DOTHAN, Ala. — If anyone can take a good ribbing, it’s Mike Schmitz.
The two-term Dothan mayor, who is leaving the post in October to become Dothan City School Board chairman, was the target of a “Roast and Toast” to benefit Saliba Family Services, a nonprofit agency that offers social services to local families at no cost.
Schmitz gave as good as he got as he was roasted in person and on video Thursday night at the Dothan Civic Center.
“Aren’t you amazed that all these people showed up tonight to make sure you get the heck out of office?” Houston County Commission Chairman Mark Culver said.
Culver said Schmitz has been his partner on a lot of economic development trips.
“I have found that the mayor is a very deep thinker,” he said as he showed a photo of the mayor napping on a train in South Korea.
“This is the mayor thinking,” Culver said, “and he does this all the time on trips.”
Culver said Schmitz is like the Energizer Bunny, physically fit and always on the go.
“Our mayor is a bunny rabbit, always going but still has a soft side,” Culver said.
Schmitz repaid the comments by presenting Culver with two wigs, one of them a mullet.
“People trust folks that have hair,” Schmitz said.
Dothan Municipal Judge Rose Evans-Gordon and businessman Bob Woodall provided quips about Schmitz climbing mountains and the way he dresses. Mayor-elect Mark Saliba said the one overriding statement he heard about the mayor concerned his shoes.
“You know, if I got $100 for every time I heard ‘you’ve got mighty big shoes to fill’ I probably could buy a Mercedes-Benz dealership,” Saliba said, referring to one of Schmitz’s businesses.
After the first 500 times he heard it he started wondering how big a job it was being mayor, so when the mayor and his wife left town Saliba broke into the house to see how big those shoes were.
He snuck around and found them, and the pair he showed on stage weren’t nearly as big as his own shoes.
Schmitz said he wanted to help Saliba in his new role.
“One of the jobs as mayor, you have to have your picture taken a lot,” Schmitz said. “Since a lot of folks are a little taller than you and I, I want to help you.”
He presented Saliba a pair of shoes with tall, thick heels.
Schmitz’ son, Mike Schmitz Jr., said two amazingly annoying characteristics of being Mike Schmitz are his tenacity and ego.
He referred specifically to his father’s catchphrase “Go, Go, Go!”
“Do you see how annoying that is?” his son said. “I want you to know he does not stop. He says that at home. He says that when he thinks there’s nobody around. He says it to the TV when he’s watching ‘Jersey Shore.’ He says it to his dog. He says it to the mirror. He even says it to the sandwich or the oatmeal he’s about to eat.”
But he is thankful for the support he has gotten from his dad.
“Growing up every single day he would look at me and say ‘I’m proud of you, son,'” he said. “I want you to know that I am proud to be Mike Schmitz. I am proud to be Mike Schmitz because I am proud of who my father is.”
Information from: The Dothan Eagle, http://www.dothaneagle.com