Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mike Mahaffie: City Council Candidate

Lewes Lighthouse SignWelcome, Lewes voters. Please use this web site to get to know me. I want your vote. You need to know who I am and what I stand for. I wrote here regularly between 2004 and early last year.  There are many thoughts; feel free to browse.

Start with the post I wrote on March 28 shortly after filing to run for city council: Hey, Lewes Folks, Please Vote for Me.

I've since refined that a bit into what I think of as my elevator pitch.

Then spend some time, if you like, with a collection of links to thoughts about Lewes from the history of this blog.  Particularly, remembrances of former mayors George HP Smith and Al Stango, as well as a memorial to Howard Seymor.

And, you can learn why I've recently changed my look (spoiler: community theater).

Questions? Please leave a comment below or send me an e-mail:

Monday, April 14, 2014

My Elevator Pitch

Hello. My name is Mike Mahaffie. I'm running for Lewes City Council.

I’ve lived in Lewes for 27 years, more than half my life. This is my home. I want to serve this city and its people.

I’ve served on the planning commission since 1999, and as its chair since 2009. I’ve worked on the Comprehensive Plan, the Zoning Ordinance, the Subdivision Ordinance, and more. I know the land use issues of Lewes.

I’ve spent 25 years working in Delaware state government. I've worked with the leaders of State Planning, DelDOT, DNREC, Agriculture, and other agencies important to Lewes. I offer a comprehensive knowledge of how the state, its cities, and its counties work together.

I bring wide experience, local knowledge, and an analytical and curious mind. I practice kindness and respect for all opinions.

Please vote for for me in the Lewes City Council election on May 10.

Friday, April 4, 2014

If I Appear in a Leg Cast Tomorrow, I Think You'll Know Why

Tonight the Possum Point Players production of South Pacific opens for its gala two-weekend run in Georgetown.  I'm making my triumphant return to the Possum stage in a small role as a flunky to that show's main comic-relief character, Luther Billis.  I'm "The Professor."

I used to perform and work backstage for Possum shows in the late 80s and early 90s. I played small roles and did a bit of technical work. Karen played in orchestras for the musicals. We made many great friends.

We both took a break to raise the girls. But with the nest starting to empty out, we're dipping our toes back into the water.

Karen played in the Orchestra last year for Les Miserables.  I did a tiny walk-on a few years back as a favor to a friend who was directing.  For South Pacific, I'm back in the mix of a large pool of talented actors, singers and dancers.

If nothing else, I can project my voice and am comfortable on-stage.

So. If you are curious about how I look now that I'm "face-bald," grab some tickets and come see the show.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Wait... Why Did He Shave and Change His Hair Color?

I am a middle-aged man, with an appropriate mixture of grey in my hair. And I have worn some form of facial hair almost continuously since I was first able to grow a scraggly beard. But, for the moment, I have changed my look.

This has nothing to do with running for Lewes city council and everything to do with playing a small role as a navy seaman in the Possum Point Players production of South Pacific. We open on April 4, get your tickets!

The directors have asked me to shave and remove the grey from my hair and I have done so. This is the first time I've been clean-shaven since March of 1988, when I played a Russian soldier in the Possum's Fiddler on the Roof. And I've had some sort of hair-color camouflage applied to hide the grey.

I have mixed feelings. I'm not without vanity and the idea of being younger is appealing. But I'm also a realist: I know that I am not a young man. And, The Lovely Karen has pointed out that I have a baby-face. That's a major reason for the beard in the first place. As a couple, we've always been proud to own our grey (and blame it on our kids).

So both the grey hair and likely the facial hair will return after the play is done. The hair color will fade (luckily, it doesn't have to grow out). And I expect I'll grow some sort of facial hair again. Exactly what will be decided in consultation with my wife and daughters. After all, they have to look at this face.

Bonus irony: Those of us old enough to remember TV commercials in the 1970s will recall the Clairol commercial which turned the Song "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair" into "I'm Gonna Wash That Grey Right Out of My Hair."

Friday, March 28, 2014

Hey, Lewes Folks, Please Vote for Me

Today I filed paperwork to run for Lewes City Council. The election is Saturday, May 10.  I hope you will vote for me.

I have lived in Lewes since 1987. This is where the Lovely Karen and I started married life. She's proved her patience and good humor for more than 25 years.  Together we've raised two lovely young women who will always call Lewes their home town.

I have served on the Lewes Planning Commission since 1999. I've had the honor of serving as Chair of the Commission since 2009. Over these years I've learned a great deal about the city and how it functions. I've helped in the drafting of updates of the City Comprehensive Plan, the City Zoning Map, the Zoning Ordinance and the Subdivision Ordinance. And I've been involved in making recommendations to Mayor and Council on some wonderfully complex and controversial proposals.

I was born just over 52 years ago in Washington DC and grew up in the Maryland suburbs of that city.  In 1984, I graduated from Colby College, in Waterville, Maine, with a Bachelor of Arts. I was an English major.  I learned how to learn.  And I've had great fun doing just that, ever since.

I first moved to eastern Sussex County, in 1986, for a job at WGMD radio. In 1989 I began a career with state government that has included working as a public information officer, a business research director, a data coordinator, Governor's Liaison to the Census Bureau for the 2000 and 2010 Census counts, and (most recently) as Acting Director of the Delaware Government Information Center. I have worked at DNREC, DEDO, the Office of State Planning Coordination and the Department of State.

As a by-product of the jobs I've held, and because of the intimate size of the state of Delaware, I've worked closely with the leaders of many of the major state agencies that interact with Lewes.  My jobs have brought me into close contact with many legislative leaders and our last four governors (and probably some of the next few, if my guesses are correct). I can offer a comprehensive knowledge of how Delaware works, at the municipal, county and state levels.

You are reading this (shameless) autobiographical sketch on a blog I started in 2004 as a place to exercise my writing muscles. I haven't regularly updated this site for several years. My writing and photographic urges have shifted to facebook, twitter, flickr and instagram. But there's record here of what I was thinking here that you may find useful.

Many of my posts have been about Lewes.  I've done no pruning, so you'll find a representative slice of what I was thinking at various times.

And I hope you will consider voting for me.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


We are visiting Winston-Salem, in North Carolina. Christina is auditioning today for a summer ballet program. Tomorrow we tour Wake Forest University.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

RGIII is an Inspiring Player; He's Also Still a Kid

There's a cute "mic-ed up" of Redskins Quarterback Robert Griffin III in the Dallas game last week on Sound FX. It's a montage of Griffin making inspirational little speeches, cheering on his teammates, grunting his way through plays and celebrating successes. It's fun to watch him lead his team and enjoy his game.

There's also a funny moment at about 3:15 in the video where he's in the huddle, telling his teammate that they can take over the game and finish their victory. They all stare at him for a long moment and then he says, "Oh. Ya'll want the play? OK."

He's a great player. He's a leader. He's inspirational.

But he's also just a kid.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Annual Personal Metrics: 2012 Book List

I read just under 56 books in 2012. That's about the same reading pace that I maintained in 2011. Of the total, all but two were fiction. Most were borrowed from the Lewes Public Library.

Here is the list: