Keep The Doofus

Fifty-one weeks out of the year we beat Mayor Terry Goddard about the head and shoulders with a long staff as if he were our own personal pinata; he is, after all, an elected official. The flailing is good sound employment and one indication of how seriously we take our civic responsibilities. But there comes a time when you have to ask yourself this: BURT KRUGLICK? NORRIS INMAN? Goddard's opponents make us wonder if it really is true that anyone can run for mayor in this town.

Why not Haystack Calhoun or Huckleberry Hound? Why not Mario Lanza or Luis Firpo? Why not Shelley Winters? Why not Fred Duval? Why not Anton Cermak? Why not Jimmy Carter or his dim bulb daughter? How about a frostback from Winnipeg?

This paper cannot write seriously about Kruglick or Inman unless someone convinces us that we are living in Chittagong, Bangladesh.

During a period of uncommon candor, we once called Mayor Terry Goddard a doofus; well . . . what of it? That doesn't mean we don't like the guy. While Goddard has been mayor, Phoenix birthed the Mercado with its lollipop colors as well as the Herberger Theater Center. During Goddard's tenure the Arizona Republic and the Phoenix Gazette lost advertising revenue. People actually went into Patriots Square on their lunch breaks. Thousands of greasers, preps, cowboys, lowriders and teen-agers with their hormones honking now jam Central Avenue at night with their cars in slow procession, making the downtown corridor unsafe for Junior Leaguers. Keith Turley was finally pantsed. Voters approved a spectacular bond package that will improve the quality of everyone's life except Charles Keating. Soon the Palace West will be restored. With the completion of the amphitheatre, the west side will have something to brag about besides cancer clusters. The Futures Forum has allowed every loony-toon in Phoenix to spout off about his or her dream for this city, which is a fine exercise in democracy and has cut down on our nut calls at the paper enormously. Goddard stood up to Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill and finally opted for a baseball-only stadium. Kevin Johnson of the Suns taught Goddard to dunk and the mayor now does 360-degree spinning slams at all of his fund-raising coffees. The Grand Prix arrived with fabulously noisy cars and topless Eurotrash women in the pits. Phoenix became more interesting.

All of this was presided over by a mayor whose own car has not run in several years. The city loans him a white Ford van, a doofmobile if ever there was.

This guy's a keeper.

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Michael Lacey
Contact: Michael Lacey