Mayor Clint

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WITH an international movie star the leading, and winning candidate, this week's mayoral election in Carmel-By-The-Sea, Calif., attracted a lot of attention. Note should also be taken of the 72 percent voter turnout that put Clint Eastwood into office; in years past, turnout had been some 30 percent. And the Carmel election reminds us how much of the work of local government is carried on in a spirit of volunteerism, if at times mixed with enlightened self-interest.

The atmosphere may be a bit rarefied in Carmel, long a noted art colony and tourist attraction. But apparently the issues the town is facing are not unlike those being faced elsewhere: How do you keep success from spoiling an attractive community by drawing so many newcomers into it as to overwhelm it?

For the moment, let's take Mr. Eastwood at his word when he says he has no political ambitions beyond the mayor's chair, and hope that the rumors about tour-bus companies planning to sell tickets to town council meetings presided over by Mayor Clint prove unfounded. And let's take heart in small-town democracy at work -- despite all those pesky reporters.

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