Currently trailing in Neighbor of the Year balloting: Sylvester Stallone.

First, Stallone un-endeared himself to Miami-ites by persuading the money-strapped city to build an iron gate near his movie-star mansion, sealing off a popular walkway. (The better to keep those pesky autograph hounds [i.e., the public] away, presumably.

Then, the buffed-out 50-year-old action star added to his local popularity, or lack thereof, by setting up buoys on the waters of Biscayne Bay near his estate--issuing a succinct, Rambo-esque "Keep Out" warning on the floating turf markers. (The better to prevent yahoos from getting any bright ideas, presumably.)

Well, enough was enough. There's only so much prima-donna attitude officials, even star-struck ones, can take. Today, state authorities in Florida announced the actor had agreed to, at least, help diffuse the buoy situation. (The buoys will be moved closer to shore. And they'll feature the slightly more neighbor-friendly directive, "Shallow.")

But the gate thing--now dubbed "Stallonegate"--isn't going away as quickly.

Locals are already miffed that the Miami City Commission--until recently, up to its municipal code with a $68-million deficit--ordered up new taxes, new state fees and union concessions, all to get Rocky his gate.

And now that the gate's built, critics are charging that it's being used to keep pedestrians from using the walkway near Stallone's home all day, every day--even though it was only supposed to be locked at night.

Far from backing down from that challenge, Stallone and supporters are actually lobbying to have the gate permanently closed. (The better to enhance security--even though the movie tough guy lives on a street police say is one of Miami's safest.)

A spokesman for the actor in Los Angeles says Stallone isn't the only resident who wants the gate shut for good, he's just the biggest name. "I've talked to him about this, and he said: 'I don't want to have the park closed or the street closed. I just want the gate closed for security reasons," Paul Bloch said.

No word on where Madonna stands on all this. The "M" one also owns a home on Stallone's street. Imagine the Tupperware parties that gang must have.

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