Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mayor Smith - Year 1

It has been a whole year since Mayor Scott Smith was sworn in and he and the rest of the council got right down to work. The Republic is doing a retrospective on Smith and the Tribune also has a write up about the impact that Smith's presence has had in Mesa.

It certainly looks like the Mayor and the new council get an A for their first year on the job, which is a huge jump from the general public mistrust of the previous mayor and council by the end of their term. Only time will tell if their popularity will continue, but its certainly a fantastic start.

Looking back, being thrust immediately into the budget crisis has turned out to be a good thing, because they were able to make their adjustments sooner and move on. Some other cities are only now trying to figure out what to do, and don't even get us started on the state's quagmire (which, by the way, we still think that Arizona should let Mesa decide for themselves)

At the hundred day mark, it looked like the bond election was going to be a major test for the council. In the end, it passed with flying colors creating the first property tax in Mesa in a very long time. The positive repercussions from this action will be felt for many years to come.

With the Gaylord election, Mesa took a shot at economic development while nearly the rest of the valley is struggling to do anything. And while we have to cautiously optimistic of the project, as long as they continue to tell us what is going on, the voters should be patient.

Even on the tougher issues like immigration, Waveyard, and the Cubs, Smith and the Council have shown that we can trust them to do the right thing and make decisions in the best interest of the residents, not the city government. We don't have to watch the negotiations between Mesa and the Cubs and sit around waiting for the other shoe to drop. There is still a lot of work to be done, but its important to celebrate all of their hard work and admit that we are really on our way to started this "Building a Better Mesa."

1 comment:

Heath Reed said...

Its been a good year thanks to Smiths leadership. I think some in the council are following his lead. Now Im not sure about some of the councilmembers because I seem them not amazing leaders or innovative thinkers by all means, but think the Mayor has been the one that has lead and has made sure this council is headed in the right direction. Trust is an issue and the mayor has been upfront. Dave Richins broke the norm by having 700 volunteers come out to clean up his district instead of a pancake breakfast. As long as they are up front and honest with us, and explain why, I think they will continue to gain the public’s trust. They still have a lot of work to do and I hope when we get new councilmembers, we can get ones that reflect some of the good leaders that are currently serving out city.