National polls show that voters all over the country are losing faith in their elected leaders. But the 900 residents of Talkeetna, Alaska, say their mayor is doing a great job bringing in tourist dollars and has served in office for over a decade.
“He’s good. He’s probably the best we’ve ever had,” resident Lauri Stec tells KTUU. “He was just in the Alaska Magazine, and he’s been featured in a few different things.” In fact, Stec hangs out with Mayor Stubbs most days at Nagley’s General Store, even though she notes, “He’s growling at me right now.” That’s because the 15-year-old mayor is actually a cat, who was elected to office as a write-in candidate shortly after his birth.
“Their tour guides will trick them [the tourists],” fellow Nagley’s employee Skye Farrar tells KTUU. “They’ll tell them to go to Nagley’s and ask for the mayor.”
And with the power of social media, Stubbs is growing in popularity and drawing visitors to Talkeetna, who comes specifically to meet the honorary mayor. Mayor Stubbs has more than 2,500 Facebook fans on his page, nearly three times as many people who live in the town itself.
“Oh my gosh, we probably have 30 to 40 people a day come in who are tourists wanting to see him,” Stec said. Though residents say he’s been taking the newfound fame in stride, with his major indulgence being a daily dose of catnip served from a wine glass.
Do you like the idea of Stubbs being the “mayor” of this tiny town? What are other creative ideas to boost a town’s tourism?
Image: Euro News