Last week I heard a radio interview with Mayor Mick Cornett of Oklahoma City and was impressed by how articulately he described his city, its strengths and its needs. His comments reminded me that mayors in the current climate must be their cities' best ambassadors to state and federal government and other funding entities. In another interview Cornett and other mayors said political infighting must be set aside for the sake of maintaining and advancing their cities.
Having covered seven administrations as a reporter or blogger, I have seen a broad range of approaches to the role of mayor - diplomatic, kleptocratic, shunning phonies, hiring cronies, acting regal, barely legal, governmental, kind of mental, up to the task, don't even ask! Some think the title is all about them, some understand they are stewards for a term. Iron fist in velvet glove, or acting purely out of love ...
Well, the filing date for the June primary is April 3. The mayoralty and two City Council seats are up for election this year. In this heavily Democratic city, folk wisdom is that winners of the primary will take the general election in November. Plainfield Republicans are outnumbered more than 14 to 1 by Democrats, but there could be a GOP candidate or two this year. On Primary Day (June 6), independent candidates can file to be on the Nov. 7 ballot. I would not be surprised to see some spoilers emerge to water down votes for the primary winner(s).
If you think "fake news" is bad, wait till you get a load of fake campaign charges in the local elections. Last year a Facebook troll created an account and added all kinds of "friends" before the primary, then started slinging mud in the name of "truth." It retreated into its lair after November, but has slithered out again, so make sure your ish-detector is in full effect of you go on the local Facebook page.
One of the phrases I have heard about Plainfield politics over the years is "crabs in a barrel" - people just clawing over each other to reach the top. In the Trump era, individual ambition may have to yield to a united front for survival as resources dry up and vital programs are gutted. We are already seeing the people marching and resisting as those in power take aim not only at entitlements, but basic human rights.
Here's another phrase I am hearing in 2017: "Trump, escucha! Estamos en la lucha!"