Mayoral ring sure to be filled with unique hats

February 07, 2006|by TIM ROWLAND

I hate to be a nag, but there are only nine more shopping days to get your application for mayor into City Hall. I've already filled mine out:

SWF (Satirical Writing Fool) seeking position of SWM (Statutorily Weak Mayor). Turn-ons include long walks, short attention spans, private 2-plus-2 meetings, wink-wink nudge-nudge, and getting under council members' skin, especially Penny's. Turnoffs include shallow sewer lines, crow's feet and people who would stop in the middle of the road and put their flashers on instead of parallel parking.

Yes, applications are open for Mayor of Hagerstown, and "Oooo, oooo, teacher, pick me! Pick me!"

Yes, Mr. Bruchey, you can put your hand down now, we have your paperwork on file.

Man, it was like Mayor Dick Trump hadn't even finished writing his two-sentence resignation last week when Bruchey chimed in that he'd be "honored" if the council were to select him.

"Dear Hagerstown City Council; As of Febooary 1, 2006, I respectfully ..."


"I'd be honored."

I honestly don't know if this application stuff is a requirement or if the council is just doing it to be nice. If this is a standard, accepted procedure, then I'd like to apply for pope. Thin on qualifications, but look maaah-velous in satin.

By the way, what's Charlie Baker doing these days? Or Howard Baker. Or Howard Dean. Or Dean Acheson. Or whatever he's calling himself these days. Here's his chance to be mayor, without having to hassle with all the bureaucratic red tape or jump through all those uncomfortable hoops, like campaigning, raising funds, shaking hands or moving to Maryland.

I wanted to go to City Hall and calmly ask for a mayoral application, just to see if I could cause about 50 simultaneous heart attacks buildingwide. But then a city employee said I didn't even have to come over, I could get an application online.

And sure as shootin' I called up and there it was, right in there with all the other city links:

Hagerstown City Farmers Market

New Curbside Recycling Program

Application for Mayor

Parks and Rec Pavilion Reservations

And none of this seems odd to us. Just another Web site for a city that happens to be in need of a mayor, and quick, that's all.

I hope they at least streamline the paperwork. It would be nice if you could apply for mayor AND reserve your pavilion, all on the same form. The mayor form is pretty straightforward. It asks for "education" and then, with a measure of what I would call false optimism, provides three blank lines. The over-under on apps that come back with "School of Hard Knocks" is running at 75 percent.

It only gives two lines for you to write in your "Related Experience and Background."

Lion tamer.

Then the last fill-in-the-blank is "Comments."

Comments? When was the last time you saw that on a job application? Comments. Look, people just want to be mayor, they're not running for Mary Poppins.

What is there to comment on? Is it some kind of "Why I Want to be Mayor" dissertation much like the old "What I Did on My Summer Vacation" vignettes?

"Tell us why you want to be mayor in 25 words or less and send two box tops of Post Toasties to Make Me a Mayor Contest, or write the words 'Torture me slowly and painfully' on a 3-by-5 card and send it to our city attorney. Relatives of council members are not eligible. Must be 25 years or older to win. All entries become property of Hagerstown City Hall."

From what I've seen so far, I think every registered Republican in the City of Hagerstown might be lining up for consideration. Both of 'em. People are writing letters to the editor, for heaven's sake, promoting their candidacies. As a matter of fact, we might have more people applying for mayor than we had voters in the last election.

It's going to be like the California governor's race a couple of years ago. Hundreds will apply. Chaos will rule. Every Hagerstown celebrity, has-been, barrel picker and stripper is going to be tossing the hat into the ring. It will be wonderful.

It just goes to show, if you want to get people excited about democracy, all you have to do is take the voters out of the equation.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.

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