People sometimes ask me what my typical work day looks like. And I usually respond that there is no such thing as a typical day – every day is different, with a schedule that is at once very demanding and unusually flexible. But if I had to pick a day that illustrated the scope and nature of a mayor’s job in a mid-sized city, yesterday would be perfect.
The morning was focused on desk work and discussion – answering emails, returning phone calls, posting a blog entry, meeting with members of our staff on a variety of subjects, reviewing documents that had piled up on my desk in the preceding 24 hours. and walking through next week’s City Council agenda with the City Manager. A blur of different subjects, from minor to major, all related to municipal policy.
Midday brought a trio of ceremonial activities. First, greeting a group of French exchange students who were visiting City Hall under the auspices of Ursuline School. I spoke with them about City government, answered questions, accepted the gift of a book about Paris, and tried to pronounce a couple of words in French without embarrassing myself. Second, joining several local spiritual leaders (and a retired relief pitcher, who is married to a spiritual leader) for New Rochelle’s annual observance of the National Day of Prayer. Third, officiating at the City Hall wedding of a happy couple and their equally happy guests.
After scarfing down a late lunch in my office, I had an appointment with a resident who wanted to discuss parking and noise issues in her neighborhood. Then, for the remainder of the afternoon, I focused on writing a memo outlining options for one of the many issues presently under City Council consideration.
I left the office a little earlier than usual, so that the boys and I could get haircuts. I’ve been going to George’s in the Quaker Ridge Shopping Center since I was a kid, and it’s fun to bring Jeremy and Owen to the same barber.
After dropping the boys off with Catie, I was out again for a series of evening events. Five in all (which is a bit more than usual) – the opening of an art exhibit, a benefit for a sound shore not-for-profit, a gala for a community center, a fund-raiser for a state official, and then the monthly meeting of the local Democratic Party.
Back home at about 9:45pm for dinner and a glass (or two) of wine.
It’s a wonderful job, especially if you have a short attention span.