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Sarah Palin’s Executive Decisions Scare Democrats

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Sarah Palin, the new face of the Republicans, is scary to the liberals, the Democrats, and to anti-Bush MSM’s. Looking for dirt in any way possible, the leftist pundits spin Palin’s administrative decisions in her career as symptoms that she’s not ready to lead. In reality Palin’s ‘barracuda’ decisions as mayor and governor show extreme business acumen and political savvy. This is one woman that who realizes that hard decisions need to be made in the light of business and municipal development and what is good for the city.

Florida small cities faced similar growth pains to one time Alaskan Mayor Sarah Palin’s Wasilla. Rising from having many small towns with little worry about serving 5,000 residents to hiring more highly specialized employees and administrators that create sound infrastructures that could handle an influx of 30,000 to 50,000 newcomers. Wasilla had good ol’ boys out of high school, that were city councilmen and 20-year municipal employees running the administration office, city water, sewer, and utilities where the only tools needed were a telephone, typewriter, big monkey wrench, pipes, and some duct tape to fix problems. Wasilla needed to come into the 21st century to implement state and federal mandates using the latest industrial and utility technology and pollution controls involving computer software and college engineering degrees. Top off an escalating volatile situation by voting a woman in charge who used a velvet glove with brass knuckles underneath and you have bruised, angry male egos and their wives who have to live with them.

Articles by “The Nation” the 143-year old left’s anti-war newspaper, portray Mayor Palin’s actions of firing and hiring competent people as a sign of poor leadership and bad management, when in reality, she made the right decisions for Wasilla. What can you expect from a newspaper that has Tim Robbins on it’s board of directors?

What happens to leaders when they replace the ‘Old Guard’? They [ Edit: the old status quo folks] get pissed. Nobody likes to be fired and what was wrong with the way they had been doing it for the last one hundred years? Times change. Cities have to prepare for the future of their residents, build parks, schools, and create business opportunities. Good city managers shrink budgets, bring in jobs, make hard decisions to cut taxes here but then raise them in other areas, and bring in competent advisors on financial matters. As always with the left, disgruntled employees, and oblivious observers, there is whining and negativity. This is The Nation’s leftist perspective of what happened in Wasilla:

During her mayoral administration most of the actual work of running this small city was turned over to an administrator. She had been pushed to hire this administrator by party power-brokers after she had gotten herself into some trouble over precipitous firings which had given rise to a recall campaign.

Sarah campaigned in Wasilla as a “fiscal conservative.” During her 6 years as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over 33%. During those same 6 years the amount of taxes collected by the City increased by 38%. This was during a period of low inflation (1996-2002). She reduced progressive property taxes and increased a regressive sales tax which taxed even food. The tax cuts that she promoted benefited large corporate property owners way more than they benefited residents.

Is that what really happened? Could it be looked at from another perspective , possibly a conservative point of view? Here’s the 2006 Anchorage Daily News article on Sarah Palin’s tax cuts as Mayor:

This year, an accomplishment mentioned perhaps most often by Palin’s supporters is that she cut taxes as mayor of Wasilla. Ironically, she took her first steps into local politics with the intent of preserving a controversial new tax and expanding local government.

In 1992, when Palin first ran for city council, Wasilla had just adopted a 2 percent sales tax and was setting up a police department. The 28-year-old Palin was approached by several council members to help them fight off anti-tax elements, who were saying no new stores would ever come to Wasilla if it had a sales tax. A 1992 Palin ad called her a “new face, new voice,” who would work for “a safer, more progressive Wasilla.”

As it turned out, the new sales tax built the infrastructure that turned Wasilla into the Mat-Su area’s commercial hub. Booming sales tax revenues also made possible Palin’s other tax cuts after she became mayor in 1996.

To become mayor, however, Palin had to bump off three-term incumbent John Stein, who had ushered in the sales tax and police force. Three terms were enough, she said. He had lost touch with the community. It was time for a change. The voters agreed.

Wasilla’s growth was taking off, and Palin pushed for bonds to build sewer, water and roads. New big-box stores wanted to be in the city so they could get sewer, water and police protection, even if it meant being annexed. Palin’s city was not necessarily an aesthetic crown jewel, especially along the Parks Highway, but the long snake of stores was doing good business. Sales tax revenues grew by half a million dollars a year. Much of the revenue was coming from people who lived outside the town.

Palin was able to cut property taxes by three-quarters while eliminating small taxes such as the personal property tax and the business inventory tax. She wasn’t doing this by shrinking government, however: The cost of running the growing city, apart from capital projects and debt, rose from $3.9 million in fiscal 1996 to $5.8 million in fiscal 2002. Excess sales tax revenues went to paying for capital improvements such as roads and government buildings, says city finance director Ted Leonard.

Palin had priorities. She shrank the local museum’s budget and deterred talk of a new library and city hall. But she also put in bike paths and obtained funds for storm-water treatment to protect the area’s many lakes. She successfully pushed a half-percent sales tax increase to build a $15 million multi-use indoor ice arena. The popular sports complex is not breaking even, as its advocates projected, but the city’s subsidy has been cut from $600,000 to $125,000 a year.

A like-minded majority on the city council smoothed her way. That’s not to say her six years as mayor went smoothly, especially at first.

After turning out the three-term incumbent, Palin brought in an outside attorney, with city funds, to advise on the transition. She asked for resignation letters from six top department heads, saying they’d signed a letter supporting their former boss. She fired two of them — the police chief and the museum director — but within a year two others had quit. With the local newspaper, the Frontiersman, upset about the uproar, a citizens group started meeting to discuss a recall of the new mayor. The idea was eventually dropped.

Palin has cited her mayoral work as a central part of her qualification to serve as governor. But at the beginning of her term, asked by the local newspaper how she would run the city without experienced department heads, she made the job sound like no big deal: “It’s not rocket science. It’s $6 million and 53 employees.”

Battling over appointments to vacant city council seats, Palin said at the time, “Some of the things I’m doing, it’s obvious I’m not running for Miss Congeniality. I’m running the city.”

Sarah Palin doesn’t mind making the hard decisions and ultimately, some taxes are necessary for municipal revenue and upkeep. It’s knowing when those taxes are no longer needed, giving citizens back their money, and leaving a legacy of good infrastructure to carry the city and state through the next generation. Wasilla is growing strong, nearly doubling it’s population in less than three years.

Governor Sarah ‘Barracuda’ Palin knows from experience what this country will need and will be a good sounding board for John McCain. The Democrats know her animosity towards “good ol’ boys” and will do everything in their power to rattle voters’ cages to get them to change their votes by broadcasting negative articles about her past.

The important factor is that John McCain isn’t rattled by cages anymore. Choosing Sarah Palin as his conservative Vice President was the first step towards returning conservatives to the Republican party.


Written by smalltalkwitht

September 5, 2008 at 9:09 am

One Response

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  1. Wow, great summary. Complex people make good leaders; it shows they are interested in issues and solutions, not sound-bite politics. Palin seems to have mastered both.

    Win one for the gipper!


    September 5, 2008 at 12:28 pm

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