Monday, February 9, 2009

Mayor Smith focuses on the economy

Mayor Smith is calling for investment in the community (Tribune version here). In a speech last week, the Mayor focused on Mesa's future opportunities in health care, education, and aerospace. His vision is using these three areas to help boost Mesa by creating long term stability and additional revenue for the City.

Its an interesting juxtaposition between the Mayor and President Obama, both of whom were elected last year based on a dissatisfaction with the current establishment and a mantra of change. In addition, both were thrust into dire financial situations that must be solved immediately.

While President Obama is focused on a $800 million spending package that seems to have a little bit for everything for everyone, Mayor Smith made the cuts necessary and is now focused on a clear and concise plan that will not only help in the short term, but create a true path to Mesa's economic success in the long-term.

In some ways, it can be that simple: If you want educated people to stay in Mesa, give them opportunities to achieve higher education here. If you want quality doctors in Mesa, give them a chance to go to school and do their residence here. If you want Boeing, MD Helicopters, Cessna and others to stay, show them that there is no other place in the world that is better for aerospace. These are finite achievable steps that can show a return on investment and are based on a plan of where Mesa wants to go.

On the other hand, Obama's plan appears to lack vision or focus. Obviously, the economic situation was more dire than he could even realize, but that doesn't mean we should be throwing more good money after bad. Why spread the money around so much? How about devaluing existing homes to match the current market so people aren't upside down in their lines of equity? How about buying up some of that bad debt that banks were supposed to do last time around? How about building the Gateway freeway for Mesa?

If we really are spending enough to cover 90% of all home mortgages, why not do that? Pay them all off! Think about how much liquidity it would create for people if their mortgage was paid. It would resurrect the auto industry over night with people taking on a new car payment with their newly found cashflow. Think about how many people would buy an investment property or a second home. Think about how many would put more money into the stock market! Plus, it cuts the excuses for parents who can't afford college for their kids.

The beauty is in simplicity. Something that Mayor Smith seems to have found that President Obama has not.

1 comment:

Heath Reed said...

Good comparison. Both on different scales have been put in a bad spot as leaders. Like you said, it seems that smith gets it more then Obama. The so called stimulus package is more of a spending spree and celebration that a party is finally in full control. Its hey, you voted for us, heres some money. This is a horrible idea that is not going to work. This is poor leadership whereas smith is approaching this in the right way.

I am happy that smith is focusing on this type of stuff to improve mesa. Gateway, higher education and health care. He has lead in making tough cuts and (I am not happy people lose their jobs) that the city is getting rid of some dead wood in the city departments.

Smith has more vision then a poor leader who is a good speaker. At least our city is under good leadership as of now.