Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Miami Vice

Mayor Dan Coody has taken our city to a new dimension. Last night it was a Fifth Dimension concert in the famed South Beach section of Miami Beach, where he has been participating in the annual convention of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Lots of fireworks and hardy partying, much more fun than staying in Fayetteville to talk with Amory Lovins at the library.

This junket is official city business, paid for by you know who.

As Esquire magazine observed, "The U.S. Conference of Mayors is more or less an association, and their annual meeting is more or less a convention. About two hundred of them stay in the same hotel. They listen to speeches, have small group sessions. They learn. They teach. They network. And at the end of the day, they drink a few beers and give one another awards over roast beef in a ballroom. They hang out." This year they got to hear speeches from Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, too.

We did not win or even get an honorable mention for the Wal-Mart Climate Award this year, nor the Livable City award either. On the Eighth Anniversary of the Kohl's tree cutting, we lost the Community Trees Award to Camden, New Jersey, of all places. And despite a determined effort, we didn't even take home the Jantzen swimsuit model. But Mayor Coody always learns a lot at these conventions.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Conference of Mayors winter meeting released a Zogby Poll they commissioned to help mayors get reelected. It said voters believed that "Going Green" would help the economy and improve their cities, so mayors should talk about that at every opportunity. Our Man Dan is a quick study.

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