For a guy who opted not to seek a second term as mayor of Haddon Heights, NJ, Scott Alexander seems to be having a hard time letting go of the office.
The silver-haired marketing whiz has conferred upon himself the heretofore obscure honorific "Mayor Emeritus," and is utilizing it on his website (mayoralexander.com) and Twitter feed (@mayoralexander). His YouTube channel is called Mayor Scott Alexander, although his biographical sketch on the channel's home page uses the title Mayor Emeritus.
"He gave it to himself," says Ed Forte, who is the actual mayor of Haddon Heights. "The town did not bestow it on him."
Via email, longtime Alexander critic Susan O'Neill says the Mayor Emeritus is engaged in a "masquerade," perhaps arising from a "narcissistic need."
A rising Republican star who was elected in 2007 and attracted the attention of GOP supernova Chris Christie, Alexander shook things up when he really was mayor. He proposed an ambitious redevelopment project and even cut property taxes in Haddon Heights.
But politics in this lovely, leafy little Camden County borough can be fiercely personal, and withering criticism of Alexander's aggressive, if not self-aggrandizing, style surely played a role in his decision not to seek a second term.
In April, 2011, the self-employed father of four issued a statement saying he wanted to "focus time on family" and other interests.
"I did everything I wanted to do" as mayor, said Alexander, from whom I'm awaiting clarification of his new...role.