA — Captain Steven Stamkos said the Lightning's window for contending for a Stanley Cup championship is not closing."I think it's wide open," he said one day after the Lightning lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final to the Capitals.Ge...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
Hurricane hunters to investigate potential tropical system that could drench Tampa Bay

Hurricane hunters to investigate potential tropical system that could drench Tampa Bay

TAMPAó A hurricane hunter plane will investigate the area of low pressure in the Caribbean this afternoon as the likelihood increased that it will become the hurricane seasonís first tropical system.The reconnaissance plane will fly over the area to ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Fatal pedestrian crash closes SB lanes on U.S. 19 in Hudson

PORT RICHEYó The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal crash involving a pedestrian at U.S. 19 and New York Avenue, in Hudson. Troopers said a vehicle hit an unidentified pedestrian. One person has died, according to troopers.According to b...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Two accused of turning St. Petersburg test drive into carjacking

Two accused of turning St. Petersburg test drive into carjacking

MADEIRA BEACH ó Two men were arrested Thursday after a carjacking during a test drive led to a crash on Gulf Boulevard less than an hour later, according to the Pinellas County Sheriffís Office. According to deputies, 30-year-old Robert Gajate went t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Indianapolis 500: How Danica Patrick changed racing

Indianapolis 500: How Danica Patrick changed racing

Tampa's Carlie Yent was at a racing banquet a few years ago when someone asked her to name the driver who influenced her the most.The answer was easy and obvious: Danica Patrick."She was someone I could look up to," Yent said, "and she was the most i...
Updated: 2 hours ago
After Danica Patrick, why arenít there more women in auto racing?

After Danica Patrick, why arenít there more women in auto racing?

If you assumed Danica Patrick's success would lead to a tidal wave of female drivers into racing's top series, you're not alone."I kind of thought the Danica thing would bring out a lot of people, honestly," said Tampa's Megan Rae Meyer, a 21-year-ol...
Updated: 2 hours ago
The Daystarter: Latest on potential tropical system; taking action along dangerous Bayshore Boulevard; Denis Philips talks hurricanes and beer; Memorial Day things to do

The Daystarter: Latest on potential tropical system; taking action along dangerous Bayshore Boulevard; Denis Philips talks hurricanes and beer; Memorial Day things to do

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.ē Todayís forecast calls for warm and humid weather up until lunch time. Then in the late afternoon thereís an up to 80 percent chance of thundershowers and the rain wonít let up until ...
Updated: 3 hours ago