Sunday, April 19, 2009

Rule 5 Rescue: Ashley Swearengin

Today's Los Angeles Times features a big front-page story on President Barack Obama's first 100 day's in office: "Direct, assertive and utterly self-assured, Obama has used his broad popularity, a driving ambition and a sweeping agenda to move America in a wholly new direction."

Actually, I'm looking forward to Obama's last 100 days, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to share the success of
Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin's first 100 days (with a politically-relevant Rule 5" entry, as per Stogie's request).

The Fresno Bee on Thursday ran an editorial commending Swearengin for her strong start in office:

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin completes her first 100 days in office today, and she has had a fairly strong beginning, although it's way too early to judge how successful her term will be. While getting a solid start is always a good thing, there are still several issues that can trip up a mayor over a four-year term.

The immediate challenge for Swearengin is the weak economy, and keeping City Hall on solid financial footing. Government agencies rely on taxes generated by economic activity, and sales tax receipts are down, as well as property taxes and fees from lagging development projects.

Swearengin has moved quickly to cut almost $9 million from this year's budget and has vowed to protect the city's core services, including public safety. Areas outside of basic services likely will be taking bigger budget hits. Expect more spending reductions at City Hall in the fiscal year starting July 1 because of continued decreasing revenues.

The mayor's budget moves shows that she understands that government must live within its means, and she's willing to tell bureaucrats that they must operate with less money, even if they are already running tight operations. It's a simple concept, but reducing spending to match declining revenues doesn't always occur in government agencies.

Swearengin will deliver her proposed budget to the City Council on May 18, and then council members will be able to weigh in with their priorities.

The 100-day mark gives us an opportunity to assess a politician's early performance. Swearengin's initial tenure is highlighted by a huge political victory that many critics said she couldn't pull off. The controversial independent police auditor position was finally passed by the City Council, even though it was opposed by the Fresno Police Officers Association, and others.

The mayor skillfully built support for the idea and ended up getting five of the seven council members to vote for it. Swearengin showed that good public policy must be accompanied by the political ability to make it a reality.
There's more at the link.

Check out
Mayor Swearengin's biographical page at the Fresno County Republican Party's homepage. She's got great values. Married for 13 years, with two children, Swearengin's pro-life and supports marriage traditionalism. Progressives in Fresno can't stand her, naturally.

Previously:

* "Rule 5 Rescue: Scarlett Johansson."

* "
Rule 5 Rescue: Katy Perry."

* "
Rule 5 Rescue: Helen Mirren."

* "
Rule 5 Rescue: Paulina Porizkova."

2 comments:

Stogie said...

Very impressive lady. There has to be some kind of natural law about beautiful women all being conservatives and...all the Janeane Garafolos being liberal.

Donald Douglas said...

Thanks Stogie!