Monday, February 14, 2011

Plusquellic and Delord: Tale of two mayors

I RECENTLY READ about the mayor of a tiny French village who is beset by throngs of visitors who believe the world is finally coming to an end. Dec. 21, 2012 to be exact - or is it May 11, 2011? As you might expect, there is some confusion over this among the so-called "esoterics." Mayor Jean-Pierre Delord said his village's misfortune is that it is near the Bugarach mountain, which is believed to have the sort of magnetism that will create the earth's mini-version of the Big Bang. Delord sourly dismisses the idea as the work of "apocalypse believers and lunatics." You can see where he has a long hard road ahead of him to restore sanity to the village of Bugarach. And by the way, the instigator of this latest apocalyptic vision is a fellow named Harold Camping of Family Radio. He's the same guy who predicted the world would end at various moments in the past.

I mention this to illustrate the difficulties that modern mayors face in trying to maintain a civilized city. And so it is with Mayor Don Plusquellic, who just announced that he will go for a seventh term at City Hall. For his enemies, who will be dealt with later, they will be erupting in warnings that Plusquellic has led the city to a tipping point from which there can be no recovery so long as he is the city's CEO. No sooner had he announced than his old adversary, Warner Mendenhall, was already spreading gloom and doom in the pages of the Beacon Journal.

But I will await the first Democratic or Republican challenger to step forward with a more credible idea on how to steer the city through serious economic times. A few weeks ago, I approached him at a luncheon and asked when he would announce his decision. He laughed and said, "Hey, I want to be sure that I do this right." He did, and he will.

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