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Mayor MySpace

Think of your teenage niece suddenly running a suburb.

You might expect a baby-faced mayor, the youngest in his suburb's history, to hide his age, perhaps grow a beard or invest in some short-sleeved dress shirts. Not David Bentkowski.

The 34-year-old mayor of Seven Hills, Bentkowski embraces his youthful demeanor, which political experts might describe as "Dennis Kucinich meets Ace from Real World: Paris. "

Bentkowski's latest Gen X adventure is his new website,, where he promotes a variety of charitable events he supports. But it feels more like your teenaged niece's MySpace page.

It includes pictures of the mayor posing with Nick Lachey. Posing with his flag football team. Posing with Gwen Stefani, the Cavs dance team, Laura Bush, and other total babes. It even has the mayor dressed proudly in full Superman costume, in tribute to his favorite superhero.

And the site's soundtrack ranges from "God Bless America" to Depeche Mode to the Superman theme.

Bentkowski's enemies privately bristle at his behavior, which at times seem more Kids in the Hall than City Hall. But Bentkowski says it's all part of his plan to turn his aging city around.

"Being young has been one of the most celebrated things for the city," says Bentkowski, who was elected to city council at 23. "We were stuck in the mud . . . Using the website, using e-mails -- all these young ideas are things that have never been done before . . . Anyone who tries to portray them as juvenile doesn't know the positive impact they have on the community."

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