Thursday, March 06, 2008

Consulting With The Real Brains Behind The Board Of Adjustment


Here we are at another exciting North Miami Board of Adjustment meeting. I didn't really want the board appointment to begin with, but my friend Councilman Scott Galvin had just gotten himself elected to the city council. He needed warm bodies, hopefully with some brains too, for a whole mess of appointments to various city advisory boards. I'd already served on a bunch of boards for way too many years so when my mom died a dozen or so years ago I used that as the excuse. A few phone calls and I was no longer vice-chairman of the North Miami Planning Commision, nor was I on the boards of directors of the N.M. Chamber of Commerce, The Mayor's Economic Task Force, or the North Dade YMCA. No more breakfasts, no more luncheons, no more meetings. I went from suit and tie to ratty ripped jeans, lace up dress shoes to Top-Siders sans socks. I shaved when it got itchy and had my hair cut when my ex-wife got together with my former girlfriend (they're best friends) and threatened me with great bodily harm. Yet I was still on a couple of boards!

The next thing I tried was going everyplace carrying a toy monkey and taking photographs of myself with the toy monkey everyplace we went. It seems that in North Miami that's not considered weird enough behavior to disqualify me from being on city boards. About a year ago I started writing about the mayor's re-election campaign, including lots of toy monkey pictures, and a theme that was based on Monkette, the toy monkey, being the real brains behind the campaign. The mayor loved it, the mayor got re-elected!

My latest ploy is going back to the suit and tie look, I shaved off the mostly grey full beard, but it's going on a year now since the last haircut. Since that's not getting me kicked off any boards I think that from now on I'll just keep on taking Monkette to Board of Adjustment meetings while getting the word out that no board decisions get made without our consulting with Monkette. She has the final say. In this photograph she has a big grin on her face. The board had just convinced a city resident that constructing his new garage another foot over thataway meant that the stand of mature banana plants in his side yard could remain where they were. Monkette was happy, the home owner was happy. It's really nice to work with a fellow board member who's honest and up front enough to admit that she doesn't have a single functioning brain cell in her head. She's my right hand monkey.

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