With election season upon us, I reminisce about my past mayoral runs and what went wrong.
I came across one of my 2000 columns and think it incumbent I rerun that piece in eerie retrospect.
If I might quote me, “Have you noticed East Sheridan Hill is finally open again? I’m not saying that was all my doing, but let no man say it wasn’t. Some heads were going to roll and apathetic lollygaggers in high places responded. Still, though, I remain miffed and feel the city owes me monetary damages. It’s more than late appointments and spilled coffee I bemoan.”
(*I should interject that during that period, I railed almost weekly about traffic holdups on that hill and how flaggers always seemed to be giving me smirking, disrespectful looks. Loyal readers might recall when that maddening construction seemed to disappear overnight, some suggested it be renamed “Doug Blough Hill”).
Returning to that 20-year-old column, “Let me share another recent incident caused by the reroute on the coldest day of the year. I was in my ’78 Ford F-150 work truck going down Central when I last-second remembered to turn right on 26th.
“I jammed my brakes to negotiate the turn when my ladder, which I had been too cold to bungee down, slid off and thundered onto my roof, scaring the hell out of me.
“It continued its flight across my hood, smashing the plastic bug guard, then crashed and skated across the icy intersection. With cars turning from both directions, both had to swerve to miss the tobogganing ladder and I was forced to get out in front of these judgmental motorists, gather my ladder while nearly falling onto my back as I slipped and cursed all the way back to my truck.
“Again, I won’t accept full credit for the opening of that hill; that’s for history to judge. By the same token, don’t view this achievement as a sign I plan on seeking the office of mayor. Likewise, don’t rule it out.
“I should remind readers it was me that proposed prisoner adoption as a cost-cutting alternative to building the new jail.” (*To clarify, I had suggested local families foster inmates into their homes, much like the exchange-student programs. Of course, I wasn’t stupid enough to suggest loaded firearms not be prominently displayed as a warning to any in-house, violent offenders.)
Continuing, “The park bathrooms remain locked despite my dogged objections. Come on Mr. Mayor” (I believe it was Stockwell at the time), “better to pass new legislation than for citizens to pass painful kidney stones. How many gallbladder attacks before we attack the problem? These locks need to go because your constituents need to go!
“I’ll continue to fight for your rights, so remember my slogan: ‘We’re mad as hell and we’re not gonna take it any more … don’t forget to vote in two thousand and four.’”
Well, obviously I lost that election, not in small part because I overslept the final filing day, but the Enterprise reported I had received double-digit write-in votes. Well, another election looms and many of the problems remain. What is a concerned citizen to do?