Downtown Rome Dog Mayoral candidate, Banjo the Rescue Dog

I’m officially announcing that my dog Banjo is running for Downtown Rome Dog Mayor.

Here’s what’s going on.

The Office of Downtown Development is partnering with P.A.W.S. to host Dogs Day Out, an adoption and fundraising event today. It’ll take place at the Town Green from 4 to 6 p.m. P.A.W.S will facilitate an adoption event where the public can meet pets available for adoption as well as sign up to be eligible to adopt.

But Downtown Development will also use that time to kick off their fundraising campaign to install dog sanitization stations throughout Historic Downtown Rome and the River District.

Floyd County residents can enter their dog into the inaugural Downtown Rome Dog Mayor contest. All you have to do is stop by the event, register your dog and pay $20. They’ll take a photo of your pooch and post it to the Downtown Rome Facebook page for “election.”

The dog with the most likes will be elected the Downtown Rome Dog Mayor.

Here’s what I’m thinking. My dog Banjo will run for Dog Mayor and IF ELECTED, I will use her mayoral powers to supersede the authority of City Manager Sammy Rich.

This is my chance at undermining his authority.

Banjo will be a puppet mayor with me pulling the strings in the background, enacting various dog ordinances that suit my own agenda. It’s a brilliant plan if it works.

But Banjo will need to run a savvy campaign. Maybe we can get that Tannika King to be her campaign manager. She was Sheriff Dave Roberson’s campaign manager. She’ll have Banjo shaking hands and holding babies from Cave Spring to Coosa. She’ll make sure Banjo attends every meeting and public gathering from Shannon to Silver Creek.

But what sets Banjo apart from the multitude of other candidates is because she’s the best dog for the job. Plain and simple.

Here’s a little background on Banjo. I rescued her a year ago, just before the pandemic hit, and she’s truly been a wonderful companion. She’s extremely sweet but very energetic. She enjoys camping, eating cat poop and chewing Crocs.

If elected dog mayor of downtown Rome, here are some of changes Banjo promises to work toward:

1. Free belly rubs.

2. Unlimited treats for all the good boys and girls.

3. Extended COVID quarantine so folks can stay home longer with their pets.

4. A ban on semi-automatic squirrels.

5. Build a wall ... around more open spaces and call them “dog parks.”

6. Banjo would be the first female dog mayor of downtown Rome. AND she’s mixed. Can you say diversity? Shatter that glass ceiling, Banjo.

7. As a rescue dog, Banjo certainly did not come from a privileged background. She was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth and is not a career politician. She’s only running because she feels she can make a difference in her community. And she won’t forget the hardworking middle class. She lives in Celanese, for goodness sakes. That’s the breadbasket of this county — the heartland.

Even though I think Banjo is the best pooch for the job, I know there’s stiff competition out there. There are so many great dogs who’ll throw their hats in the ring for downtown dog mayor and Banjo has to take them seriously.

I know Taylor, a beautiful black lab owned by David and Kathy Mathis, would be a great candidate as well. Taylor is very sweet and extremely smart. And she actually lives downtown, so she’s got that going for her.

Another serious challenge will also come from Harry and Dawn Brock‘s dog Lola, who also lives downtown.

Any of the dogs owned by Michael and Connie Sams would be a great fit for mayor. They’re the faces of one of downtown Rome’s hubs — Riverdog Outpost.

And of course there are countless others. There are so many great dogs out there who’d be a fantastic Downtown Rome Dog Mayor. Banjo welcomes all contenders. All the money paid to enter the contest will go toward setting up dog sanitation stations throughout downtown Rome and the River District.

So I hope to see you and your dogs out at the Town Green today. Good look to y’all and if you don’t have a “dog in the fight,” Banjo would appreciate your vote.

Severo Avila is Features Editor for the Rome News-Tribune.

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