I gave a short acceptance speech, I thanked Jeremy Westchester for his 25 years of service and repeated the oath as Mayor to serve the people of Brasslans and my aim to cut spending and cut taxes. Some applause and a blitz of cameras.
“And now to start work.” I was left with the staff and Jeremy Westchester. Why was he still there? “Now that the fun bit is over I can resign, can't I? It that what you wanted to say?” Jeremy Westchester gave me the office keys and left hurriedly.
I shook everybody's hand, first Karl Dingeldei, the Financial Officer; then Mrs Barbara Basefeld and Mrs Bessy Broom from the Citizens' Bureaux, Miss Chantel Westchester from the Tourist Information Office, and Old Joe and Young Joe from the Gardening Department.
I gave another short speech and repeated my aim to cut spending and cut taxes. “There are two things that I want to do immediately. One is to close the Tourist Information Office. Brasslans has no tourist attractions and no hotels and the Office hardly any customers. We will find another activity for Chantel.”
“Secondly I have a new Financial Plan for the new financial year starting the first of next month. I have a copy for everyone, just one double-sided sheet of paper. But please start using it today. Any questions?”
Chantel wanted to know what her new activity was. “We don't know yet, I'm sure we can think of something.”
Karl Dingeldei said very seriously that he would have to study the new Financial Plan thoroughly before he could sign it. “It must be signed before the end of the month, otherwise the existing plan, which is very good, will be used.”
I strode into the Tourist Information Office and turned the street door sign to CLOSED. Karl Dingeldei looked unhappy, but I wasn't heartbroken about that.
I spent the rest of the morning talking with Barbara and Bessy. I took off the heavy gold chain and locked it in the safe and went for a lunchtime walk, Brasslans looked the same as usual.
When I returned I noticed that the sign in the Tourist Information Office door had been turned to OPEN, though Chantel was not there. Karl Dingeldei was trying to use the mayor's computer, my computer. I did not tell him that I had set passwords, I suspected that he was trying to pay invoices in the Mayor's name.
That evening I returned to the town hall and gathered all the tourist brochures and locked them in my desk. I changed the lock on the street door and locked it and glued the sign to CLOSED. Next stop the pub and a big round of drinks to celebrate.