Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I Might Have a Staff Job

This is a reprint of a column published in yesterday's Huffington Post:

Dear Mayor Hernandez,

Like many Southern Californians I have been following the political turmoil in the City of Bell.

Last week, we all witnessed the departure of City Administrator Robert Rizzo. His will be big imported Italian shoes to fill. (Though I’m sure in light of the revelations, the salary for the position will no longer be $787, 637.00)

All that being said, the good Lord doesn’t shut the door without opening a window.

Enclosed you will find my most recent resume for your immediate consideration.

Upon first glance you’ll notice my glaring lack of any civil service. It should be noted however that I have attended a couple of City Hall planning meetings and once delivered a fiery, impassioned speech when it came to the implementation of additional parking restrictions on my street. As I left the Hall that night, a fellow neighbor likened me to an articulate, yet funny, young Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

Experience aside, I do bring the skill set of a seasoned creative marketing professional to the position. And whereas Mr. Rizzo clearly fleeced the city of important revenue dollars, I have ideas that can bring those dollars back.

Permit me to share one with you.

If you’ve ever driven to Las Vegas, you’ve passed the iconic town of Baker, which as everyone knows is the home of the World’s Tallest Thermometer. Most automobiles today have a dashboard gauge that accurately reads the outside temperature. But that doesn’t stop thousands of motorists from exiting the I-15 to witness a little bit of Americana. And in doing so, bringing Baker millions of tourism dollars.

The City of Bell doesn’t have tourists, eager to depart with their disposable income, streaming by on the 710 freeway. But it might if it were to erect The World’s Biggest Flour Tortilla.

Think about that, Mr. Mayor.

A 50-Foot, Golden Brown Flour Tortilla at the corner of Eastern and Florence Ave. across the street from the Bell Gardens Marketplace. Not only would this eye-catching, colossal landmark be the envy of all the other charter cities in Southern California, it would serve as a reminder of the power of imagination. Imagination let loose by the simplest combination of flour, butter and water.

Furthermore, the Tortilla could become a cultural centerpiece of the city. Each year, the children of Bell could be called upon to decorate the Giant Tortilla. One year, they could use cheese, beans and meat. The following year, they could use beans, meat and cheese. The possibilities are endless.

Here’s the best part, Mr. Mayor. The 50 Foot Tortilla is just the tip of the iceberg. I have other powerful ideas to get Bell moving again. And I’m willing to do the job that Mr. Rizzo did for $787, 637.00, for considerably less. A whopping 50% less. I know you don’t have calculators over there and math is not your strong suit, but that’s $393,818.50.

My wife, a business veteran in her own right, is also willing to take on the job recently vacated by Assistant City manager Angela Spaccia. And the 50% discount holds here as well. Instead of the $376, 288.00 you were paying Ms. Spaccia, my wife will happily accept $188,144.00.

In one stroke of the pen, you will have recouped $581, 962.00. That’s got the kind of good PR, Bell so dearly needs right now.

But as we say in advertising, this offer won’t last forever. You must act now.

Perhaps we could have lunch this week? Thursday and Friday won’t work for me as I have to write a TV commercial for a local Mattress store that is offering a free down-filled pillow-topper with the purchase of any queen size mattress.

I thank you in advance and look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

Rich Siegel


Ellen November said...

Nicely done Rich. The fine line between politics and advertising. I love it.

max said...

awesome. If Hirshberg can break out of advertising, you can CD a city.

Robert Moss said...

Tortilla should have lard, not butter (which the city of Bell has already spent plenty on). But I can see how a yeshiva bocher from the Bronx could have made such a mistake. Still, minor details. Let me know if you need an assistant. I'm sure the city of Bell offers generous relo packages so my family can come back from Portland in style.