To: Kim Kardashian
From: Prop Zero
Re: Your interest in being mayor of a California city
U.S. & World
You made headlines when, in a bonus clip from your sister's show Khloe & Lamar, mentioned that you'd run for mayor of the Southern California city of Glendale in five years or so.
This made a certain amount of sense. You're of Armenian heritage, and Glendale has a lot of Armenians. Glendale can be kind of dull, but it's on LA's doorstep, and thus near lots of night spots and interesting places.
And of course, there's your longstanding commitment to public service.
All that said, don't do it, Kim.
Here's the problem. Being mayor of a California city isn't much fun these days.
Indeed, it would be a huge step down in public power, even for a reality TV starlet.
Local elected officials in California cities have little power. They can't raise taxes -- only the state legislature or the voters themselves can do that. So they have to beggar and steal and find ways to create revenues out of nothing.
On a technical note: in the city of Glendate all of the city council members take turns filling the mayoral seat, so technically you can't run for mayor, you run for city council.
Since you've created revenues for yourself out of nothing, you might be good at this. But it will get old fast. And city attorneys may take a dim view of product placement at council meetings.
And even with California's weakened cities, mayors aren't where the power is at. They are figureheads, usually just one more member of the city council. The real power is the city manager -- appointed, professional administrators who run most cities day to day.
Such people often have years of education and training in public administration -- which you don't have. So you'd have a hard time, getting hired, even in Glendale.
So if you want to get into public service in California, don't bother yourself with winning office in a city. If you want to be the center of attention, and of the action, aim higher. Run for governor.
As Governors Reagan and Schwarzenegger demonstrated, experience in public service isn't a prerequisitie.