Many a citizen thinks he can run is town better than those in power, but few get the chance to find out what it is like to take command.
Many a citizen thinks he can run is town better than those in power, but few get the chance to find out what it is like to take command. One who has done is Charles McCarty, the current mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota, and the way he likes to run things has earned him the nickname of "Supermayor".
For years McCarty has been a thorn in the side of city administrations, both Democrat and Republican. Then last spring he put his criticisms to the test in the mayoral election and found himself in office.
Since then he has been making changes, cutting budgets, juggling department heads and above all making news. No-one seems to know what he will do next.
Mayor McCarty shows little interest in the banquets and ceremonial functions that occupy most mayors during the evening hours. He prefers to look for action on the city streets in his big, distinctive car.
The local Press calls it "supercar" -- and most evenings the mayor can be found chasing whatever develops on the police and fire service radios. The car is equipped to receive both, and is provided with a police driver, siren and flashing lights, even an electronic device which turns traffic lights to green as the mayor approaches.
Sometimes he beats police to the scene of accidents or burglaries, as he did on this occasion. A week earlier he witnessed a hit-and-run accident, pursued the suspect and delivered him to the police.
The local Press used to make much of McCarty's attacks on City hall. Now he is the boss there, they have even more to report. One artist has started a regular strip cartoon featuring him as "Supermayor". The stories are based on his real-life exploits and the supply shows no sign of running dry.