My good friend Santa Claus visited the Leffler household Sunday night. It was a very nice thing to do.

He was just making sure my daughters got all their wishes in on time.

As we were saying goodbye and good luck for tonight’s Christmas delivery, Santa pulled me aside and asked me for some last minute gift ideas for some friends of mine.

I told him I couldn’t answer him at the moment, but that he could read it in today’s paper.

Santa, I’m told, is a huge fan of the Union-Sun & Journal.


For Mayor Sullivan, I would like to suggest an executive gift set, including a digital voice recorder so he can recall who he endorsed and who he didn’t, and a dictionary so he can correctly use words like “support” and “persist.”

For Alderman Joe Kibler, some playground equipment, a sock, and a manual on how to properly use the sock. Manual should read as follows: If you are struck with a moment of genius, insert sock into mouth. Better the sock than the foot.

For Alderman (and sheriff’s department investigator) Scott Elliott, a seat back on the city’s police board, which he resigned from earlier this year.

For Alderwoman Phyllis Green, plane tickets to Florida or North Carolina, so long as she uses them quickly. Oh, and make them one-way.

Give some to county legislators, too, please Santa.

For Alderman Scott Cercone, a horticulture degree so he has the knowledge necessary for tree and monument placement in city parks.

For Council President Patrick Schrader, a Magic Eight-Ball so he can figure out whether his resolutions have the votes or not.

For Alderman David Blackley, a watch set 15 minutes fast so he can make his meetings on time.

For Senator George Maziarz, a clone. This will serve two purposes. He can attend more bar mitzvahs and he can no longer tell me, “Scott, I’m just one man.”

For Police Chief Neil Merritt, a phone line that isn’t recorded.

For Officer Brian LeBere, golf lessons and greens fees to a course that doesn’t call the Union-Sun & Journal with scores. I’m sure he’ll be bowled over by that.

For City Attorney John J. Ottaviano, a gift certificate for lunch at Tom’s Diner for Dec. 28 at noon.

For Developer Elmer Granchelli, a gift certificate for lunch at Tom’s Diner for Dec. 28 at noon.

For City Clerk Dick Mullaney, his own floor in City Hall so he has the room to perform the duties of clerk … budget director … Civil Service commissioner … the mayor … Common Council … dog warden … etc.

For Building Inspector James McCann, a certificate of occupancy for Washington Heights and the foresight to check things out before making statements about whether people live in vacant buildings.

For Community Development Director Bill Evert, a time machine so he can see something happen on the South Block and Richmond Avenue.

For Paul Oates, … never mind Santa, I think Paul got his wish.

For Lenny Thomas, a home on Lincoln Avenue so he doesn’t have to go so far when trouble breaks out at the high school. Also, a bullhorn so the Common Council will listen to him when he warns them about problems on the city’s north end.

For John Lombardi, chairman of the city’s Republican Committee, a grueling primary battle for the mayor’s race, after which the loser runs on another party line and siphons votes from the “other” Republican, letting Tom Sullivan stay in office another four years.

And for all of my friends, a salt shaker so they can take a grain as needed — while reading this column, for example.