The City Council of South El Monte, California has imposed a cure on its workaholic mayor--a curfew. The vote, which actually banned all City Hall staff from working past 11 p.m., was 4 to 1, with the mayor casting the dissenting vote. However, it may not be altruistic concern for her well being that fueled the decision.
Mayor Blanca M. Figueroa calls herself a night owl who likes working late hours and doesn't mind being alone in City Hall at 2 or 3 a.m or even on Thanksgiving. “Do I have a private life?” No.,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “My job is 24/7.”
The mayor reports that she stays late in her office because she's at meetings all day and needs time to return phone calls from constituents. She can't work at her house because she doesn't have a copier or fax machine there. According to press reports, the mayor has all the comforts of home in her office, including a microwave, food, and even bedroom slippers and pet fish.
The mayor's nocturnal activities have been caught on the City Hall's surveillance cameras and have raised some concerns. “It's a matter of security, safety, and liability,” commented City Manager Anthony Ybarra to the LA Times. Council Member Hector Delgado told The New York Times that he was concerned with her leaving doors to the outside ajar in warm weather. “What if something happens to her?” he asked. He also said he felt her long nighttime hours were affecting her daytime demeanor.
The means of enforcing the curfew were not outlined in the curfew, but Mr. Delgado suggested publicly that the Council confiscate the mayor's keys.
Sources: LA Times and New York Times