LARGO - City Manager Steve Stanton says he plans to submit an appeal to his firing. He will request a public hearing to make his case around noon Thursday, he said.
Stanton, 48, who has been Largo's city manager for 14 years, said he plans to request a hearing about 30 days from now. He said he will need the time to put on a thorough presentation, which will take up to three hours and will feature national experts in medicine, psychology and the workplace transition process for transsexuals.
"I think this will certainly give the commission a good basis of information to make an informed decision," Stanton said. "I'm realistic enough to know its going to require an extraordinary step to stop the train going down track with a certain degree of speed and to confront some of the folks back in the commission chambers who will be talking about what Jesus what do."
If an appeal during a public hearing fails, Stanton hasn't said whether he would sue the city, but he doesn't relish the thought. "I do not feel this is a legal argument," he said. "It's not a matter of hiring an attorney to threaten to sue the city. That is not the argument I want to make."
This signals an understanding that the appeal is not primarily legal in nature. The City Commission is not a court of law, nor are they likely to understand arguments appealing to legal authority.
The issue here is educating a City Commission and a public that has no experience with gender transition. The key is giving them an understanding of gender transition. They need to hear from experts in the field that Stanton was not deceptive in failing to disclose earlier, has a well-known medical condition (gender dysphoria), the condition requires him to take certain steps in transitioning, and it will not interfere with his ability to do the job of city manager.