John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Ready for a feel-good edition of our weekly restroom column?
Ready for a feel-good edition of Toilet Tuesday?
Everyone, we can stop the search for America's most responsive mayor: It's Jim Senior of Centerville, Iowa. The captain of this town of roughly 5,500 citizens, located a couple hours southeast of Des Moines, was so upset over a citizen's complaint about a filthy public toilet that he went down there and cleaned it himself.
That's not so remarkable, until you get a look at the state of the commode in the video above. (Warning: ICK ICK ICK.) Someone had broken the lock to the bathroom to access the toilet and absolutely went to town on it: The things that must've happened in that crapper would make GG Allin blush. For those who choose to avoid watching the stomach-churning footage, the Heartland Connection interviewed one dismayed fellow who described it as "dirty sanitary napkins laying around, and feces smeared all over the toilet."
That's when Supermayor swept into action. The Connection sent a reporter to examine the state of this disagreeable john and found the pol already there, applying some elbow grease in the biohazard zone. After swabbing and mopping everything to sparkling perfection, the laconic Senior stated that it was "difficult to clean out" but that "we managed."
In his mayoral bio, Senior says that "[a]ll of us – the Mayor, City Council and City employees – are committed to serving our citizens with professional and timely service." What do you know: He actually means it.