Wick Communications

Introduce your new mayor

In Ideas on December 19, 2013 at 12:48 pm
Half Moon Bay Mayor John Muller

Half Moon Bay Mayor John Muller

On a cold December night five years ago, a good man and a farmer named John Muller looked out over a Half Moon Bay City Council audience that included four generations of his family. He drew a deep breath and began.

“We know these are difficult times, which are likely to get more difficult before they get better,” Muller said as he drew a breath that only clutched at the lump in his throat.

In 2008, the country was in recession, the city nearly bankrupt. In the years to come, the council would shutter its the police department, shelve its parks and recreation department and outsource nearly everything. Muller was near tears and heartbroken.

“The mayor can’t turn a switch and immediately fix everyone’s problems,” he said that night. …

Fast forward to Dec. 17, 2013. Muller, who had served on the council continuously ever since his first stint as mayor, was sworn in and given the gavel once more. These days, he’s feeling flush. A series of million-dollar lawsuits against a former insurer will allow the city to pay down its bonded indebtedness. Outsourcing has proved to be cheaper. Tax receipts are up.

In many cities, elected officials trade roles with the new year. Long-term commissioners may serve multiple terms as mayor. If that is how it works in your neck of the woods, this is a perfect time to remind voters of the new mayor’s record and all those things he said years ago in your newspaper.

We usually ask new mayors for their priorities in the coming year. That lends itself to a box that pairs with the story. And that will become a report card when the term is over.

You might chose to run a Q&A with the new mayor instead. Or how about talking to the mayor’s spouse. What does he make of the vitriolic dissent aimed at his wife? How about all those late nights due to meetings?

Tell us a story about your new mayor.

Clay

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