Me and the mayor, part two

Way back in May, I blogged about how me and Gary Leitzell, the Mayor of Dayton, became best buds. And I realize that in all the excitement of making a new best friend, I forgot to follow up and tell everyone how it went. So, several months later, here goes.

By the way, if you have not already signed up for the Dayton 140conf Meet Up on Aug 22, do it now. I’ll wait. (I figured I’d drag you in first, then hit you up. Clever, eh?)

Ok, so here is how it all went down.

We exchanged available dates and agreed to Friday, May 28 at the Smokin’ BBQ in the Oregon District. As the date approached, I got a little anxious that no other exchange had taken place, so I was a bit unsure if Gary was going to show or not. I almost didn’t go myself. But I did.

I got there a bit early and ordered. Lt. Larry Faulkner of the Dayton Police was there as well, probably on an advance mission to check me out to make sure I wasn’t some nutjob. (I am, but apparently didn’t look it 🙂 )

As I was eating my BBQ (sliced brisket, smoked bologna for the dogs) and settling into my Kindle, Gary comes strolling along down Fifth. We wave through the glass and him, Larry and I had a nice lunch.

We talked about Dayton and how we could bring some passion back for the city. We talked about the media and some politics in general. But mostly we talked about everyday things, like his kids and the family of cats that had moved into his home.

And that next Monday, Gary and I became friends on Facebook. And perhaps this is the small start of a connection with city government that doesn’t feel like a heartless, soulless cog in a larger machine.

How are you reaching out to your local government?

How me and the Mayor of Dayton, Ohio – Gary Leitzell – became best buds

Gary Leitzell

Well, in all honesty, we’re not best buds yet. We’re not even Facebook friends, but that is all I’m shooting for anyway.

Back in November of 2009, Gary got himself elected Mayor of Dayton, Ohio. I didn’t vote for him because I couldn’t as I live in Englewood.* Apparently they have laws here and Dayton ain’t no Chicago in a lot of ways. But that is another story entirely. (Incidentally, if I did live in Dayton, I would have voted for Gary.)

Here was a cool cat who wore an earring, ran as an independent and “got” all this social media stuff. That, I thought, was going to be a refreshing change from the slightly odd Rhin McLin with her collection of hats and squeaky voice who never seemed to be quite all there in a conversation.

So I requested to be Gary’s friend. More accurately, my editor requested because Facebook doesn’t let dogs have profiles. But they will let them have fan pages!

Then nothing. Long pause between November and April.

So, I tried again and this time, Gary writes back. He said:

I currently have 213 “Friend Requests” from people that I don’t know or have never met. It increases daily! One day, when I meet you and if I like you, I will click that button.

So I invited him to lunch. I’m pretty sure he will like me after only a few minutes and we will be on the road to becoming best buds. (I’m buying or we can go Dutch if that would be considered a gift and cause problems on down the road with your relection. My favorite Dayton spot is Smokin’ BBQ on Fifth.)

So, the ball is in his court. If you would like Gary to have lunch with me and become my Facebook friend, drop him a line (937-333-3636), send out a tweet, write him an email or send him a message on Facebook and let him know what wonderful folks we here at the DogWalk are.

And drop your comments below. Heck, seems to me a great excuse for Gary to meet the movers and shakers on the social media scene in Dayton, Ohio! Maybe instead of a lunch, we should just plan a big ol’ neighborhood picnic.

Yes? Hop on the comments below, let’s make it happen.

*Every time I think of OUR mayor, Patricia Burnside, I think of that late ’70s sitcom Carter Country and have a private chuckle. Mayor Burnside, Mayor Bunside