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Archive for Thursday, May 31, 2007

Fired transsexual turned down for job

May 31, 2007

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— Steve Stanton was fired as city manager in Largo two months ago after announcing his plans to become Susan Stanton. On Wednesday, Stanton, wearing a white skirt, pumps and makeup, applied for the top job in Sarasota, and was turned down.

The Sarasota city commissioners instead picked another one of the five candidates. Stanton was their third choice.

"It's just too soon. It's too soon for a transgendered city manager. ... I just don't think the world is ready just yet," the 48-year-old Stanton said as she made a hasty exit from City Hall.

Commissioner Ken Shelin disagreed. Shelin said the determining factor was the winning candidate's "quiet leadership."

Stanton "made it into the top three," Shelin said. "She got serious consideration. She made, clearly, a very strong impression on all of us. There were favorable comments from all the commissioners."

Earlier this year, the Largo City Commission voted 5-2 to fire Stanton from the $140,000-a-year job after 14 years of generally excellent evaluations. Hundreds of people for and against transsexual rights packed the chambers, and dozens of police officers were posted to keep the peace. In the end, commissioners said it was Stanton's judgment and honesty, not the impending sex change, that prompted their decision.

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