By Monk
Special Canine Correspondent

‘Residents of the mountain community of Idyllwild have spoken, and ARF’s [Animal Rescue Friends] executive board has listened. By popular demand, Mayor Max’s term of office has been extended for another year,” Janice Murasko announced in an email Saturday.

Mayor Max / Photo by J.P. Crumrine
Last week, the ARF board approached His Honor about extending his term of office another 12 months. After some deliberation and discussion with campaign manager Phyllis Mueller, Mayor Max agreed and “is very excited to have the opportunity to continue representing this beautiful mountain and its residents — dogs, cats, critters, and humans.”

On its Facebook page, ARF has received communications from dozens of humans on the Hill and far away asking whether Max would continue. Even the Chicago Tribune has written about our Mayor, according to Murasko.

Prior to the session with ARF board, the mayor met with his Political Action Committee of Raccoons in Support of Mayor Max of Idyllwild (also known as the PAC-RACs), “We discussed in detail our plans for the Office of Mayor Max for the remainder of my term as Mayor of Idyllwild,” he said.

In the next 18 months, Mayor Max will continue to promote Idyllwild and remain involved with community groups, personal visits and to do good deeds.

He plans to continue his outreach to thousands of CEOs in Southern California. “I didn’t know how they would receive a communication from a canine mayor, and I was very happy to see that it was even more welcome than a communication from a human,” he said proudly.

After the board offered to extend the term a year, the mayor was thrilled and barked a great deal, Mueller said.

His first seven months have been wonderful. “The more work I do as the mayor, the more I want to do, so this is an expanding role,” he said.

Mayor Max has taken on many roles during his brief tenure. Besides being an ambassador to the world, he has also focused on local activities. Recently, he has spent time visiting many ill people on the Hill and trying to cheer them up.

Another high point was the November Tree Lighting Ceremony. “I loved that everyone loved it and said it was the best. I totally enjoyed being with the paparazzi for a few hours. I somehow get exhilarated when people are petting me and admiring me,” he said.

And of course, his birthday party last month was an important milestone.

The mayor’s health has been restored after a heart operation this fall. “I have recovered, and this has given me some more time. I hope it’s a long time, but we appreciate every moment and try to live in the moment,” he said happily. “So all is well no matter the outcome. I love Idyllwild so much and all its people. I cannot convey how entirely grateful I am for this opportunity, and I will do my best to be a good Mayor for as long as I shall … have the post.”

The next mayoralty election will be May 2014, according to Murasko, who added, “aspiring mayors and council members, your opportunity to throw your hat into the ring will come your way in May 2014, when nominations will open and Mayor Max will move on to a well-earned retirement.”

The mayor was chosen in a landslide vote last June, which was a big fundraiser for ARF. Instead of another boring election with all the campaign flyers, signs and commercials, Mayor Max and ARF are planning a stupendous Pet Expo on July 13 as an alternative fundraiser this year, which is expected to be as big as the 2013 election, Murasko said.

While the date overlaps with the Fourth Lemon Lily Festival, Murasko believes the two events will be complementary.