Thursday, September 21, 2006

Political Goings On ~ North Miami Style


When I first started hanging out at city hall I was the photographer for the local paper, sometimes writing the copy too. I was in my mid twenties, and the movers and shakers were all much older than I was. Little by little that led to various advisory board appointments, working on political campaigns, and one unsuccesful run for city council. Now, close to forty years later, it seems I'm one of the old guys, and a mover and shaker myself. When we got a new police chief and a new city manager they already knew who I was and came over to introduce themselves to me. I had to tell them that it was fine to call me Al instead of Mr. Kaplan. I'm pretty easy to describe and/or recognize, with my mop of oft times unkempt hair, my penchant for wearing fishing shirts, and my ever present Leica cameras. I still have trouble adjusting to the fact that Mayor Burns here, and just about everybody else I run into, is younger than I am.

Now I have people encouraging me to run for mayor in next May's city election, using my fight with city staff over my next door neighbor's illegal fence as the main issue. Well, Mayor Burns and Councilman Galvin made a big issue of that in the recent city budget hearings and it looks like we're getting a total revamping of the code enforcement department as a result, along with several more code enforcement officers. That's exactly what I wanted to accomplish. I'd love to see the mayor get reelected for two more years, then Councilman Galvin's four year term will be up and he can run for mayor. I don't want to be mayor!

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