I was having a late night discussion last night with someone to the right of me, not surprising in a Police Station I suppose, if you believe the stereotyping as I did before I started working here, but once we got passed the relative de-merits of illegal aliens taking social security (smart lads) and Goldman Sachs taking $50 trillion in taxpayer bailouts , returning $10 trillion and calling it even (really smart lads) we got to wondering what Key West might look like in a few years from now under our new leadership.
The Citizen had one of those revelatory articles it drops into the paper from time to time, when Mandy Bolen feels like dropping her ditzy blonde persona and we got the real scoop on the new mayor, a hitherto unknown player in the corridors of power in Key West. His mother had been a power broker in town but it turns out Craig Cates, the man who would run the city like a business, doesn't even own a home in Key West. He lives on a boat, not among hoi polloi at Garrison Bight Marina but at the other end of the lagoon in the rarefied atmosphere of the Key West Yacht Club. This would be the waterfront gated community that pays the city a dollar a year, in US currency for the lease on the property it occupies. One whole dollar, talk about low income housing! The First citizen of the city who has never held elected office proposes to run the city like a business so we can no doubt expect to see that sweetheart deal come under scrutiny!
The funny thing is the mayor doesn't even have to work at his business, the article went on to mention that NAPA (No Auto Parts Available) on the Boulevard runs itself without his involvement after 38 years and he spends his time on his motor yacht running between the Key West yacht club and his actual brick and mortar home in Cape Coral. The article happily did imply that the new mayor understands that the city, whether run as a business or as Public Thing (res public in Latin, whence the origin of the word republic comes) will require a slightly more hands on approach.
My interlocutor at the station last night expects the city will be managed more skilfully in the years to come. I said I am holding my breath in expectations of great things. Like the Irishman said "There is no doubt I have my doubts" but I hope for the best. One sterling way for the mayor to speak up and make a difference would be on the vexed subject of parking in the city. I have made lots of noise in my essay about the value of OSP- Off Street Parking- in old town for new home owners. The paper also reported recently that parking passes are issued at random it seems to Persons Of Influence in the city, many of them past persons and a quite a list it made. One former city commissioner holds 16 parking passes, and other notables, long since passed from office still have theirs, such is the value of parking for free in Old Town.
We decided, in our conclave last night that how swiftly the new Dear Leader cleans that mess up will be a measure of the way ahead. I'm not very good at holding my breath so I hope he gets on with it. As for Goldman Sachs, when I read about the new overseer of corporate honesty I realized there really isn't much hope on that front. Those extra trillions are gone I fear, but how much easier is it to feel indignant about parking passes?