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Issue Date: December 2007 Issue


Hey, Ralphie

We’re sorry about the jokes, the teasing, the laughs we had at your expense on the pages of this magazine during the ’70s. You probably helped us sell almost as many magazines as Dennis Kucinich, and you tried your best to be a good mayor to our city. Thanks for trying. There’s no one else we’d rather roast.
Perk, as recently as February 26, expressed confidence that he can solve the city’s financial problems. “It’s only a one-year problem,” he said.
— “The Revolving Door of the Mayor’s Office,” by Estelle Zannes, April 1972
When Ralph J. Perk was elected the 51st mayor of Cleveland just six months ago, he rushed out to his favorite wholesale clothing factory and bought himself six brand new reject suits.
— “Perk Up Your Wardrobe for $32,” by Tish Jett, May 1972

Between lunches, dinners, polka parties, ground-breakings and all those high-level conferences the mayor attends, he has been selecting velvet draperies, discussing the merits of parquet floors, looking for Oriental rugs, searching for hard-to-get wallpaper, and devoting the full power and influence of his office to find a proper commode for the executive washroom.
— “The Politics of Restoration: Making Ralph J. Perk both Elegant and Safe,”  by Edward P. Whelan, May 1973

“The Nobody Will Kick Sand In This Man’s Face Award”
Mayor Ralph Perk was arrested and charged with assaulting 6-foot 5-inch, 265-pound patrolman Arnold Hovan.
—“Kissing August Goodbye,” Sept. 1973

City government may be going to hell, but Ralph J. Perk has not lost any of his poise. He’s looking better than ever — his white boots gleaming, his once singed hair now coiffured and his ego swelling with the helium of senatorial dreams — as he tries to leave Cleveland and its problems behind.
— “Ralph Perk’s Flight to Washington,” by Edward P. Whelan, May 1974

At the very hour that Ralph Perk might be poor-mouthing at a news conference, his bureaucrats are conjuring up new methods with which to spend the windfalls of special federal money earmarked to uplift local government. Perk gets off the hook because Cleveland is racially polarized and his constituency is so terrified of change that they prefer to allow him his excesses. Thus, no matter how stifling and unimaginative the Perk administration and no matter how many promises go unfulfilled, we can expect two more years at least of the status quo.
—“Mayor Ralph J. Perk and the Politics of Decay,” by Edward P. Whelan, Sept. 1975

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