From KWWL in Iowa:
Iowa City residents got the chance to meet the five finalists for the new city manager. One finalist's already drawn national attention. Finalist, Susan Stanton, used to be known as Steve Stanton when he worked as the city manager of Largo, Florida. But Stanton was fired when he, became a she with a sex change.
Stanton feels she was fired from her Florida job because of her choice to get a sex change. Iowa City leaders say they aren't looking at that and see Stanton just like the other four candidates, qualified. Susan Stanton's decision to have a sex change cost her a job and made national headlines.
But Stanton hopes people in Iowa City focus more on her skills than a personal choice. "I am absolutely confident everybody who I have met and certainly everybody on the city council are looking at my skills, knowledge, ability, education and my work history, that is the most important thing," said Stanton. City leaders also focused less on Stanton's past and more on her 17 years of experience as city manager in Largo. "We really did look at experience and resume, it was a decision based souly on that and the qualifications," said Iowa City mayor, Regenia Bailey. Like in Largo, some in Iowa City did take note of Stanton's sex chance, but in a positive way. Saying it makes Stanton more qualified. "She would carry a lot empathy for a lot for kinds of people because of her personal experiences so I think that would give her an edge just over just about anyone else as a candidate, she can take the masculine perspective of men and also of women and what it's like to be a minority candidate," said Sandra Stevens, a transgendered person. Stevens says she moved to Iowa City because of the kind of community it provides. "It's been a wonderful city, it's been very accepting, it's been a great place to do what's called transitioning for someone who is transgendered, and it's been a really beautiful experience," said Stevens. Stanton says Iowa City's welcoming community isn't what attracted her to the position, but she's glad to have such a reception. "I would expect in a university community that there is going to be a greater appreciation for the importance of having an inclusive community, that embraces difference," said Stanton. Community members will have until Sunday night to post online or send in their comments on the city manager finalists. City leaders will review those comments Monday night.