Miami's Undertaker

Given his nature, no one really expects the 60-year-old Plummer to resign. But political consultant Hamersmith says that when Plummer's term runs out in three years it will most likely mark the end of his political career. "I think the whole experience will cause J.L. to think a long time about running again for re-election," says Hamersmith. "Unfortunately a lot of people are going to blame him just because he was there. And since he has been there the longest, he is going to have to take the heat. I've already heard that he does not intend to run for office again."

All of which assumes that there will be a City of Miami in three years. Fueled by tales of fiscal mismanagement and allegations of rampant corruption, organizers of the abolish-Miami movement claim to have gathered enough signatures to force the question onto the ballot in the coming months. The vote will likely be close. If the city is disbanded, it would be a fitting epitaph for Plummer's political career.

For decades, as the owner of Ahern-Plummer Funeral Home, the commissioner has been preparing bodies for interment -- draining their blood and applying makeup so that they can look as natural as possible despite their decaying state.

Whether he realized it or not, Plummer for the past ten years has been preparing the city in a similar way. And as the city is lowered into the ground we should all take a moment to remember the hard work of the undertaker, because without Joseph Lionel Plummer none of this would have been possible.

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