Mayor Cluck…Rock Star?
By Office of Communication
Posted on February 10, 2012, February 10, 2012

Through the eyes of impressionable second graders, Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck certainly has the life, with the limousines at his disposal, the gazillion dollars in salary he pockets and the ability to stroll into any area store and get what he wants - without brandishing a wallet.

Such a rock star existence brought this inquiry Thursday at Carol Holt Elementary School in South Arlington: "Where's your people?"

The lack of an entourage - and some sort of White House style living - flabbergasted this audience of about 120 kids currently wading through the government portion of their social studies.

Mayor Cluck stood in front of the students in the school's cafeteria and held court for nearly 30 minutes, clearly relishing the opportunity to promote the City he leads and set the record straight: his limo is actually a good old American-made Cadillac. His gazillion dollar paycheck is "actually $238 once a month," and picking up even a loaf of bread from a grocery store without paying would strip him of his job fast. That's stealing.

"That wouldn't be right to accept," Cluck said. "I'm not allowed to get anything you can't get."

Student after student stood, some with notecards in hand, to ask such penetrating questions, as "Are you friends with the governor?" (Yes.) "Have you ever been in the White House?" (Yes, several times.) "Where is your White House?" ("Well, my house is near Lake Arlington and not nearly that big. Mayors don't have houses from taxpayers.")

Cluck seized the opportunity to talk about what money is really used for (firemen and police) and why major crime has significantly dropped. He touted firemen as heroes "who run in the opposite direction of the way I'd run during a fire." He spoke highly of school partnerships such as Operation Graduation where the school and community team up to get students who have dropped out to drop right back in.

"Last year we got 55 kids to come back to school," Cluck said proudly, to which the students buzzed, "woooooooow."

Holt Student-Teacher Brittany Good invited the mayor to this Mansfield ISD school and was pleased with the reverence the students paid him. "After studying presidents and governors and mayors, he's like a celebrity coming to talk only to them," Good said.

Cluck tries to work a few of these school visits into his schedule with the hope of putting a face on government.

"It's important that they are exposed to the mayor and city council," Cluck said after the talk. "This is always gratifying because it's a good opportunity to tell them about public safety and how government works."

And to explain why there's no entourage.

"I always get that question, probably because they see the president on TV with secret service," Cluck said. "That and how big is my house and whether I have dogs."

He has three. Dogs. Not houses.

By Kenneth Perkins

Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck

Mansfield ISD
Education, Government, Mayor & Council, News