The St. Petersburg Times editorial board is urging Governor Charlie Crist to not re-appoint Deveron Gibbons to the Board of Trustees at St. Petersburg College. An excerpt:
The selection of Tallahassee Community College president Bill Law this week as the new president for St. Petersburg College was predictable, safe and uninspiring. Now Gov. Charlie Crist should be more creative and bring some fresh faces to the college’s board of trustees. As long as the college is embarking on a new era of leadership, there should be a clean sweep at the top.
For years, the trustees were practically hand-picked by former president Carl Kuttler and acted as his rubber stamp. The college flourished, but there were times when Kuttler should have been reined in by more independent-minded trustees. Kuttler’s incredible demands for his retirement package and the initial willingness of some trustees to write him an unreasonably large check crystalized just how out of balance the relationship had become.
Crist has an opportunity next month to start overhauling the board of trustees when the terms are up for W. Richard Johnston and Deveron Gibbons. Johnston has served more than 20 years over two different stints and was even on the board when Kuttler was hired. Gibbons has served just four years, but he has not been the most diligent or effective trustee. He wound up on the board primarily because of his close ties to former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker, which created a mess when Baker did not endorse Gibbons in last year’s mayoral primary and Gibbons did not support Baker for the St. Petersburg College presidency.