Where the aldermen are all women

Good ol' girls run panhandle town.

By Lynn Harris

Published April 9, 2008 5:00PM (EDT)

What would it be like if women ran the world? Or at least a really small town in Texas? The latter question we can answer readily, with the case study of McLean, Texas (residents: 830; stoplights: 1), where time apparently does not stand quite as still as some might say. McLean's elected leadership has been all women, all the time ever since Peggy Baer was elected mayor in 2007, leading a five-woman board of aldermen (yes, aldermen).

That, and as the Associated Press reports, "the city secretary, justice of the peace, and postmaster are also women, and women manage the bank, feed store, grocery store and nursing home. The school district's superintendent is male but a female principal oversees the two schools."

"There've been a few soreheads who think women can't do this," said Mayor Baer, 65, "but they didn't run."

Bill Reeves, husband of Alderman Lynn Reeves, says the town leadership has gotten him thinking about the presidential race. "He said he's no fan of Clinton, but might change his opinion if she named her Cabinet now and followed McLean's example," the AP reports. "'If they were all female, I'd vote for her,' he said. 'They'd do no worse, and there's a chance of it being much better.'"

This, at least, we know for sure: Somewhere, Ann Richards is smiling.

Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of BreakupGirl.net. She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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