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BUERGER FOR KING?

By Ruth Miller Fitzgibbons |

POLITICS You’ll recall that council member JIM BUERGER, a self-made millionaire, made a run at the mayor’s office back in 1987 but was crushed by ANNETTE STRAUSS. Happily. Buerger didn’t take the loss as a permanent setback. He saw it simply as a message from Those Who Know How We Do Things Here to retool his campaign-which has been ongoing ever since.

That meant earning some stripes the old-fashioned way: by civic service (on the DART board) and launching a do-good project, like Adopt-A-Block.

So far, so good. But some feel Jim’s maneuvering has gotten out of hand. Political sages JACK EVANS and HERSCHEL BROWN reportedly pulled Buerger aside and called him down after his seemingly self-serving attempts to barge into the delicate political process that produced the 10-4-1 plan. Disgruntled Buerger-watchers claim that he stirred up JOHN WILEY PRICE price and other minority leaders, inviting them into the fray so that he could be seen mediating between the two sides. Buerger urged a delay while a compromise could be sought, but the plan backfired, and as everyone knows by now, the result was The Long, Hot Summer of Racial Demagoguery.

It takes more than a scolding, though, to keep Jim Buerger down. He will be distributing a chirpy newsletter this fall to keep his at-large constituents abreast of his council concerns and achievements. Buerger’s media guru ROB ALLYN says the two talk politics almost every week and that the councilman will “keep touching base” with his political committee. Allyn admits that Buerger hungers for the mayor’s job, but adds that, “of the eleven sitting members of the council, at least ten of them would like to be mayor.”

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