New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg last week answered a phone call at his home from a woman with a housing complaint. In telling reporters about it later, he said his job is to be available to citizens in need. Since then, his phone hasn't stopped ringing.
What about other mayors? A Notebook survey found that the mayors of Chicago, Washington, Philadelphia and New Orleans do not have listed phone numbers. But Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, elected to the city council in 1983, has kept his number listed ever since. The mayors of Minneapolis, Minn., and San Antonio, Texas, can be found in the phone book, and so can the top executives of smaller towns like Topeka, Kans., and Fargo, N.D. If you ring Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, you just may get her mother, Ruth White, who calmly refers irate callers to city hall. Says White: "I think most people just want somebody to listen to them." --By Elspeth Reeve