Flat Stanley

This column introduces our new interim city manager, Flat Stanley, to the City of Albany. F.S., as he’s known to his friends, arrived here yesterday from Mrs. Page’s second grade class at Five Points Elementary School in Springboro, Ohio. His airfare, clothes, and other necessities were provided by Abby Smith, who is my first cousin once removed. Fortunately, cousins are not covered by the City’s nepotism policy; so F.S. can work here without penalty.

I know some who read this column will be happy to hear about the temporary change in management. F.S. appears to be a much better listener, and he dresses more appropriately than I do. He has a full head of hair and is not overweight. F.S. is always smiling and seems to be a genuinely nice guy.

F.S. came to us wearing an Ohio State University shirt and tie. We will be adding to his wardrobe while he’s here, and I’m sure he will come to understand how important it is to be respectful of local culture. We do not want F.S. to become Shredded Stanley.

I hope it’s unnecessary to remind everyone to treat F.S. with the same courtesy and respect given to all city managers. On second thought, it probably is necessary to remind everyone to treat him as an honored guest. I might even benefit from some residual good will. F.S. will not, of course, be paid for his services; but you have my assurance his earnings will go to a good cause.

Please stop by the city manager’s office to have your picture taken with Flat Stanley. He welcomes visitors, and his smile seems to broaden when he denies leave requests or ignores pleas for more money. I’m a little concerned about how he will relate to the City Council, who is accustomed to fawning, gratuitous compliments and occasional groveling. F.S. seems to be a bit rigid and inflexible, so I’m hoping my position will improve by comparison.

F.S. will only be with us for the next week or so, and I’m sure he will be a better man for the experience. I’m teaching him everything I know about Oregon’s land use laws in hopes Ohioans will see the light. He looks a little like our finance director, and I’m planning to send him down to Stewart’s office to practice the many different ways to say “no.”

I will be accepting souvenir offerings at my office to send home with F.S. He should have plenty of Oregon Duck mementos, and the Beavers among you may want to broaden his experience. After all, unlike Number 1 seed Oregon and the mighty Oregon State Beavers, Ohio State is not in the NCAA basketball tournament this year; and F.S. looks more than a little embarrassed.

Flat Stanley 1

Flat Stanley 2