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Poll results: Cool Leader Or Civic Embarassment?

Voters
16. You may not vote on this poll
  • Cool dude....it works in this day and age.

    5 31.25%
  • Civic embarrassment. Dress appropriately.

    8 50.00%
  • Other, explained in my response post.

    3 18.75%
Multiple choice poll
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Thread: Cool Leader Or Civic Embarrassment?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Cool Leader Or Civic Embarrassment?

    Mike Bell is the Mayor of the City of Toledo, OH. Mike has been in office for about a half-year. The public seems about evenly-divided about certain parts of his lifestyle. Mike drives a big Harley motorcycle. He often wears a University of Toledo baseball cap, turned backward (as has been the youthful style for a number of years). He has a goatee and often wears, depending on the event, jeans that have holes in them. A regular part of his wardrobe are his tall cowboy boots.

    The polling question today as we celebrate "independence" (showing my bias, eh?) asks whether or not a public official such as Mike Bell, strong-mayor form of government leader of a city of over 300,000 citizens, should appear in public functions dressed as a cool dude or is he an embarrassment to his community and his leadership position. Some would argue that a real leader would never dress in that manner......and, even worse, ride a big Harley.

    At an event celebrating Crystal Bowersox, NW Ohio's American Idol runner-up, Mike Bell was on the stage with Ms. Bowersox, wearing the torn jeans, the backward ball cap, the tall boots. This Bear has absolutely no problem with that attire for that event. In fact, I don't care what he would wear when going to his office high atop the downtown Toledo skytower (an ugly Russian-looking monster) that holds state and city offices.

    Performance in office is what counts. Local watchers give his performance about a "B". It has only been 6-months and he road his Harley into office at the same time that a $45 million budget deficit roared in. Not easy, folks, not easy.

    What say you?

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    I don't have anything against his style because that is who he probably is. However, there is a time and a place for it and yes, he should have something a little dressier to the event. That doesn't mean he has to give up his style...just adjust it to the situation at hand. The mayor in the city I worked at in SC was a figurehead and didn't have any real power, he was a casual kind of guy but you would see him both dressed up and dressed down as the occasion befitted. He's now that area's state representative so I am sure he's gone a little more formal these days. 'Round here it's a more formal affair based on the various mayors that I have met.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
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    Fat Cat

    I worked for a mayor like this in a mayor council form of government. When he was first elected to office and during his campaign he worn torn jeans and t and rode his bike. After being elected he continued to wear the torn jeans and t-shirt, rode the "Hog" ect ect.
    It became a campaign issue, when he ran for re-election. It was used against him by his foes during his re-election campaign and he was turned out of office. His replacement campaigned on the fact that he would wear a suit to work every day, ( he did wear a suit while campaigning, he did win the election, but didnt wear a suit to work or to any meetings after he was elected) and represent the city with respect. After he was elected and put in office he wore a sport shirt, never wore a tie, chinos and drove a sedan to work. It was sad that the only campaign issue was the "dress" and the bike. The one who wore the torn jeans and t, did not know how to respond during the campaign and never addressed any important issues about what he had done, The opponent who ended up in office never addressed what issues he would tackle, only how he would dress.
    I found this quite interesting and disturbing at the same time that the people in that town only cared about dress and not any real issues. I did move on because of this, And yes I did wear a suit and tie to work and to meetings.
    Proffesionalism was definitely not on the new mayors agenda

  4. #4
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I voted 'other'. We're supposed to think this guy is man of style, verve, marches to the beat of his own drummer, and doesn't give a damn what anyone else thinks. He may very well have his own sense of personal style that runs along the informal, but make no mistake this fellow is perfectly well aware of the whole professional image thing and is deliberately cultivating this 'outsider' image with the Harley, blue jeans, and cowboy boots.

    Think of Abraham Lincoln and the folksy anecdotes. It was all part of that sophisticated politician's 'act'; so too with this dude.

  5. #5
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    I like when politicians have personality. I like that they actually show a piece of who they are, not what polls have said they should be. With that said, I voted other because honestly, there is a time and place for personality, and a time and place for professionalism. I think you have to fully understand that line. Going to a basketball game or riding a Harley is fine, but do it on your own time. When you are being paid by the people - dress appropriately.

    As a public servant, I think that a Mayor should always be over dressed for formal events. If you are having a festival or other things where you aren't acting as the Mayor per se, show your true "style".
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  6. #6
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    On a related note, how often does one hear about female politicians ignoring the prevailing wisdom concerning formal professional dress. I never have. Would biker chick attire appeal to the voters in the same way as it appears to with Mr. Bell?

  7. #7
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    On a related note, how often does one hear about female politicians ignoring the prevailing wisdom concerning formal professional dress. I never have. Would biker chick attire appeal to the voters in the same way as it appears to with Mr. Bell?
    Sarah Palin toes the line, but she works hard to not be too sexy (really the only thing she works hard at...OHHH). Although I don't think anyone would say that attractive female politicians don't use it to their advantage. I think the average female politician is still fighting the gender battle unfortunately and cannot afford to be thought of as a rebel or an outsider.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  8. #8
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    I hope no one takes offense at this, but it seems to fit my preconceived notion of Toledo. I don't think it's an issue that he rides a bike or wears jeans. If I were him, though, I'd leave the cap in the saddle bags, wear non-holy jeans, and some sort of collared shirt he could tuck in when things get more "formal". It'd still convey his relaxed/blue collar/biker nature, but would be more acceptable for his duties as mayor.

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