Thursday, March 29, 2012

Politicians Have To Ponder Surprises Behind The Door

        The other day I saw a story about security costs for big-city mayors.


        It's shocking to see how taxpayers spend hundreds of thousands of dollars or more to protect his or her Honor.


        Years ago, as Mayor of Euclid, I would be confronted by a personal security concern every now and then.


        Three stand out.


        My first term as mayor began with layoffs to balance the huge deficit that greeted me my first day in office.


        I answered  the door one Friday evening  at home and before me stood a mountain.


        His name was Steve and he was on the layoff list in the service department.


        I ushered him into our dining room where he tearfully expressed concern for his ability to support his family.


        He could have crushed me with his bare hands.


My wife was worried and called the police.


Not necessary.


Steve left peacefully after a few minutes. He just had to get a few things off his chest.


He had to see the top man.


I get that. Everything was okay.


A second incident was more threatening but almost comical.


After I supported a tax increase (rare for me), I received an interesting letter.


The gentleman who sent it  said that he was determined to respond to my tax position by punching me in the nose.


He said he attended my church and would not be deterred from carrying out his objective.


Here's the part that gets weird but also sort of funny.


The letter writer signed the correspondence, provided his address, and even included a photo of himself.


I turned the matter over to the police and the punch never materialized.


This last story really  is a cautionary tale for politicians everywhere.


An attractive young woman began attending Council meetings.


She became active in the community, speaking up at town hall sessions and generally and sincerely seeking to influence municipal policy.


One night, I was alone in my office, working on a budget proposal.


There was a knock on the door to the Mayor's office which led directly to the outside parking lot facing the police station.


I opened it.


There stood that young woman.


She smiled and whispered something unintelligible.


I leaned in to understand her better.


She leaned in also.


And kissed me right on the lips.


I backed away, closed the door on her, and called the police chief to report the incident.


It was kind of scary and surrealistic.


It  reminded me of the scene in the  film   The Natural when Robert Redford opens the door and there stands Barbara Hershey with a loaded derringer in her hand.


That night, my wife and I discussed future strategies in opening doors without knowing who is on the other side.


Well, my days in politics are long behind me.


But the truth is that people in political life  have to worry about security, from City Councilmen all the way up to the President of the United States.


There are plenty of wackos out there.


Maybe there's one waiting for me at church this Sunday.


Put a peephole in your door, politicos.


 It's always a good idea.    



No comments:

Post a Comment