Betsy's review of Fiendish Deeds over at Fuse#8 includes this fun rumination:
The general rule when it comes to villains is that if there is a mayor in a children's book, they are a bad mayor. This is always true unless A) The mayor is the hero's dad or B) The mayor is the hero. The same rule often applies to principals of schools. And the usual crime committed by mayors? City development, of course. You probably saw it in Hoot where it threatened endangered owls and in Highway Cats where it threatened felines. In this case the redevelopment would threaten only the residents of a bog, but it's still seen as a pretty underhanded act. Sex scandals and graft are difficult to impossible to work into children's middle grade novels, so good old nepotism and illegal development often have to do the job instead.