Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The photogenic mayor of Reading

Some of you thought I was exaggerating about the publicity-seeking mayor of Reading in a recent post about his opponent, Keith Stamm.

I picked up a copy of the Reading Eagle over the weekend and saw an article about a deli owner in business at the same location for 40 or 50 years in business (I forgot the exact number). The story was a typical feature about a well-known community member. Nothing unusual here.

What struck me as odd was the photo that accompanied the article. The only customer in the deli at the time the photo was taken was none other than Mayor Tom McMahon.

What are the odds that the mayor of Reading would be buying a pack of gum at the very instant that a newspaper photographer was there to take a photo of the retiring store owner?

I think the odds of getting struck by lightning are better.

I'm just amazed at how often McMahon appears in the newspaper and how it's always in favorable situations. Does he have mole inside the newsroom who tips him off when a photographer is on an assignment?

A building collapsed in Reading last week. It was the second time this year that a large structure toppled because of deteriorating condition of many buildings in the city. I didn't see a photo of the mayor standing next to the rubble.

I don't remember any photos of the mayor at the scene of one of the city's many shootings.

The Reading Eagle took a photo of a huge pile of trash recently to illustrate how various parts of Reading have been turned into make-shift garbage dumps. No signs of the mayor in that photo, either.

I just find it odd that the Democratic mayor shows up for PR photos on a regular basis but is never portrayed in a negative light by the newspaper. Has McMahon really done a good job over the past four years or has he been able to fool a lot of people?

We'll find out in November. In addition to Republican Keith Stamm (, who is the current president of the Reading School Board, the incumbent mayor is facing a former mayor running as an independent, another independent candidate and a Green Party member.

All those opponents may split the vote and McMahon could skate back into office for another four years. After all, Mayor Tom is so photogenic.

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