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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Seven Hills Mayor David Bentkowski Resigns, Takes Job at Ohio Lottery Commission; We Weep

Posted By on Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 4:15 PM


Seven Hills Mayor David Bentkowski, the Bizarre Boy Mayor who has held the highest post in the tiny suburb since 2003, resigned to take a position with the Ohio Lottery Commission. He wouldn't have been able to run for a third term anyway, but according to the PD, he still plans on running for one of Seven Hills' three at-large council seats.

Bentkowski was Scene's favorite mayor in all the land, but not for positive reasons — we once said he had the political IQ of a piece of lettuce. The Bizarre Boy Mayor has published the size of his penis, proudly proclaimed a superlove for Superman, spent more time collecting photos with celebrities than attending to his town's business, and had an almost maniacal and definitely misguided (and at times scary) obsession with looking hip and cool.

Bentkowski sued Scene for defamation, unsuccessfully, for some of those articles.

Needless to say, our trust and faith in the Ohio Lottery Commission has been shattered by this hire, as we continue to bemoan the fact that Bentkowski and not someone else — anyone else, really — has a job.

After the jump, a full retrospective of Scene's coverage of The Bizarre Boy Mayor. Enjoy.

The Big Bentkowski: "Last week, soon after Scene asked Bentkowski about the house, the mayor used campaign money to publish a newsletter chronicling his "Extreme Makeover" of the home. The "Seven Hills News" includes before-and-after photos of various parts of his bachelor-pad-to-be, along with a picture of the mayor's "Superman Room." The room, which apparently "encourages heroism" and "fun," is where the mayor stores a collection of superhero memorabilia, including a Superman Christmas stocking and a mannequin in full S-man gear. To save money on decor, the mayor even bought $5 garage-sale tables and painted them red, blue, and yellow — to match his favorite hero's outfit.

The newsletter also praises the mayor for being "smart enough to stay at home and save money until he was 33," so that he could afford to fix up the house. But, it explains, "He has spent around $100,000 trying to make it habitable — with still plenty of repairs remaining."

"He didn't know what he was getting into," English says.

Neither did Seven Hills."

Student reviews Bentkowski's book, calls it immature and perverse: "One memorable chapter, featuring an interview with rapper LL Cool J, begins with a revelation of the size of the author’s penis, and includes multiple seemingly semi-racist stereotypes about African-American men."

The Bizarre Boy Mayor (second item): "The letter, which reads like a student-council campaign speech, is vintage Bentkowski. This, after all, is a 34-year-old mayor who brags about his youth, proudly wears Superman tights, and routinely tries to pull off stunts like limiting residents' feedback at meetings and barring government employees from running for office. Bentkowski, it's safe to say, has the political IQ of Quiznos' lettuce.

The letter also includes a lengthy questionnaire that asks residents to provide the ages and names of "everyone living in your household." This, Bentkowski writes, "will help us notify you of various things that may be of interest to you. For example, if you have an 18-year-old daughter we can invite her to participate in the Miss Seven Hills Pageant," an event the mayor has insisted he emcee. It also asks for e-mail, web, and MySpace addresses.

The mayor says he's just trying to stay in touch with residents. But the letter left some members of city council scratching their heads, says councilman Frank Petro, a regular critic of the Boy Mayor®. Nowhere does the questionnaire say it's voluntary or that personal information will be kept private. The letter doesn't appear on city letterhead and includes the mayor's personal web address. But it was paid for by the city."

Superman's Propaganda (third item) "Throughout his reign, Bentkowski has published the Seven Hills News, which runs compelling stories comparing the mayor to Grady Sizemore and Brady Quinn, as well as photos of his bachelor's pad, which includes a Superman room, which explains why he's still single."

Mayor Myspace: "[The website] includes pictures of the mayor posing with Nick Lachey. Posing with his flag football team. Posing with Gwen Stefani, the Cavs dance team, Laura Bush, and other total babes. It even has the mayor dressed proudly in full Superman costume, in tribute to his favorite superhero.

And the site's soundtrack ranges from "God Bless America" to Depeche Mode to the Superman theme."

Seven Hills Soap Opera (last item): "Bentkowski swears he's just trying to protect the city, though the law would also bar lifeguards and really nice librarians named Rene from serving on council. So he'll redraft the proposal to exclude jobs that aren't an obvious conflict.

Yet the new plan would still ban Petro and Trafis. It's not about revenge, says the modest mayor, since neither poses a threat. 'Those candidates would be sitting ducks in an election against me.'"

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